The name of the game for most restaurants is two fold: Keep your returning customer-base happy and draw in new customers. Using social media is a great way to drive current and prospective customers to your restaurant. Why? How?
Here is a comprehensive guide on how to use social media to help fill tables at your restaurant, for both beginners and for those looking to brush up their social media marketing skills.

Generally, the first step in a social media marketing campaign is to do a diagnostic of your marketing efforts thus far. Consider how and to whom you are promoting your restaurant and the returns you are getting out of your current approach. If the numbers aren’t satisfactory to your liking, then consider a steady balance of the following:

  • “Thinking” like your customer and try to understand the marketing campaigns that would get them to respond favorably. By tailoring your social media campaigns to your audience and customer base, you’ll be able to better promote your restaurant, and get butts in seats!
  • Make sure that if you are using the right social media platforms to speak with your current and potential customers (i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc).
  • Pictures are worth a thousand words; they also generate more engagement with online users! Make sure to showcase your food and atmosphere in the best light.
  • The tone you use to speak online must be conducive to conversation and on the same level as potential customers. Approach them with the appropriate tone and have fun with what you’re doing. Post in a friendly, inviting tone as if you were talking to a good friend.
  • You not only want to convince them to come into your restaurant, but you also want to give them the idea of a cohesive restaurant. In some cases, in order to have a cohesiveness to their social media strategy, some restaurants choose to have a popular waiter/waitress or bartender that runs social media. Some, not all, have had success with this strategy.
  • For some restaurants, the promotion of the quality and taste of their food is more important. Try instead to have your head chef run your social media outlets, as he or she will able to make posts and engaging content that revolve around the food, not just the experience.

Some additional tips:

  • A good and honest image will truly help “sell” your restaurant.
  • Stay consistent in your messaging. You can’t be all things so talk about what you’re good at or most proud of
  • Short, consistent, and stimulating descriptions on  your social media profiles that lays out your brand
  • Make sure you’re providing a caption or explanation in words, not just images: Tell your potential customers what exactly your restaurant offers, food and experience wise
  • Offer deals, sales and contests from your posts in order to drive more people into your restaurant. Nothing will ever sound better than good food and a good deal, so use it to your advantage

Social media marketing for a restaurant can be a great tool but will only work if you take action; be prepared to put in hard work to get customers in the door.

Short on time? Hit us up for how we can help. We’ll work with any budget.

The old saying that there is no such thing as bad publicity isn’t always going to help if you drop your business into a social media sinkhole. The following four steps may just help you avoid costly mistakes and mean the difference between the success and failure of your business.

Think Before You Post Anything

It’s bad enough sometimes dealing with people who comment on anything to get a reaction. If you don’t want to deal with negative comments, feedback and backlash from customers or potential customers, think before you post anything. It’s often hard sometimes to bite your tongue and remember that that the customer is always right. There is a very fine line between defending your business and insulting potential future customers who often don’t care about who’s at fault to begin with. Take some time and make sure that you’re cool, calm and collected when you respond to negative feedback.

Be Aware of the Consequences of Newsjacking

Newsjacking is when you use a national or international event and tie it to your product. There is nothing wrong with the strategy. However, you have to consider how your social media posts will look to your readers. If you are offering help or support in a legitimate way, then your posts will read that way but if your posts are tactless, then you may be walking into a social media backlash.

Create a Social Media Policy

Make sure that you have a clear social media policy in place for your business and all your employees are aware of it and understand it. This can cover you in case you have to fire someone because of potential social media breaches. Create your social media policy, implement it and make sure you have a detailed meeting with all staff so that they are aware of the policy and what your expectations are.

Always Be ‘On’

Most social media accounts can be set up to automatically alert you. If not, you can set up a notification system online like Google Alerts that will let you know if anything is being said about your business, good or bad. The more that you interact with your consumers on social media, the quicker you will be aware of any potential problems.

As always, if you find yourself reading more articles on social media than actually taking action, hit us up for free advice. We pride ourselves in social media strategy and management.