Social media is impossible to ignore. It’s everywhere. We wake up in the morning to a long list of Facebook updates, tweets, and Instagram tags, we spend every waking moment updating our followers about mundane things, and we go to sleep with Facebook still open on our smartphones. In fact, it’s a wonder we get anything done at all!
Running a restaurant is a time-consuming slog, so you are probably wondering how on earth you can fit running social media accounts into your 18-hour day. The truth is, it isn’t a case of how you can fit it in – it’s more of a case of can you afford not to? It’s all very well investing in a state-of-the-art POS system to improve customer service, but without a social media presence, you may as well be invisible.
The good news is that many social media tasks can be automated, so your input needn’t be too irksome. Here are some top tips to help you maximise your social media accounts to boost your restaurant business.
Create a Social Presence
First things first, you need a social presence. You probably have personal social media accounts, so take the next step and create a Facebook page for your business, a Twitter handle, and an Instagram account. Make sure the branding and contact details are identical on each platform – and, even more importantly, they are accurate.
Promote Specials and Meal Deals
Use social media to promote special meal deals and anything else you have going on at the restaurant. For example, if you are running a Student Night or 2-for-1 pizza promotion, give it a huge shout-out on social media. Create customised hashtags so your fans can share your promotions with their friends and family.
Reach Out to Local Customers
Local marketing is essential if you are running a restaurant. Most of your customers will be from the local area, so you need to target them online. Use location keywords to target specific areas when you post. If you decide to pay for ads on Facebook or Twitter, target your restaurant’s location. Don’t forget to make use of location-specific hashtags too, particularly on Instagram.
Food and photography go hand in hand. We all love taking photos of our meals and posting them on Instagram and Facebook. It’s all part of the fun of dining out!
Post stunning photos on social media to attract new business to your restaurant. People will be drooling when they see a photo of a delicious plate of pasta or a fillet steak drizzled with pepper sauce and accompanied with a side of chunky chips and baby leaf salad.
It’s also a good idea to encourage your customers to post photos of their meal online and include a hashtag for your restaurant.
Don’t forget the power of video too. Use video to bring your restaurant to life and share it on your social media feed. Show customers some behind the scenes action at your restaurant and video your staff dressed up in silly costumes for a theme night.
Be a Consistent Poster
The key to social media success is being a consistent poster. You can’t post sporadically and expect to build a viable social presence. Post daily, preferably several times a day, and always engage with comments, questions, and feedback – good or bad. Your customers are likely to get in touch via social media before picking up the phone or writing an email. Be there for them and you will reap the dividends.
Lastly, don’t forget to host competitions and giveaways on social media. Create a buzz and you will soon gain a loyal following.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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