With social media becoming such an integrated and assumed part of daily life for the average person, most businesses recognize the value of using social media to increase their business and brand reputation. Restaurants are no exception.
As the owner of a restaurant, bar, or eatery, it is critical that you put the power of social media to work for you. However, many times restaurants get stuck. Have you ever asked questions like: What can we post today? How can we keep coming up with fresh ideas to share? How can social media increase our exposure and community building? If so, I've got some answers for you!
1. Offer Interesting Content on Facebook and Twitter
You may already have a Facebook page, and a decent number of followers. But to truly grow and get the most out of Facebook or Twitter, you need to connect with your community.
Offer new and relevant content continuously about your restaurant, your team, your local area. Special dishes, free recipes, interesting information about menu items, or even loyalty or trial discounts will attract a steady stream of new visitors and likes, increasing visibility.
2. Update Latest Happenings on Twitter and Instagram
Twitter is a great way to spread the word on what is new in your restaurant, and with Instagram you can do this visually (photos or video clips). Post updates about new menu items, your process of preparing special dishes, current offers, promotions, and background information on chef specials. Keep tempting your customers with lip-smacking recipes and photos of folks enjoying the atmosphere at your place!
3. Develop a Niche
What makes you unique? Identify it. Use it! This is your "style" of posting!
Many restaurants take pains to carve a specific niche, or theme for themselves. Tailor your social media posts and updates accordingly. For instance, if the restaurant positions itself as a hangout place for sports fans, actively reach out to sports venues and post about upcoming games and results from recent games.
4. Encourage Check-Ins
Make sure on Facebook your restaurant is a "Place" location in the category selections so that visitors can check-in. This gets seen by their friends!
Also, be sure to identify your location on FourSquare and consider offering a special for those that check-in.
Social media is popular because it shares authentic information from real people. A check-in or a great review by a friend carries credibility.
Also encourage reviews on neutral third-party sites such as Trip Advisor.
5. Share your Menu
In addition to having your menu on your website, make it pieces of it available in your social sharing of content and also make it available on a tab on your Facebook Page. The goal is too make it accessible and easy to find wherever visitors are finding you. By posting about a new item on Facebook and then linking to the Facebook Page Tab, restaurants can draw in fans and visitors to their Facebook page.
6. Ask for Feedback
The best way to increase engagement and keep the social pages ticking with fresh content is by asking for feedback.
The feedback could be on anything, ranging from the band who played last night to the new breadsticks.
Make sure, however, to interact with and respond to feedback, even negative feedback. This can go miles in building trust and loyalty. As well, identify how you have followed up afterward as well so that fans and followers know you acted on the feedback!
Well, I mean monitor and listen socially! Closely related to asking for feedback is to proactively keeping track of what is being said about your restaurant on social media. Literally hundreds of applications like Hootsuite, ViralHeat, Sendible, and more and allow business to do exactly that, scouring blogs and social network posts, and extracting relevant items.
Images communicate better and spark greater interaction than simply text posts. Restaurants can reach more people by have a strong presence and posting great images of food and photos that tell stories on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.
9. Enable Easy Social Sharing on your Website
Yes, your website is your "home base" and social media does not replace that. Social media augments your site and by enabling fans to easily share information from your website, you empower fans to increase their social sharing and chatter about you! Using WordPress? Add tools like the Digg Digg Plugin that easily adds social sharing buttons to each page and blog post!
Be sure to add your Facebook Page "Like us on Facebook" box to your website, as well as relevant buttons including "Follow us on Twitter" and more!
10. Offer Deals and Contests to Grow your Email List and Create Buzz
Deals and contests can create engagement and attract visitors. By then converting visitors to email subscribers by offering a discount coupon for joining your email list or hosting a random drawing of a Gift Certificate from those who enter, a restaurant can both help gain short-term attention and interest but also server longer term marketing goals. The deal or contest offers quick incentive while the ability to utilize this to capture email addresses means your restaurant can then drip market to these folks over time to build further awareness, interest, and loyalty.
So there you have it! 10 ways to taste great success through social media for your restaurant!
Any more ideas to add?
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