Q: What’s the value of having a social media presence for my restaurant?
A: Quite simply, because YOUR customers and potential customers use it. And they use it daily.
Still not sure? If you want more evidence as to why you need to nail your social media accounts, here are some added insights for you:
Starting to come around to the idea?
As important as it is to have an Instagram and Facebook account, it’s more important to understand how to utilise their functions to maximise the productivity of your business. With this in mind, let’s delve into both key channels, demonstrating how they can be used effectively for the restaurant sector.
It’s common for individuals to look up your Instagram profile before they even visit your restaurant, so having a presence is vital for building brand awareness and communicating with potential customers. It’s an excellent way to show people the delicious meals they will get when dining with you.
But how can you make your Instagram strategy work for you?
Within your Instagram feed, you should highlight a number of themes – or content pillars – to focus on in order to provide an all-round picture of your business.
Instagram gives you the chance to showcase the beautiful food and dishes on offer to customers. We all know that we eat with our eyes, so give people something to see and get excited about. You can also use the platform to keep customers up to date with new dishes, menus and daily specials.
Instagram offers restaurants the chance to keep their customers up to date with any changes to the workings of the restaurant. In light of COVID, this is the perfect way to communicate and showcase how you are running your business to ensure customers feel comfortable coming to your venue and know what to expect. It also provides the opportunity to highlight any offers you have running.
Your staff are what makes your business tick and people often want to know about the guys behind the service. Putting your teams’ faces front and centre of the feed can be really engaging for customers, helping them to connect with the people that make your restaurant so special.
Whilst a lot of the world has had enough of hearing about COVID, it is sadly still out there and must therefore be addressed in terms of how your business is responding to it. Use your social media channels to demonstrate exactly what you are doing to protect your customers and be COVID-safe. Areas to touch on include:
Instagram stories enable you to connect with customers in real-time, building rapport through asking questions, sharing news and giving insight into the business.
Story posts should include a variety of imagery/video content to keep customers engaged and wanting more. Content should be creative and encourage active involvement, for example:
Utilising the live function helps to connect with followers in real-time. Especially at this moment when contact is more difficult, it can be the perfect way to keep customers feeling part of the business and encourage active involvement.
You could look to run a workshop on Instagram live, teaching people how to cook a certain dish on your menu. This can be a very short ‘how-to’ course as it will be free. If they enjoy it, the call to action could be to sign up for a more in-depth paid course that you could run in-house.
Team up with other local businesses to run a giveaway, or gift influential individuals/brands/businesses, to help increase engagement. Utilise their audiences to share your message and services.
Join forces with a local wine business and run a giveaway on social for 3 individuals to win a 3-course meal with wine pairing. Ask them to like, comment (tag a friend) and share the post, ensuring they are following both pages in order to win.
Gift local influencers and businesses a free meal and encourage them to reshare their experience on their social channels. This will help to connect with their audiences and utilise their followings to grow page engagement and awareness. Create a dedicated hashtag and build a bank of searchable content around your business by actively encouraging visitors to share content alongside it.
On average, 1.4 billion people log in to Facebook daily, offering a massive audience for your brand to engage with. As the largest social platform available, the wealth of opportunities is unrivaled.
Facebook is THE place to go for information about your restaurant – opening times, offers, reviews – and thus, having a presence is extremely important for communicating effectively with your customers.
But how can you make your Facebook strategy work for you?
Much like your Instagram account, your Facebook page is an opportunity to communicate directly with customers and showcase your offering.
You can use the platform to:
Competitions are one of the best ways to engage customers. Ask them to post funny pictures of themselves eating your food or brainstorm funny captions to your latest picture. Throw in a good incentive, like winning a meal for two for the best response.
Show your customers what meals you have to offer. People love to see what their food might look like, so appeal to their visual side and get their mouth-watering.
Keep customers updated on the new dishes to hit the menu. Tease them with behind-the-scenes tasting contests and get them involved in what goes on in the day-to-day workings of the business.
Share updates on different meals you’re serving that day. You might capture their attention with your famous limited edition tiramisu and bag another booking for the night.
Just like Instagram, use the story functionality to show a more personal side to the business. What happens in the kitchen, what measures have you got in place to ensure the safety of staff and customers? By being more transparent, you create a feeling of trust and loyalty with your audience.
The benefits of having a strong social media presence for your restaurant is unrivaled. With so many people using the platforms on a daily basis – and actively seeking out information – it’s the perfect way to connect with both new and returning customers.
Our team of food lovers are primed and ready to help you develop your social presence, with experience in writing social strategies for restaurants, developing campaign calendars and project managing content shoots. Get in touch for more information.