Social media is a very powerful tool, especially for a very loved category, food and beverages. Due to the pandemic, users are changing their habits online and the more creative restaurants are with their marketing, those restaurants are going to thrive during and after the pandemic.

With many customers stuck home during lockdown, it gives restaurant brands a unique opportunity to focus their attention on social media. 

Social media marketing is crucial for restaurants and that trend isn’t going to go away post-pandemic.

Here are 5 things you should do on social media for your restaurant. 

#1 Have an online presence

Developing a social media marketing strategy and staying active on social networks is a big part of success. It will allow you to reach out to a larger audience; more outreach equals more brand awareness. It gives you the opportunity to engage with your customers and build a connection with them beyond your product.

Having a website will increase your chances of being found by people searching online for a nearby restaurant. Providing them an online menu will filter those who would come to your restaurant and leave if your menu didn’t have what they were looking for or the prices were too high.

The biggest platforms for social media marketing are Instagram and Facebook. However, don’t disregard the marketing potential of TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter. Start by focusing all your effort on one or two platforms and as your business grows over time, you can include more social media channels.

#2 Take advantage of #foodstagram

Instagram is the perfect platform to share food content. Photos of food attracts consumers online and will allow you to share and connect online. 

  • Post high quality pictures of your menu, daily specials, take-out, and delivery specials.
  • Give diners a sneak peek behind the scenes and introduce your owners, managers, and staff—people connect easier to a brand that has a friendly face.
  • Incorporate videos within content as they drive engagement.
  • Stay at the top of mind (and top of the feed) by updating your story with fresh dishes and pictures of your business. 
  • Create a personal #hashtag for your restaurant and encourage your diners to post their own pictures and tag you.
  • Don’t be afraid to use hashtags. Some best-performing hashtags are #foodstagram, #foodphotography, and #foodie. 
  • Take it to a local level and create specific hashtags for your city. 

 #3 Encourage user generated content

User generated content is created by your customers and is all about getting people involved with creating your content. People trust each other more than they trust brands and in some cases, your customers can promote your brand better than you yourself can. 

To do this:

  • Organize contests and challenges.
  • This could be posting a picture of your meal with your branded hashtag or perform a viral dance in front of your business.  
  • Make it fun and simple.
  • Offers rewards for winners. 

This gives you the opportunity to build a strong connection with your audience and can lead your existing customers into brand ambassadors. 

#4 Use mobile apps to boost conversions

Most searches for restaurants take place on mobile devices, which is why there is a huge demand for food apps. If you are not utilizing the power of mobile apps, you’re missing out on consumers looking for food on the go.

Having a mobile app will make it easier to:

  • Look at the menu.
  • Book a reservation.
  • Order online for pickup or delivery. 
  • Bonus: Start a points programs for app users to get a free appetizer, drink, or % off their food.

If you do not have the means to create an app, you can list your business on other apps such as DoorDash, Uber Eats and GrubHub.

The pandemic has completely changed the way the restaurant business operates. Customers are turning towards food apps to order online and contactless delivery because it is more convenient. Research shows that 79% of Millennials are interested in ordering takeout via a website or app. This trend isn’t going to go away post-pandemic

#5 Add your restaurant to online business listings

The best way to get noticed by potential customers is having your restaurant listed on popular business directories such as Google My Business. Most people decide where they want to eat by a quick Google search. 

Adding your restaurant is free to use, but make sure to optimize your businesses information to increase your restaurant’s chances of appearing on Google Local Finder and Google Maps. Include your restaurant name, location, category, contact information and website URL so that people can easily find your restaurant. 

Being listed as a local business will increase your restaurant visibility and help you attract more loyal customers

Benefits of using Social Media

#1 Opportunity to show off your delectable menu

  • Social media allows your customers to visually interact with your menu and the type of food you have. 
  • People are easily convinced with their eyes and social media gives you that opportunity. 
  • Showing your food visually stimulates the appetites of prospective customers. 

#2 Helps you identify your ideal clientele

  • Utilizing social media gives you the chance to know who your ideal customers are. 
  • This gives you the space to re-strategize and re-target based on analytics, clicks and impressions from social media posts. 
  • Social media platforms provide you with analytic tools that will give you insight and information on your core customers, best performing menu items and content. 

#3 Engage with your customers

  • Social media provides a platform for you to engage with your customers regularly. 
  • Interacting with customers keeps your business at the top of their mind. 
  • This can give you more loyal customers, showing them that you notice them and their support. 

Statistics 

  • On Twitter, food and drink brand own 32 percent share of brand mentions. 
  • On Instagram, #food is the 25th most-popular hashtag in the world, with nearly 400 million posts tagged on the platform. 
  • 36 percent of American diners follow restaurants on social media, with 39 percent of them doing so to determine if they want to order food from their or not. 
  • According to Statista, most American consumers believe their social media usage will increase dramatically during COVID-19, including 62 percent on Facebook, 43 percent on Instagram, and 34 percent on Twitter.  

If you need help getting started with social media marketing, be sure to contact the Rhinos!