7 Social Media Tips for Restaurant Business Success

Using social media marketing to promote your business is essential in running a successful business today. This applies to all kinds of companies, including running a successful restaurant. According to statica.com, in 2019, 2.28 billion people were active on social media, and this number is projected to increase.
Social media helps you attract new customers while simultaneously keeping you in touch with your old customers. Using any of the major social media platforms is a great way to market and grow your restaurant business.
This article will outline seven simple social media marketing tips that can help restaurants of any size reach new audiences, connect with clients, build awareness, and drive sales.

  • Start with a plan

Before you delve into social media marketing for your restaurant, you will need to draw out a plan. You need to understand how social media works, the kind of content you intend to put up, and what you expect to achieve with your social media posts. So take the time to create a social media plan for your restaurant and ensure that it supports specific business goals.

❖    Decide which platforms are right for you

It is essential not to make assumptions on what social media platforms your target audience spends most of their time. For instance, if your target audience are millennials, Facebook should be your first social media choice to push your business. Data shows that 82% of millennials still use Face book.

You can also get ideas of what social media platform(s) you can find your target audience using the list of social media demographics information available online. It is possible to use different social media platforms to reach different demographics of people depending on what business goals your restaurant is trying to achieve.

  • Build relationships

One unique benefit of social media in comparison with other marketing channels is that it allows you to have direct contact with your customers and followers. This is great for your restaurant business because it will enable you to get feedback from your customers on how to serve them better.
When people engage with your content, whether it's in the form of likes, comments, hashtags, or reposts, it is expected that you respond. This warms the customers towards your brand and builds trust. An excellent example of a brand that understands client engagement is Paris Creperie juice bar smoothies and food truck. On its Yelp business page, an employee is always available to respond professionally irrespective of the kind of review they get.

  • Know your audience

Running a restaurant business helps you have an idea of the kind of customers you attract. What social media does is help you expand your reach and attract a more diverse set of customers.By compiling analytics on your current customers with the help of social media, you can have a clearer picture of the demographics of your customer base. With this knowledge, you can cater better to customers and create more content that appeals to a broader audience.
It is also crucial that you take into account customers who speak other languages. You should make some of your content, e.g., the menu, be displayed in different languages. There are a ton of online translation services such as The Word Point that your business can use to translate your content and better connect with your customers.

  • Share compelling visuals

While online reviews and ratings are important, visuals are also essential. According to a study by the Italian food chain Zizzi, it was reported that people aged 18-35 spend five days a year browsing food images on Instagram, and 30% would avoid a restaurant if its Instagram content isn't appealing to look at.
US restaurant chain Applebees understands this excellently and uses it as the basis for its social media marketing strategy. The brand Fantographer campaign encouraged diners to upload photos of their Applebees experience, with the promise of posting the best pictures on their Instagram channel.
Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat are the top visual social media platforms you should use to advertise your restaurant. You can also make short videos and showcase your brand's culture with clips from inside your restaurant.
Another option is to use stock photos. There are plenty of free high-quality images online that you can legitimately use in your social posts. Just ensure that you don't use random photos, so you don't get into any trouble.

  • Schedule Your Content with a social media content calendar.

A social media content calendar is an app or spreadsheet used to schedule social media posts in advance. Having a social media content calendar allows you to create your social posts in advance and use scheduling tools to automatically post the right content, at the right time and to the right social channels.  This allows you to dedicate a specific time(s) per day/week to create your social content, rather than having it become an activity that takes you away from running your restaurant.
Your social media calendar should include a plan for your content using the 80-20 Pareto rule. This rule entails that 80 percent of the material to be posted, should aim to inform, educate, or entertain your audience while 20 percent should seek to promote your brand or sell your products.

  • Track and Improve Performance

While combing your restaurant business with social media marketing, it is crucial to keep track of what works and what doesn't so you can fine-tune your efforts and improve on results. This gives you a clearer picture of your social media marketing efforts and helps you to track whichever results matter the most, so you can build and expand your brand.
Once you have an understanding of how your social media strategy works, you need to start looking for new ways to get better results. Using Pizza Pilgrims as an example, this brand has gone from a single stall at a food market to becoming a fully-fledged chain in multiple locations because of their strategic use of social media.
No matter how small or large your restaurant business is, using social media as a marketing strategy can help you connect better with your audience, reach new potential customers, and increase awareness of your brand. The possibilities social media marketing affords your restaurant are endless, so you must draw out a plan to effectively combine using social media and running a business.

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