Is your restaurant taking full advantage of the power of social media to attract new customers, build your brand and keep existing customers coming back? There’s nothing more social than eating out at a restaurant, so social media is a no-brainer tactic for marketing your eatery. Here are 4 ideas to get you started.
Photos get more attention than just about anything else on social media—and you’ve undoubtedly seen tons of customers taking pictures of their food before they dig in! Here are some ideas for using photos in social media.
- Cover Image: On your restaurant’s Facebook page, use the big cover image to highlight a delicious menu item. (The smaller, profile picture can be your actual storefront, or your face.) Change up your cover image every week, every season or every time you introduce a new menu item.
- Menu Items: Feature tasty photos of your menu items. Highlight new dishes, best sellers or simply spotlight something appropriate to the time of day (such as eggs Benedict in the morning or a juicy steak right before dinner).
- Customer Photos: Customers love taking pictures of their food. Encourage them to share on your social media sites. You could even put signage in the restaurant or a suggestion on the menu itself–“We love it when you share photos of our food! Find us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter (etc.) and share with us!”
- Staff Photos: People return to restaurants not only because they like the food, but also because they like the staff and the vibe. Help customers get to know the chef, the servers, your greeters and, of course, you by sharing photos of the team going about their days.
Go one step beyond photos by posting short videos. You could record the chef preparing a favorite dish (without giving away the whole recipe, of course), video an event at your restaurant like a wine-tasting night, or share videos of happy customers (be sure to get their permission first).
Giveaways are a great way to get engagement with your Facebook page. You can give away a gift card to your restaurant, a free dinner for two or access to a special event. To use contests to really build engagement, make winning contingent on getting the most votes. For example, you could hold a contest for the best picture of someone celebrating at your restaurant, asking customers to post their photos and get their friends to vote for the winner. This will drive your fans’ friends to your page and, ideally, garner your restaurant some new fans as well.
Rewards can be a great way to get new customers to follow or fan your restaurant on social media. Once customers sign up, continue to create regular promotions, discounts or deals now that they’re regulars. Just make sure your promotions aren’t so frequent or so sizable that they’re cutting into your profits or creating customers who only visit your location when there’s a deal. A free dessert or beverage with purchase of a meal is an example of a promotion that can drive traffic without hurting your margins.