Restaurant marketing has gone a long way from handing out leaflets, posters plastered at busy squares or spreading word of mouth promotions to social media promotions. Haven’t we learnt one or few tricks from the movie ‘The Chef’? No wonder why today’s successful restaurateurs heavily rely upon and harness the potential of social media to grow big in restaurant industry. But not many have mastered the tricks of effective social media marketing – many still make huge blunders.
Common social media blunders to avoid
A mere social media presence is not enough! Many restaurants create a Facebook page but, they hardly maintain regular, timely posts – and this is the common social media blunders restaurateurs commit. Thus, you need careful strategies, planning and execution procedures in place to attract customers for your restaurant.
Secondly, social media promotions are not only limited to Facebook posts and Tweets – explore and expand your brand over other significant and emerging social media platforms such as, LinkedIn, Instagram, Foursquare, Pinterest and many more which are becoming important parts of the social media ecosystem.
Not all types of content, whether links, images or texts work reap the same marketing benefits on all social media channels. Types of content consumed on various social networking channels are different. Hence, restaurant owners or social marketers need to consider different taste of different herds of social media users before posting any promotional content.
Here we have busted the 7 social media secrets to attract customers and increase business for your restaurant.
1. Sharing of Images
As a restaurateur, you know that your most powerful weapon is the food you offer. Sharing mouthwatering images of your delicacies is a proven social media promotional trick to lure customers to your restaurant. Or else, you can also flaunt your new restaurant décor, new chandelier glistening from the ceiling or simply talk about the long queue when you launched a new special item or seasonal offer.
Three main ingredients of visual social content sharing success are
1. Instagram – Post irresistible pictures of your delicacies to attract customers and use hashtags to achieve higher visibility. Read a detailed guide on how to run a successful Instagram campaign here.
2. Facebook photo sharing – Post images of newly added or popular dishes on Facebook with links to enable your customers to order it online. Hunger triggered by such images of your delectable dishes can be satiated right there! The same visual impact can be replicated on Twitter too.
3. Pinterest bulletin boards – This is another growing social image sharing platform to connect with your customers. Pinterest presents tremendous opportunities share visual imprints of your restaurants starting from food, décor, cocktail and beverages, chefs, banners by creating visual bulletin boards on it. Create dedicated boards such as, ‘Desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth’, ‘Wine’ board’, ‘Holiday special’ to promote your restaurant among the target audience.
2. Campaigns and contests
The best way to engage with your customers is to run campaigns and contests on social media channels. Run interesting contests, polls, quizzes, surveys and offer giveaways to engage directly with your customers. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are the best channels to run such campaigns. You can also announce check-in contests on Foursquare, Facebook, Instagram and declare surprise offers on maximum check-in posts.
3. Geo-targeted ads:
Geo-targeting is one of the most important aspects of social media marketing. With Facebook tweaking its algorithm every so often and the vast amount of ad contents including those from your competitors on Twitter, the organic reach of your social media posts is very less. In this case, restaurants can also promote special discounts and offers by tagging geo-location stamp of their restaurants on social media accounts.
Run paid ad and sponsor your tweets to increase your customers reach. For this, make sure you have carefully defined your customer base according to the demography and location to maximize the campaign results. For example, if you have a restaurant in Delhi then, limit the span of audience to Delhi-based consumers for your sponsored ads instead of promoting the ad throughout India. In that case, the cost of your promotional ads will be much higher than revenue you can generate from such ads. Apart from geo-location, these sponsored social media ads can be targeted according to age, gender, and location etc., of your social media audience. If you run a bar and lounge, targeting consumers between 18 and 35 would be appropriate. Similarly, for a family restaurant, you can target people above the 30 years of age.
Collaborating with bloggers is always a good idea. There are a number of food bloggers and influencers who have a large following. You can invite them to your restaurant, and ask them to review your food. In turn, they could post reviews, ratings and share their personal experience about your restaurant. It is easier to piggyback onto the existing influencers, as they already have an existing fan following.
Alternatively, you can have your own blog set up to increase your own fan followers and engage target customers. You can also invite guest bloggers to write for you.
5. Google Plus presence
Google Plus is usually omitted during a social media marketing plan, but it is a must for restaurants and businesses. Google Plus being Google’s own social product, restaurant updates shared on this channel appear on Google search engine result pages faster than any other social channels. It also has the feature of having followers and referrals that are an added bonus. There are other options of posting and promoting content on Google Plus such as, sharing blog posts, images, videos, and encouraging customers to ask questions and chat with your chef or other staff to help build relation with your customers.
6. Being consistent
Social media is all about consistency. You must have a social media calendar and get all your posts scheduled well ahead of time. Analyze the market and audience, keep a close watch on what they like, share or most engage with to find out the best time of the day to share on social channels to reach your target audience. There are several tools available in the market to schedule posts and monitor tractions on your social media posts and campaigns.
7. Reciprocate, reply and reach as much as possible
Just posting is not enough; you must also remember to engage with your customers. Take the time to listen to and post replies to your customers’ comments, tweets, and messages. Thank them for sharing your posts, thank them for following you when frequent guests start following you or tag you on social channels.
Follow and implement these social media marketing tricks to increase user engagement and customer base to your restaurants! But that’s not all! We want to hear more from you and know your social media success – so, drop your ideas below, post your idea on Facebook or Tweet us now.