A Successful Restaurant Social Media Marketing Strategy Provides Unique Opportunities for Growth
The advantage of luring customers in by their taste buds is something not too many marketers get the chance to leverage.
That “feel-good” sensation you get when something delectable passes your eye certainly comes in handy when it comes to restaurant advertising, especially with competition as fierce as it is today.
And that’s only one of the many reasons why a successful restaurant social media marketing strategy should always use mouthwatering imagery in social marketing efforts.
With 2.5 billion people expected to be on social media by 2018, restaurateurs can’t afford to operate without a strong social media presence.
However, simply existing in the digital realm is not enough.
In order to facilitate business-transforming effects via social media, restaurant social media marketing requires broad-range execution—a strategy that utilizes each relevant platform for its unique characteristics.
Let’s take a closer look at what it means to craft a successful restaurant social media marketing strategy:
A Successful restaurant social media marketing strategy Means Your pages Give Customers Everything They Need To Know
When people visit your restaurant pages on social media for the first time, they want immediate information about your business.
Your social media profiles are an extension of your website, with the main difference being people on social media want a snapshot, not an autobiography.
In today’s fast-moving, “gimme right now” culture, social media gives people a chance to cut through the fat and get down to the nitty-gritty of whatever it is they want to know.
That means sparing them the story of how your restaurant is an homage to your ancestral roots from the Italian foothills during the 19th century—if they want the extended history they will visit your website.
Facebook, for example, gives restaurant managers the ideal template for highlighting only the “need-to-know” for (potential) customers.
Take a look at how San Diego fine-dining staple, Mister A’s, does this perfectly:
|Make sure to fill out all the information Facebook deems necessary, as missing elements speak to poor marketing and lack of interest in the ‘digital customer.’|
Use a Successful restaurant social media marketing strategy to Separate your Facebook Profiles Based on Store Location
If your restaurant has multiple locations, it’s a good idea to create a separate profile for each store.
Separating your profiles gives you the benefit of catering to each demographic when sharing photos, news, updates, events, reviews and comments that are only relevant to that specific location.
Hibachi Japanese restaurant chain, Benihana, uses this strategy. The company has one “main” profile and dozens of sub-profiles based on their various locations:
This can help your restaurant in several different ways, including:
1.) Sharing photos in unique dining settings – Each restaurant possesses its own charm and uniqueness; individual Facebook profiles allow you curate user-generated photos from each perspective.
2.) Promote local happenings – Each restaurant may not run the same promotions at the same time. Whether it’s a menu update, happy hour or drink special, trivia night, etc., maintaining exclusive profiles allows you to segment your marketing strategy.
3.) Customer feedback – When negative reviews are posted on Facebook, localized pages allow you to know exactly where the issue occurred; furthermore, you can use your pages as customer service channels for queries, concerns, and suggestions.
Successful restaurant social media marketing strategy Requires “Self-Promotion” without Self-Promoting
In today’s digital realm, the overflow of self-promotional content has driven people’s live feeds to annoyingly new heights.
Force-feeding brand awareness down people’s throats isn’t doing restaurants any favors; customers are quick to hit “unfollow” the moment their patience runs thin.
The challenge, or art form, of restaurant digital marketing, is promoting your brand without making it seem like you’re promoting anything. When you feature interesting and “shareable” content, people will inherently respond positively–a much more effective form of brand awareness than certain other tactics.
Capture the Moments Guests Can’t See
There’s something about exclusivity people really respond well to.
People are often drawn to the unfamiliar, as it speaks to their fascination with ‘what’s on the other side.’ Posting the occasional “behind the scenes” photo is a great strategy for capturing interest other situational photos fail to generate.
Eleven Park Madison, a 3-star Michelin American restaurant in New York, shows off its “liquid nitrogen cocktail” in this captivating BOH photo:
Humanize your Environment
Service matters to customers, and rightfully so. Even the best food in the world isn’t too appetizing when the customer service experience leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
It’s essential your restaurant digital marketing strategy feature plenty of photos of happy, hard-working employees.
This paints a warm representation of your restaurant that instinctively feels welcoming and cozy.
Remember, ambiance on social media doesn’t come standard like it does in a dining room setting. It’s up to you to translate that hospitable energy of your restaurant into your digital presence.
Here’s how the La Jolla-based Italian restaurant, Barbarella, chose to humanize its business on New Year’s Eve:
A successful restaurant social media marketing strategy takes planning and dedication.
But for customer-minded professionals like those in the restaurant industry, it’s really just a matter of finding your voice on social media and giving guests the content they want on a regular basis.