Social media offers you many free or low-cost ways to promote your restaurant. As there’s an endless array of ways to use social media, we’ve put together this overview on the best ways to use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to your advantage.
A recent partner poll revealed that more than 75% of our restaurant partners are interested in learning more about social media.
We know that using a variety of social media platforms can get complicated. So, we created this quick chart to help you set some realistic goals. You can use it as a starting point when creating your content (photos and words).
Social Media 101 for Restaurants
|What restaurants want to say||What restaurants want customers to say|
|Please like our restaurant||I like eating at this restaurant|
|People are/will be at our restaurant||I am eating at this restaurant|
|Here are photos of what people like about our restaurant||Here are photos of me eating at this restaurant|
For example, post a photo of the week’s special. For Facebook, tell customers how it’s prepared or who prepared it. For Twitter, tell customers that you’re serving it tonight. For Instagram, tell customers this dish is popular at your restaurant.
Share your ideas across platforms. If possible, tweak them for each platform so your content reflects the chart above.
Make a plan. Create a few categories of things you want to promote about your restaurant, then do it. For example, you can focus on photos of menu items, staff stories, neighborhood history and cocktails. Keep it simple and consistent.
Don’t push. Social media isn’t a quick-sales solution. It takes time for people to respond. Be patient, kind and consistent and your efforts will pay off.
To engage customers, they need to know that you’re engaged. So respond to your comments (positive and negative) and answer questions quickly—in a courteous, transparent way. Even if it’s just a “thank you”, acknowledge when people take time to post on your channel or mention you in their post.
Encourage sharing. While you shouldn’t always say “share with your friends” with every post (although it’s a message you can say occasionally), the idea is to create content and images that people will want to share and be associated with.
Post regularly over time, as opposed to one huge “dump” each month. If a slow drip doesn’t suit your style or availability, you can schedule your content to go out across all your platforms with a social media management tool, such as Hootsuite or Buffer.
Photos and images are the easiest content to share. Be sure to check out our suggestions for photo editing apps that you can use on your smartphone.
To review, here’s another chart to keep handy as you create content—and build your network.
Make a plan
Listen and respond kindly
Keep it friendly
Post loads of content at once
Rely on one platform
Try to sell people
Forget to say thank you