How restaurants can win on social media and reach more customers
March 1, 2021 12:00 am
So, you know that your restaurant needs to be on social media… but what exactly is it you should be doing on there, you ask?
We know wrapping your head around social can feel overwhelming. It’s an ever-evolving, insatiable beast that always seems to want more from you.
But fear not because we’re here to help you figure it out, cut through the noise and have new customers lined up around the block with these seven super simple pointers — no fancy analytics or expensive marketing qualifications needed.
Make sure your page is updated regularly
You don’t need us to tell you how important it is for your restaurant to have a presence on social media — Australia currently has 18 million social media users. And they’re using it to figure out where they’re going for dinner!
It’s imperative that your restaurant’s Facebook and Instagram accounts are complete with all the information a potential diner will want to know. What are your opening hours? Are you BYO, or fully-licensed? Are you pet-friendly? How do I contact you? The more information you can provide, the better.
Make sure your menu is on your page
Speaking of information, what is the number one thing your potential diners want to see? Your menu. No ifs or buts about it, your menu needs to be readily available on your Facebook page.
Social media for restaurants is not just Facebook either. While Instagram is the more visual of the two platforms and there’s less space for the traditional information found on your Facebook page, there’s still no excuses for leaving your menu off the platform. Because Instagram have devised a genius way for you to share your menu on your profile — in your Highlights. Simply create a Story featuring your menu and create a Highlight to display it permanently on your profile.
Embrace hashtags and location tags
Instagram has two foolproof (and free!) ways to spread the word. The inclusion of hashtags allows restaurants to significantly increase their organic reach.
Embrace a daily hashtag such as #tacotuesday or something more locally specific like #perthbrunch and your restaurant’s posts will appear in the feed when a user is searching for them. You can also create your own hashtag and ask your followers to use it. This is a great way on social media for restaurants to build their brand.
Location is another big deal on Instagram. In fact, posts with a tagged geo-location achieve almost 80% more engagement than posts without. Pretty huge, right? And engagement aside, a location tag is simply a great way to help people find your business. Like, literally find your business.
Make use of User-Generated Content
If you have an active follower base, one that really loves engaging with your restaurant, make sure you show them off. Let people know how much your diners love your food by reposting some posts from your followers. User-generated content not only bulks up your content library but it is essentially an authentic customer review that works like ‘word of mouth’. It can build trust in your restaurant, increase engagement and help you reach new audiences.
This is where the hashtag we suggested you create will come in handy!
Run a poll on your Instagram story
The whole point of social media is to build a community. And how do you do that? By talking to your customers.
Ask a question on your Instagram Story with the use of Polls — it’s essentially free market research. Got an idea for a new signature cocktail but want to test the waters first? Are your patrons over gin, or can’t they get enough? Find out!
Build hype with countdowns
Did you know Instagram offers a countdown clock feature within Stories too? From launching a special seasonal pop-up to introducing a new menu, countdowns are a great way to build hype for your restaurant. If you want to keep the mystery alive, you don’t even have to say what will happen when the time runs out… Who doesn’t love a bit of mystery?
Don’t just stay behind – get in front of the camera
People invest in people, not brands. Resist the urge to stay behind the camera and put your people front and centre.
Think behind-the-scenes tours, Q&As with your superstar staff, how-to tutorials on making the perfect negroni… you get the idea. Relax, have fun and remember that you don’t need a degree in filmmaking to win on social.