Social Media Content for Restaurants

When clients and prospective clients ask us what sets Bad Rhino apart, one of the first aspects of our social marketing that we point to is our content creation.  We’ve been fortunate enough to work with a number of restaurants and specialty food stores, allowing us the chance to learn the following about creating winning social media content for restaurants:

  • Each social media community and brand needs content developed that relates to the community. If content doesn’t line up with the community, promotional and engaging updates won’t resonate with the audience.
  • How content is formatted can make the difference between 0 comments and 100 comments.  Always pay close attention to the call to action and how your content reads to the audience.
  • Knowing when, how, and why to use a picture in your social media posts can set your restaurant apart.

Each of the above bullet points will have an entire blog post dedicated just for them.  Today, we’re starting with the very first bullet point.

Defining the Community

You might think that restaurant owners have a solid idea of who their community is, but it seems to us that the focus on the target market is lost when developing content.

We suggest that all restaurant owners (or those developing their social media content) define the community continuously to ensure content developed is on point.

Target Your Customers Chalk Illustration

How to Define the Community?

  • Demographics: Does your restaurant cater more to men or woman?  Do you want to reach a college crowd or are you open to all ages? Where is the target community located?  Social Analytics tools will help to nail down who is in your current social communities to determine the groups you’re currently targeting through social media content.
  • Shared Hobbies of the Community:  Do your restaurant visitors share any specific hobbies or interests in common?  If you own a local sports bar, your community most likely consists of sports fans.  An Italian Restaurant may have social community members who enjoy trying to cook at home and are passionate about that.  A yogurt shop may target families or younger visitors who can appreciate a more juvenile and fun approach.
  • Testing Content:  You may think you have your target market pegged, but until you test different forms of content and analyze, you’re clueless.

How to Engage The Community

Engaging your community the right way leads to comments, retweets, post “likes”, and increased exposure for the brand and social community.  For restaurants, engaging the community leads to increased customer loyalty and developing relationships with new customers and all of their friends.

If you aren’t engaging on social media, you’re not selling on social media.

Social Media updates generally come in the form of two categories:  Promotional and Engaging.  While the promotional updates have a sales focus, they should still be engaging.  We’ll get to that.

Examples of Promotional Updates:

  • Posting Daily Specials and Menu Items
  • Promoting Social Coupons
  • Promoting Events at the Restaurant
  • Promoting Awards Won

Examples of Engaging Updates:

  • Trivia Relating to the Community
  • Open Ended Questions, True/False, Multiple Choice (all relating to the community)
  • Feature Customer Photos
  • Surveying for Customer Opinions

Once you understand the different forms of Engaging and Promotional Updates, your restaurant can begin to develop a weekly or monthly content calendar.  We’ll have to dig into the art of content calendars another day.

Examples of Engaging Social Media Content for Restaurants

While we’re proud of these examples, we’d like to remind you that each restaurant comes with an entirely different demographic and community.  Be sure to define your community before trying any of our below examples.  And contact us if you need help getting started!

Example of Successful Promotional Content

Promotional Social Media Content for Restaurants

The above example is proof of two things:  One that social media coupons are a fantastic tool and two that you can find a way to promote while also engaging the audience.  This post received 52 comments, all of which were people claiming to want a coupon.  Can you say Social Media ROI?  Setting up a social coupon isn’t all that hard and can they’re a great weekly or bi-weekly promotional update.

Examples of Successful Engaging Content

Social Media for Restaurants

The above example is for one of our sports bar and grill clients.  Being a sports bar, it’s not a secret we’ll have some opinionated sports fans ready to share their wisdom.  We like to utilize Fill in the Blanks to engage a target community and gain comments.


Social Media for Restaurants

The above example shows how to tap into the culture of your community.  After testing some different engaging updates, we learned that a lot of our clients community members are not only passionate about their food, but HOW they eat their food.  People tend to be so passionate about it, that it may very well spark a heated debate.  The example shown here generated 28 comments and 3 shares, all helping to reach new and existing customers.

Final Thoughts

Remember, you won’t truly know what inspires your customers until you test content, test it again, and then test it again.  There are many pieces to understanding your community, and more when it comes to developing social media content that works.

Stay tuned this week as we continue this series with posts on Content Format and then the importance of Picture Quality.