How Your Restaurant Should Be Using Social Media
Social media platforms and techniques evolve all the time, but one thing has stayed constant: social media drives engagement and awareness, which convert casual observers into paying customers. As a restaurant owner, you know that social media is an important aspect of your business. But are you using it in the best way? Whether you’re proud of your presence and looking for techniques to boost engagement or trying to build a social presence from the ground up, we’ve got tips you can put into practice today.
Spread Your Message Through Multiple Platforms
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – they all play an important role in your social media strategy. But don’t feel limited to just those three – depending on your audience, it might also make sense for you to engage on Snapchat (to reach a younger demographic) or, if you host beautiful events and have hosting and design tips to share with your audience, to have a presence on Pinterest. This goes (almost) without saying, but when you use multiple platforms, you reach more people. Just don’t go overboard – spreading yourself too thin or using platforms that just don’t make sense for your business model won’t help you in the long run.
Post Photos of Your Best Dishes (And Encourage Customers to Join In)
If you consistently post pictures of your best dishes, people visiting your social media platforms will have an idea of what to expect when they visit your restaurant – and they’ll get excited to try your offerings. Is there a seasonal ingredient you’re using in some dishes? Does your restaurant sell out of its show-stopping tacos every Saturday? Show your customers! And you’ve surely seen your customers craning over their plates and snapping photos of their food – encourage them to use a certain hashtag or tag your business in their post on Instagram or Facebook, and reap the benefits of crowd-sourcing your food images. And by offering simple rewards, like a free dessert or a discounted beer, you’ll encourage lots of engagement.
Spread Awareness of Happy Hours and Promotions
Whether it’s Industry Night, two-for-one oyster shooters, or all-day happy hour, make sure you’re using social media to spread the word. This is a great way to engage your customers – use strategies like asking them to tag someone they’re bringing to happy hour.
Provide Behind-the-Scenes Info
Depending on the kind of restaurant you run or own, providing behind-the-scenes peeks at food prep or the evening’s wine list is a sure win. Customers want to feel connected to the businesses they’re frequenting, and by drawing back the curtain, customers feel like they’re in on a secret. If you’re prepping for an event, show customers what that looks like – it’ll help boost your event and it’ll make customers feel like a part of the process.
Focus on Your Employees
Your awesome employees are at the front line, and because of the nature of the service industry, they often embody the restaurant itself to your customers. Sometimes, the success or failure of a great encounter rests solely on your service staff. So, show them some love! Celebrate their accomplishments, provide a short bio, or just feature one rockstar employee at a time – the regulars will love seeing familiar faces, and all of your customers will appreciate knowing you value your staff.
Interact with Customers
If you’re going to have a social media platform or two – or even six – be aware that you should monitor them for any postings written by customers where they’re asking you specific questions. You may not be able to answer all of them, but if you can interact with the most pertinent ones, customers will become more connected to your business.
Respond to Concerns
When your customers have an issue, you’ll see that they often turn to your Facebook page to share their story. While this can seem like a negative, the truth is that it presents you with an opportunity to fix a problem, get a second chance with a customer who has already expressed interest in your business, and impress new customers with your attention to detail. By starting the service recovery process as soon as it pops up on social media, you have the chance to delight a customer – and delighted customers are more likely to say nice things about your restaurant. So, yeah – it’s worth it to follow up!
Your restaurant needs to have a proper marketing strategy if you hope to compete against other eateries in your area. The experts at Madison Taylor Marketing can help you design a new marketing plan or breathe life into one that already exists. Give us a shout out and we’ll get you started!