Social Media Marketing for Restaurants

The success of a post on Facebook or a tweet really comes down to the following (and yes, we’re certainly jumping right into this part):

The team at Bad Rhino is pretty picky about social media content format.  It doesn’t take us long to look at a potential client’s social update or a random companies update to learn why their content isn’t working.  It almost always comes down to the format and call to action.

Guidelines to Formatting Social Content

While the rules may change a bit when developing content for Facebook, Twitter, or the other social channels, these guidelines can pretty much be followed for all of them.

  • Always avoid big and blocky text.  There’s no need for run on sentences or more than 3-4 sentences in a social update.  Just because you’re allowed to use 140 characters on Twitter, that doesn’t mean you should.  As this relates to Facebook, no one will scan through their newsfeed and want to check out a big block of text.  Your job is to quickly capture the attention of your audience and when text is too wordy it pushes them away.  Oh, and you’ll also fail to bring their attention to the call to action.

Bad Social Media Content

Who wants to read this?  No one.  This big block of text is annoying as all hell.

  • The Social Call to Action should always be placed at the end of the content. Are you asking a question?  Do you want them to click a link?  Are you drawing attention to something funny?  Whatever you want your audience to react to should always be placed at the very end.

Successful Tweet

The call to action is placed at the end of the tweet, making it easy for the audience to reply True or False.

  •  When possible, both promotional and engaging updates should be open-ended.  If content isn’t open-ended, then you aren’t gaining comments.  Comments help to increase the reach of your social channels.  We’ll have more examples of this in the section below.

Format Styles That Work

Bad Rhino has been lucky to receive so much practice in developing creative content for restaurants.  The content we created on Day 1 certainly doesn’t look like what we come up with these days.  This may be a bit cocky to say, but we feel we’re one of the best social media marketing agencies in the world at developing content that works for our clients, especially our restaurants.

  • Multiple Choice Questions:  When we stumbled on utilizing multiple choice questions as content posts, it was a game changer for us.  Our community response went from an average of 10 comments, to some of them over 50 and 100.  While it looks perfect on Facebook, it can also be utilized on Twitter.  Obviously, the answer options should be pushed to the end.  Your call to action should force the audience to reply back with an A through E, or whatever your options would be.

Successful Social Media Post on Facebook

49 comments is strong engagement for a local specialty food store.  See how easy it is for the audience to answer?

  • True or False: Even simpler than a multiple choice, a quick True or False is a great way to engage your audience.  You can also gain valuable insight into what they like and dislike.  See how the True or False is at the very end?  That’s your call to action.

True or False Social Media

Look how simple this is?  152 “likes”, 302 comments, and 5 shares.  This is one kick ass restaurant social media post.  The great photo sells without selling and we are able to push the community to think about lunch or dinner without selling it to them.

  • Fill in the Blank: Want to know what your customers really think?  A fill in the blank question gives them the opportunity to say what’s really on their mind.  Oh, and as always, keep that blank spot at the very end.

Restaurant Social Media

We took one of our clients’ most famous and loved products and gave the community a chance to share their thoughts.  We knew that the response would be overwhelmingly positive, so there was no fear in allowing this to be a fill in the blank.  106 comments later we knew we were on to something special.


  • Quick Question to Promote Something New:  Sometimes a quick question with a picture is a great way to grab the attention of your audience.  A little “guess what” can go a long way.

Social Media for bars

A winter beer in July?  Awesome opportunity for a quick, shocking post.

Final Thoughts

If you’re trying too hard, then you need to take a step back, relax, and then come back to it later.  If you truly understand your restaurant’s brand and the community you want to target, then developing awesome content should be super easy.  Here are some last minute things to remember:

  • Keep the call to action at the end of your social update
  • When possible, use a great photo
  • Test different forms of open ended content and see what works best over a 30, 60, and 90 day period
  • Try out our samples above and let us know how they work

Our final blog post in this series will be covering the importance of picture quality in your social media content! Check back soon for the link!