Social Media 101 for Restaurants 

Why you need it and what you should be using it for

For the uninitiated, social media can be daunting. But if you want to put your best digital food forward, it’s essential to have a solid social media marketing strategy in place. This blog will run you through the basics so you can get to work creating profiles and content that gets your restaurant’s name out there and gets the customers coming in.

Why social media?

Simply put, the vast majority of your customers are on one, if not all three of the main social platforms. This is where they talk to their family and friends, look for places to visit and explore their interests. It is by far the most effective and cost-efficient way to get in front of them and market your restaurant.

Why your restaurant needs Facebook

It is the largest of the social platforms and the one your current and future customers are most likely to be using regularly. So, it is very important that you are set-up, active and approachable on Facebook. It is also the only platform to have ‘review’ and ‘check-in’ features, giving you a great opportunity to engage and build familiarity with your customers.

How to use Facebook for your restaurant 

Firstly, you need to set up a business profile. Once you’ve done this you should fill out as much information as possible about your restaurant. Think of your profile as a hub. Tell them about your restaurant, your opening times, upload the menu and set up messenger to automatically pop-up when someone lands on your page so they can ask any questions they may have. Make sure that you are responsive to any comments, reviews and messages you receive and do so as quickly as possible, this is essential to developing relationships with your customers and building a foundation of trust for newcomers landing on your page.

As for content, keep it as visual as possible. Great shots of your food and atmosphere will always go down well. Talk about where your cuisine originated and share gorgeous shots of India, Greece, Italy etc. Explain the cooking process, how fresh your ingredients are, how experienced your head chef is. Make things personal and let your customers know the restaurant’s history and who works there. The topics are endless and Facebook is appropriate for both short and longer posts so mix it up and see what your customers respond to best!

Why your restaurant needs Instagram 

With over 414 million posts linked to #Food it is easy to see why this platform is a great place to be talking about your restaurant, what makes you different and attracting customers to visit. Instagram also hits a slightly younger demographic than Facebook with the majority of users aged 18 – 34.

How to use Instagram for your restaurant 

Instagram should be viewed and used like a flashy magazine, it is the most visual of the three platforms so quality and consistency of aesthetic is key. As above, gorgeous shots of your food, venue, cuisine origination and your restaurant’s vibe are great starting blocks. However, unlike Facebook and Twitter your posts will be visible as a grid made up of your previous 9 – 12 posts depending on the viewers screen size. So, before you start posting, think about how you want this to look and check out what other restaurants are doing for inspiration.

Post captions should be kept brief (1-2 lines max unless it is a more informative or sentimental post) and you will need to include hashtags to make sure your posts are reaching the maximum amount of people. You can use up to 30 and the best way to figure out which ones will net you the biggest audiences is to do some research, look at what other restaurants are using and combine it with more area specific terms such as #BristolFoodBlogs.

Why your restaurant needs Twitter

Twitter is the ‘fastest’ of the platforms, in the sense that tweets tend to be short and active users may post over ten times a day. It is a great platform for you to join the conversation and market your restaurant. As users are used to seeing a quick turnover of content, you can post more regularly on Twitter, reaching more users more regularly. 

How to use Twitter for your restaurant 

Post often and regularly, keeping your followers up to date with everything your restaurant has to offer. Let them know about any daily specials, offers, new additions to the menu or discounts. You can also be more forward on this platform, search for local ‘food’ or ‘travel’ based conversations and lend your opinions and suggestions. These don’t have to be purely promotional, if you suggest a local hotel to stay in for example, you may find some extra customers in your restaurant. The most critical point here is to engage with users and encourage conversation on your own profile through the types of content you tweet, whilst respond to everyone who communicates with you.

There’s certainly a lot more to mastering these platforms than what we’ve just gone through, but these basics will certainly give you a great start to marketing your restaurant and getting your name out there. If you’d like more advice on anything we’ve covered or you’re looking for someone to help with your social media, get in touch. 

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