It’s now the standard that business owners use social media to promote their businesses. Restaurant owners, especially, must be focused on marketing their products on social media. Social media is an important influence on a consumer’s buying decisions.
In the U.S., it was reported that 45% of diners tried a restaurant for the first time because of a post they saw on social media.1 On Instagram, there are over 400 million posts with the hashtags: #food and #drinks.2
“According to GlobalWebIndex, 54% of social media users use social media to research products, and 71% are more likely to purchase products and services based on social media referrals.”3 These have grown since it was last reported in 2020. With this many people being influenced by social media posts and comments, having a digital strategy is important to growing your restaurant business.
There are many ways in which you can successfully market your restaurant business on social media. People are constantly looking for new places to eat. You just need to help them find and choose you. How can you do that? We’ll discuss it here.
Look at your target audience
To get started on social media, you have to create your restaurant’s social media accounts. First, you need to decide which social media platform will best fit your target audience. Why does this matter?
Each social media platform caters to a different set of audiences. The differences can be the ease-of-use, comfortability, formatting, etc. Look at your business and determine who it markets to because each platform has its own set of users who interact with content in particular ways.4
Look at the demographics of the customers that come into your restaurant. What is their race? What is their ethnicity? What are their genders? When you look deeper into your specific demographic, it will make it easier for you to determine which social media platforms to use and how to cater to your target audience.
A target audience on social media can be a lot different from your restaurant’s traditional target market. This means that your magazine ads, posters, and radio ads will differ from your Instagram or Facebook advertisements.
However, your Instagram posts and your Facebook posts may differ from each other as well. Look at your goals and match your posts with the platform that fits your target audience.
Build your social media presence
After you have created your account(s) on either Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you need to fill out your profile. Make sure you have all the relevant information in there for new customers to easily locate.
For your profile picture, it is best to include a picture of your restaurant’s logo. Making the profile picture the restaurant’s logo will make it easier for customers to locate your profile when they search.
You want to make sure that your social media handle is easy to read and identify. If you’re a new business, it may be hard trying to find a username with just your restaurant name. Try to not use a lot of periods or underscores in your social media handle. Customers want to make sure that they are looking at a “legit” restaurant account.
If your restaurant has multiple locations, it’s best to refrain from making social media accounts for all of those locations. Remember, keep your social media account simple and easy to locate. Instead, you should include your different locations in your bio (if there’s not many). You don’t necessarily have to include that either. A simple motto or slogan in your bio should suffice.
Take advantage of the tools given by these social media platforms. Put your restaurant’s website link into your bio. This way it’s easier for customers to access the menu and other services that the restaurant offers such as pickup or delivery services.
For Facebook, you can include your restaurant’s hours, the address, and the best times to visit.5 You can even set up the multiple locations of your restaurant on Facebook. Play around with the social media platforms that you have chosen for your restaurant. The more you understand how to use it, the better your page will run.
Create your posts
The posts you create on your social media pages is the key component to the success of your restaurant. However, you can’t just post anything, promote it, then run with it. Customers want more, especially on social media. Your posts need to be eye-catching and relevant to what they like.
According to SproutSocial, they show in their study that 57.5% of people think the most annoying action that businesses do on their social media pages is constantly promote posts. It’s good to promote your posts such as catering services, new menu items, promotional deals, etc. However, don’t constantly shove it in their faces.
When making your posts, don’t talk about your restaurant too much. Customers want to feel important. Make the posts about them. How can your service make them happy?
Promoting your posts
Users don’t enjoy being bombarded with several advertisements from the same business. However, if done correctly, promoting your social media posts can greatly benefit your restaurant business.
Again, take advantage of the tools given to you on the specific social media platform you are using. Many of them include the option to create where you want your posts to appear and how you want them to appear. It can also have your posts appear to your relevant target audience, or even new potential customers that aren’t in your target audience. Using these tools correctly will bring in more engagement on your social media posts and new customers.
People care more about authenticity. Therefore, consumers don’t trust the word of celebrities quite too much. Instead, influencers, especially micro-influencers, have a big impact on their buying decisions. Do you have a micro-influencer or a big influencer you can work with? Take advantage of that. Influencers are essential to a success of a business if they are available to you.
What is a micro-influencer? According to Lesley Vos of Ana.net, “a micro-influencer is an individual who has between 10,000 and 50,000 followers on social media. They are known for the particular area of interest and have very high rates of engagement from their audiences.”6 Micro-influencers are more trustworthy to consumers on social media because they only focus on products and services of their interests. Because they have a smaller following, they seem more genuine to their followers.
Vos also mentions that 92% of people trust micro-influencers more than a traditional ad or celebrity endorsement, and over 82% will make their purchases based on the micro-influencer’s reccomendations.7
Engage with your customers
Remember, customers want to know that you care about them. They may try to contact you through your social media page to tell you that they enjoyed your food, or that they didn’t enjoy the food and they are expressing their concerns to you. At least 26% of customers use social media to get in contact with businesses.8
It is best to respond to your customers in about a day or two. If you wait too long, or don’t constantly check your inboxes, they will think that you’re ignoring them or that you don’t care about what they have to say.
Also, don’t forget to have fun with your customers. They like it when businesses have a sense of humor and aren’t always focus about their business. They want to have a good laugh with you and feel out the personality of the business. Have fun on social media!