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The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Restaurants

Social media has dramatically changed the business and creative world in the past 15 years. A social media presence is a must for any restaurant business.

Your restaurant most likely has a page on multiple social channels. You post some photos of your food and place. It is getting tiring, and you have more important things to do. You have a business to run.

Unless you have a social media manager, the chance is that you and your staff are taking care of your social media in addition to your jobs. Here is the guide to make this process more transparent.

Content Batching

Content creation and posting can be very time-consuming. If you don’t have a social media manager, you probably don’t post as often as you should. Or you feel overwhelmed. According to Hootsuite, businesses should post on social media at least once daily. Of course, you don’t have to do it this often, but this is most likely what other restaurants are doing. And you should stay ahead of the competition.

The quickest way to do this is by content batching. What do I mean by that?

Take a day or an afternoon where you will create content for your restaurant’s social media. It can be during late lunch when it’s usually quiet.

Take 30-50 photos and videos of your food, staff, and some exciting places in your restaurant. You can always take pictures with your phone. But I recommend using a professional photographer. It can cost you a few hundred dollars, but you will get amazing already-edited photos.

Once you have your photos and videos ready, schedule them. There are many platforms that you can use to schedule posts for many social media platforms at once. For example, Hootsuite, Loomly, or Sprinklr. You can add all 30 (or as many) posts at once and schedule them for each day of the month. And that’s it. You get 30 days of content ready in a day.

You should still include photos you take along the way. But more on that later.

Content Ideas

Now that you know how to get a month’s worth of content in a few hours, let’s talk about what you should post.

Photos of food and drink: this is a must. Make sure you take flattering pictures of your specials and cocktails

  • Food ingredients: people like to know how the food is prepared and where it comes from.

  • Behind the scenes: post photos and videos from your kitchen. Show your chefs preparing the meals.

  • Your staff: have some employee appreciation posts

  • Show a crowded restaurant and customers having a lovely time

  • Announce any special events you are organizing

  • Share your restaurant’s story. People are more likely to connect to your brand if they hear a story behind it.

Having great and aesthetically pleasing content is a must on social media. But, it is not enough. You need to engage with your audience. Think of it as good customer service online.

Community Engagement

Community engagement has been a popular topic on social media in the past few years. People have been connecting with others based on their mutual interests and the brands they like. Platforms like Reddit and Quora are the perfect example of this. You can build your community on other platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.

According to Forbes, 71% of consumers who received a quick response from a business were likely to recommend that brand.

What does this mean? Simply put, provide good customer service online too. Engage with your followers. Answer their questions. Repost their photos. Not only is this good for the algorithm, but it will also make people feel closer to your place and want to return.

Social Listening

Social listening is monitoring what people say about your brand online. Understanding your customers’ experience will increase customer satisfaction and retain more customers.

You can use social listening tools to make this process faster.

These are the types of insights you can gain from social listening:

  • Conversations about your brand

  • Restaurant industry trends

  • You can find content ideas that your audience relates to

  • Competitor insights and benchmarking

  • You can identify new potential customers

Click here to learn more about social listening.

Make it Instagrammable

Instagrammable restaurant has been a popular term in the last few years. It means the place is aesthetically appealing and creates an excellent opportunity for people to make photos and videos for their social media profiles.

Here are some ways to make your place Instagramable:

Beautifully decorated food

Make sure your chefs and the bartender put extra effort into the food and drink presentation.

Table decoration

This can be done with lovely flowers, candles, or any decorative items you prefer.

Decorative seating place

Add a wooden bench or an interesting chair where people can sit and take photos.

Wall decoration

Add an exciting sign to the wall, or have a wall covered by flowers.

Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs work wonders for many businesses, and restaurants are no different. You might already have a loyalty program where people get a free dessert or a discount after a certain number of visits. You can take it a step further with social media.

Offer your followers an opportunity to collect reward points whenever they post a photo or a video from your restaurant. Once they collect enough points, they can win a free drink or an appetizer.

You can also offer extended happy hour to those followers who promote your place on their pages.

Collaborate With Local Influencers And Food Bloggers

Influencer marketing has been rapidly growing. Collaborating with the right influencer can do wonders for your social media presence.

There are a lot of great creators that visit restaurants around the works and post about them on their channels. By partnering with them, you could reach their network of thousands or even millions of followers.

These can also be influencers in the niche your restaurant is known for. It could be creators that talk about specific food, lifestyle, music, or any theme your restaurant follows.

Online Reviews

Did you know that 94% of diners are directly influenced by online reviews when choosing a restaurant?

On average, consumers read restaurant reviews more than consumers in other industries. Many restaurants focus on getting good reviews on Open Table or Yelp without considering social media reviews. But most people check Facebook reviews when choosing a restaurant.

Luckily, there is a simple way to import your reviews from reservation platforms to Facebook. It is super simple and will take you less than 5 minutes. Here is how you can import reviews from Yelp and Open Table:

Import reviews from Yelp

Import reviews from Open Table

We hope this guide helped you understand how to use social media to grow your customer base and improve your brand image. If you need any help with your social media management, we will be happy to help! Schedule a free 15-minute call here.

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