The way you present your restaurant online can have a great impact on your business, especially in the context of a pandemic, when so many brick-and-mortar restaurants have had to shut down. Social media is one of the most effective and easy-to-use marketing tools you have at your disposal as a restaurant owner. You should strive to have an active presence on all the main social media platforms, and I’m going to show you how in this guide.
Table of Contents
How to Promote Your Restaurant on Social Media
Spread the Word About Food Delivery on All Channels
Before I get into specific examples for each social media platform, let me tell you about something you should do on all platforms if you want to survive as a restaurant in the digital era: let customers know they can order food online from you.
First, choose the right online ordering system for you, if you don’t already have one. Then, create different posts for each social media platform telling customers they can place orders. Adding a link that will send them straight to the food ordering page is best.
Pin the post on Facebook, keep it short and sweet for Twitter, and consider a short clip for Instagram. The more eye-catching the post is, the more likely for customers to order from your restaurant. Plus, to motivate people to order online, offer them a discount or a freebie exclusive to online orders.
Post Recipe Videos on YouTube
Especially now when people are learning to cook and experimenting with recipes at home, you can become their source of inspiration by posting easy to make and delicious recipes on your YouTube channel. Needless to say, if you don’t yet have a YouTube channel, it’s time to make one ASAP.
You don’t need a lot of money or resources to shoot nice recipe videos like those from Tasty. In fact, considering people’s short attention span, the shorter the video, the better. If you’re willing to share your secrets, consider posting video recipes of your most famous dishes so people can make them at home.
Don’t put yourself in a box by only posting recipe videos on your YouTube channel. You can also start a cooking vlog where you follow your chef in the kitchen and give customers a peek behind the scenes. Another idea would be a series of interviews with your staff in which they reveal tips and tricks from their job.
Feature Your Customers on Instagram
Customers love getting attention from their favorite businesses. Encourage them to post photos of them eating your food on Instagram and tag you in them. Then, with their permission, repost the photos on your own Instagram profile.
To motivate people to post photos, you can even organize a contest in which the photo that gets the most likes gets the winner a free meal at your restaurant.
And this is not the only way in which you can feature loyal customers on Instagram. You can also challenge them to cook one of your dishes following a recipe you provide. Then, let the public choose the winner. Depending on the number of entries you get, you have several options:
- Share every entry on your stories and just the winning one your permanent feed;
- Share all the entries on your feed;
- Share just the winning entry on your feed.
If you’re a small restaurant and you’ve just started your Instagram profile, you’re in desperate need of content and engagement, so I recommend the first option.
Create Menu Item Boards on Pinterest
Pinterest is a haven for mouthwatering photos of food. Food and recipe boards abound and you can definitely gain some traction on the platform by creating boards featuring your menu items or even the recipes you also share on YouTube.
I recommend investing in a professional photoshoot to truly make your dishes shine. And don’t worry, you won’t just be using the photos on Pinterest. You can use them on your website, on the menu, and on every other social media platform. It’s an investment that will pay off in the long run.
Engage with Customers on Twitter
The fastest way to a Twitter user’s heart is to reply to them and engage in an open conversation. This is particularly true in the restaurant industry where customers use Twitter to vent about bad experiences they had but also to praise positive ones (albeit not as often).
If someone tags your restaurant on Twitter to complain about bad service or poor food quality, reply to them, apologize, and offer a solution to their problem. Remember that this reply will be seen by other potential customers so use it as a way to show them you care about the experience customers have at your restaurant.
Apart from engaging with customers, have some fun with Twitter as well. For instance, post a cooking tip every Monday with the hashtag #[restaurantname]cookingtips or a wine pairing for a different meal every Thursday with the hashtag #tipsythursday. Whenever possible, also post visuals like photos of food or fun graphics to draw users’ attention.
In this day and age, social media is a necessary tool for restaurants. It’s no longer an option, it’s a requirement if you want your business to thrive. This is particularly true now when we’re in the middle of a pandemic and people interact much more online. Keep in touch with your loyal customers, win over new ones, and boost your profits by keeping a careful eye on all your social media profiles.