Social media marketing is one of the most valuable tools in any restaurant’s arsenal. It’s a way to keep your customers coming back, and it also helps you reach out to new potential diners.
But with so many different social networks to choose from (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), it can be hard to know where and how best to invest your precious time.
Here are some tips for managing a restaurant’s social media channels that will help you make sure you’re getting the most out of your effort.
1. Choose your platforms wisely
Choosing the right social media platform for your business can be a challenge.
It’s not enough to just set up profiles and hope for the best, you need to be proactive and constantly check what your competitors are doing.
If you’re not sure where to start, Facebook and Instagram are probably the ideal first choices.
2. Post Consistently
You may be thinking, “I don’t have the time to post on social media!”, but one small post per day can make a big difference.
Not only does it let your followers know that you’re there and still active, but it also helps establish a dialogue with new potential customers.
One of the reasons why people use social media is because they want to feel connected with a brand.
Another important tip is making sure that you’re posting quality content that shows off what makes your restaurant special. Users will remember your posts more if they’re distinctive or stand out from the rest of the feed.
3. Work to Improve Your Ratings and Reviews
Keep in mind that the better your ratings, the more likely people will be to come to your restaurant. It’s actually pretty easy to get reviews these days. Simply ask your customers for feedback or offer an incentive for diners who are willing to rate and review.
Not only does having reviews and ratings help your customers make decisions about where to buy, but it’s also a way for them to share their experiences with you. This allows you to spot trends and continuously make things better.
To improve online ratings and reviews, you need to spend time to read and respond to your reviews. While this can take time, Bloom Intelligence can automate email campaigns asking for ratings, and you can manage your ratings from Facebook, Google, and Bloom all in one centralized platform.
Likewise, Bloom gives you ratings reports. You’ll be able to closely track and monitor your ratings and reviews on popular ratings websites. You’ll see a graph showing you the quality and quantity of your ratings.
You’ll also see a list of every rating, including which website the rating was given on. You can reply to every rating right in the platform and it will automatically be posted on the appropriate website.
This saves you a great deal of time and energy, allowing you to improve your business, save money, and improve your restaurant reputation.
- Create stunning automated messages asking for ratings/reviews on Google, Facebook, Bloom or ask your customers to contact you directly if they had a bad experience.
- Increase the quantity and consistency of ratings/reviews given.
- See detailed reporting about who left each rating, and ratings trends over time.
- See real-time aggregate rating reports from multiple ratings websites
- Manage all customer feedback in a centralized platform.
- Drive new customers to your locations through positive online reviews on Google, Facebook, and your website.
4. Show Off Your Ratings
With the Bloom platform, you can also embed a ratings widget on your website. As you improve your online reputation, you can showcase your effort in a small, unobtrusive pop-up on your website pages.
This provides all-important social proof to your website visitors. When they see a good aggregate rating, they will be more likely to choose your restaurant when looking for a place to dine.
5. Add Your Menu and Pictures
Customers who visit your social media pages are obviously interested in your restaurant, so it’s important to give them everything they might be looking for.
This includes your menus. If you have more than one menu, include all of them: breakfast, lunch, dinner, late-night, drinks, specials, etc. As user are engaging with your social media account, they can view your menu as well.
You should also include high-resolution images of your food, drinks, and atmosphere. Show them images of people having a great time at your restaurant. This will further pique the visitor’s attention and show them the type of experience they can expect from your place of business.
6. Use #Hashtags
Hashtags are an essential part of social media. They allow you to categorize your posts and make them easier for people to find. However, it’s not enough just to use hashtags – they need to be used correctly.
Use hashtags that have high search volume but low competition; this will maximize exposure and minimize the risk of being overlooked by users with similar interests. Use current events as inspiration for relevant hashtags; people love finding content related to what is happening in their world today!
Hashtags can also be used to spread the word about your restaurant and its specials. Use #FridayEvents to post pictures of a special weekly event, or #HappyHour with a picture of discounted drinks. If you’re going to use hashtags like these, make sure that they’re understandable even without the context.
7. Post Videos
Social video is so popular that it generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined. That means to make sure you have a restaurant social media marketing strategy in place with videos incorporated into your plan, or else risk being left behind.
Use current events as inspiration. For example, if a sports event is approaching or a new movie is coming out, use that as an excuse to create relevant video content for your social media accounts.
You can also create testimonial videos from customers who are having a great experience at your place of business. Other ideas include introducing new menu items, upcoming events, and current specials.
8. Create a Contest
Social media contests create loyalty and rapport with customers. Restaurants can take advantage of this by running a contest for free dinners, gift cards or even the chance to win other prizes such as special parties.
79% people only like a business Facebook page for their incentives and discounts. To give them what they want – offer deals in order to increase likes on all platforms- which can also lead into customer engagement across channels such as Instagram or YouTube.
When creating social media contests, restaurants should offer things that will resonate with their followers – namely discount codes which provide incentives while soliciting engagement from others in return.
9. Cross-Promote Your Social Media Channels
One of the most important keys to running a successful restaurant social media marketing campaign is cross promotion. By engaging with your customers on more than one social media channel, you can reach new clients and keep current ones happy by providing content that they are interested in.
For instance, if Facebook has tons of likes but your Instagram has few followers then leverage what works for you first -Facebook- by creating an appealing post about something happening at your Instagram account.
This can drive traffic and followers from those engaged people who already like or follow to the other account, further growing your online social media footprint.
10. Get Started Today
Running a restaurant often means juggling social media marketing on top of everything else. It’s not enough to just set up profiles and hope for the best, you need to be proactive and constantly check what your competitors are doing.
In today’s digital world, social media is a powerful tool to have in your restaurant marketing arsenal. In this post we’ve given tips that will help make sure you’re on top of things all the time.
If you are interested in improving your ratings and reviews on Facebook or Google, click to find out how Bloom Intelligence can help you automate the entire process.