How to Market Your Restaurant & Takeaway on Social Media – The Complete Guide
Social media marketing for your restaurant is a critical investment that is guaranteed to yield significant dividends if executed properly. As a restaurateur, you cannot afford not to be on social media. If you’re not already, we must have a chat today.
This comprehensive guide aims to inspire your restaurant’s social media strategy through helpful tips and real-life examples of eateries that are killing it with social media.
Your Restaurant Needs a Social Media Presence Stat
The impact of social media, both online and offline, is undeniable. Your social media handles are the social proof your eatery needs to thrive in this digital age. So be sure to spend time on your restaurant marketing strategies and plans.
Check out these numbers;
- SMM was the top advertising strategy used by 63% of restaurants in 2018
- 30% of millennials will deliberately avoid restaurants with a weak Instagram presence
- 52% of adults online have at least two social media accounts
- 37% of social media users use these platforms to research products, brands, or services before buying
- Online reviews and comments influence more than 88% of the buying decisions.
- 75% of individuals bought a product because it appeared on their social media
At the time of writing this article, there were 168, 375, 343 Instagram posts with the hashtag #food and 76,239,441 posts with the hashtag #foodporn. Not surprisingly, this number might hit the roof in a mere matter of minutes.
Photos of food and beverages are some of the most popular content on IG, and other social media platforms. As such, your restaurant & takeaway joint MUST have an active social media presence, to capitalize on the mad potential of social media marketing.
The Strategy on Social Media Marketing for Restaurants & Takeaways
1. Share behind the scene moments with your followers
In addition to sharing high-quality photos of your fine cuisines, you can share photos and videos showcasing what goes on behind the kitchen door.
This is an awesome idea as foodies nowadays enjoy seeing how their favourite dishes and drinks are prepared. Do a quick search on YouTube, and you’ll see a swarm of popular series spotlighting how various restaurants make their signature dish.
Next time, chime in on social media with a photo or a video showing off your kitchens talent and lure new guests into trying your restaurant next time.
It doesn’t have to be a long video showing the entire process. You’ll be surprised how a 10-second clip of filleting a salmon can raise your social clout.
You’ve got nothing to lose. Yours is only to film and upload.
2. Develop your brand theme and keep it consistent
You can build an iconic brand that your audience will recognize without even seeing your company’s logo or name.
Choose a theme and a voice that will remain consistent in everything your café does. Whether it’s on social media, on your website, blog, on a mobile app, or in your store, endeavor to use consistent messaging and imagery for your diner.
Sunset by Australasia embodies this concept brilliantly, through their ingenious use of a color palette. This Manchester joint uses the same pulsating photos across all its marketing campaigns and sticks to a fun, casual tone.
By identifying a brand theme and voice, you extend your brand beyond the confines of your brick and mortar location.
3. Respond to all online reviews, both good and bad
Are you listed on Yelp? If not, you should right away as it will significantly boost your local search marketing. Yelp is an awesome site where users read reviews of cafes they’d like to visit and leave reviews of restaurants they’ve checked out.
Monitor your Yelp page and foster a friendly and transparent online persona by responding to all the reviews. Show your appreciation for the positive feedback and address the negative reviews, with a dedicated message addressing the reviewer.
Don’t be afraid to address your restaurant’s flaws. Instead, you make the negative review work for your brand.
Through a negative review you can;
- Learn about your business’ flaws
- Make a public statement that you care about your customers’ opinion
- Turn disgruntled customers into brand advocates
If you’re unable to keep up with every post, make a point to address the unhappy clients, and try to turn the relationship around.
4. Lure your target audience to sign up for your email newsletter
The power of email marketing cannot be overstated. Email newsletters are an excellent way to learn more about your visitors and drive recurring sales.
You can use your Facebook page, or Instagram bio to direct visitors to your email signup. Appeal to your visitors’ love for free stuff by throwing in some incentives.
Once a customer trusts you with their email, you’ll have exclusive access that’ll allow you to share discounts, coupons, promotions, special events, among other goodies with your loyal fans.
5. Capitalize on user-generated content.
Customers trusts the comments and reviews from their friends and peers instead of those coming from the restaurant itself. This element of Social Media Marketing are the contents that comes from the existing customers that highlights the qualities of your Restaurant.
By engaging with UGC, you also show to your customers that you value their content about your Restaurant. Just don’t forget to give them credit or express your gratitude if you use their content for your social media marketing.
6. Show off members of your staff
Giving the spotlight to your staff is known as one of the most effective social media marketing you can utilize. The main goal of Social Media Marketing is to humanize your Restaurant Brand, and this shows your customers that they are not just dealing with your Restaurant, but they are also dealing with real people.
This is also one way to express acknowledgement, appreciation, and care to your staff. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone!
7. Ask fun questions to boost engagement
It is important to keep your customers connected with every post you make. Ask them what could be the new flavor of the month, or what’s better – French toast or Avocado toast? One thing that keeps them engaged with your social media posts are the captions that incites interactions.
You can also keep track on how are you doing with your market by the responses you’re getting from these interactions.
8. Jump on trending topics
Also known as Newsjacking, being updated with what’s hot and trending is one of the most useful task in social media marketing. Make use of the trending and upcoming events that involves your customers, and work your marketing plot around it.
Remember the topic #IceBucketChallenge that made a huge craze in social media? You can offer free drinks, or other specials that can relate your customers to the said trend. Be creative on how you’ll use these trends with your Restaurant Branding.
9. Run social media contests and give away free stuff
Growing your social media following could be a challenge if you’re starting a new Restaurant brand. With the competition that’s constantly increasing, it is crucial to take any means that could be effective to help you with your Social Media Marketing. Offer a free drink or a coupon as a prize, customers engage more if you provide them something to lookout for. Having contests through your social media is one way to increase your following in a short time.
Here are some of the most common tools that could help you setup a fun social media contest.
10. Share your social thunder with your vendors
Customers most likely to reject marketing schemes that screams “only us”, if you want to see a growth with your customer loyalty and trust, send them a message that you care about everyone that’s involved in your Restaurant. Just like what you did with your staff, it is also advisable to highlight your vendors and suppliers.
Show your customers why you’ve chosen them as your partner and how you’re dealing with the quality of your supplies. Starting from the packaging up to the freshness of the ingredients, give your customers the satisfaction of knowing all of these by providing contents that act as an access to your relationship with your vendor.