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Social Media Marketing For Restaurants, Which Networks to Choose?

Author: Michael Jones
He specializes in helping students with social media branding, marketing strategy and content creation. - See more at: Online Marketing Courses
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More so than ever, restaurants are using social media marketing to promote special events, new menu items and monitor what people are REALLY saying about their restaurant. Social Media Marketing for Restaurants is hard! So this article helps you decide on which network to choose

Exercising good social media practice can greatly increase the awareness of your restaurant and brand. Making it the go-to place for your signature dishes (ex: Red Curry, file mignon, or Hamburgers.) Or such drinks as (ex: Martinis, Long Island Ice Tea, and Moscow Mule.)

Adding social media to your marketing efforts can truly expand the reach of your existing business and generate engagement that will have people talking and referring your restaurants in droves.

Follow these tips and you’ll find success with your social media marketing for restaurants campaign.

First step in online promoting is finding the right platform for your restaurant. Here are a few tried and true favourites amongst successful restaurants.

Facebook Business Page to Create a Buzz

A Facebook business page is an absolute must for your restaurant. This social media powerhouse has over 1,100,000,000 unique visitors per month. Making it the most popular out of all social media platforms.

Make sure your business page carries your branding throughout.  Remember, to engage and ask questions to your audience.

Add visual touches such as video and high quality images to enhance the customer experience once they land on your business page.

One of my favourite Restaurant pages is from a down home southern restaurant called, Mama’s Boy Southern Table and Refuge. They have a High Quality Banner showcasing one of their most popular dishes. Seeing this picture just makes me want to go and reserve my seat now!

social media marketing for restaurants

If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, a video must be worth a million. According to POS Sector, “One minute of video is worth more than 1.8 million words.This restaurant took their menu to the next level by using high quality videos to show their mouth-watering menu. Another highlight in their video section is you’re taken on a mini tour of the restaurant.It’s always an add bonus to let your potential customers know what your restaurants looks like and the layout.

social media marketing for restaurants

Talk about luring the customers in. Just by going on Mama’s Boy Facebook page. There is a $20 gift card, lead generation offer. Just click the Get Offer button and this money saving incentive is yours when you sign up for their newsletter.

social media marketing for restaurants

Every restaurant should have a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly newsletter they send out to subscribers. This keeps your establishment fresh in customers minds and you can entice them with new menu additions so they can come back or refer a friend. I don’t know about you…just from the eye-catching visuals and the $20 gift card. My mind is already made up where I’m eating dinner tonight!

Why Choose YouTube

One of the most important practices to consider when posting is to keep it visual! The Melting Pot a very popular fondue restaurant does a lovely job of incorporating video into its dining experience.

social media marketing for restaurants

Use videos for social media marketing for restaurants to showcase and tell the story of your restaurant. Create a short branding video as a social networking tool to peak interest and let people know who you are. You can also create a cooking show on your YouTube channel where the master chef gives cooking tips or creates one of your establishment’s delicious meals. You can even capture a special event being hosted at your restaurant. This can also be used as a great marketing tool if you’re restaurant throws events. You can show your potential client how your space can be transformed to create an unforgettable event.

Feature your wait staff in action. Show them serving food and introduce them in a quick 30-sec interview. Have your bartender make a signature drink to lure customers in who are looking for a unique alcoholic beverage experience.

social media marketing for restaurants

The Melting Pot has a segment on its YouTube channel called “Video Booth.” This segment is about customer reaction and satisfaction with their new menu. Nothing speaks louder than live, video testimony.

Video testimony delivers a powerhouse conversion for your restaurant. Hearing and seeing someone speak abut your restaurant helps with establishing the know, like and trust factor for your business.

“Video testimonials give a new meaning to the phrase, word of mouth.” Text testimonials inherently leave room for doubt: How does the reader know that this testimonial is real? Seeing and hearing someone speak highly of a company instantly builds trust and goodwill.” says, Jennifer Jager of Entrepreneur magazine. She continues, “Video testimonials should go right on your home page.” 

How Twitter Can Help Social Media Marketing for Restaurants 

Twitter is the second most used social media site. This microblogging site has become “the voice of the people.”  Using only 140 characters, customer can ask questions, post pictures of their #foodporn and voice opinions about your restaurant.

Use this platform for “social spying.” Monitor what customers are REALLY saying once they walk out the door. If you get negative feedback, don’t hide it from your timeline…address it! 

social media marketing for restaurants

As a customer, wouldn’t a personalized video make up for a “not ideal” dinning experience? Dominos pizza did just that. They received a tweet about a negative experience a customer had with her pizza delivery. The supervisor addressed the customers negative experience by first recognizing the tweet, addressing the situation via video (this medium is so powerful. You actually feel the emotion. This is not easily done with text). He empathized with the customers and lastly promised to make strides in making the next experience that much better.

Now… that’s what I call Customer Retention! You can also find out what customers are looking for when deciding what restaurant they should spend their cold hard cash at.

Twitter Promotion

Because of the “real-time” updates of Twitter, one can easily send short messages about specials, new menu additions, or just talk to your audience. If you really want to expand your audience and/or get the word out about promotions, menu changes or special events; create a hashtag ex: #fridaynightdrinks or ask your followers to re-tweet your posts. Sproutsocial.com suggests, ”Offer daily deals, exclusively to your Twitter followers, to give your casual customers a push to come in more often.” By incorporating these two tactics (hashtags & re-tweets) in your Twitter marketing campaign. You will see an increase in your social reach.

social media marketing for restaurants

Encourage Customer Engagement

At the end of the day, your #1 goal as a restaurant is to make sure your customers needs are met/exceeded so they will come back and refer others. Do this by offering superior service. Social media marketing for restaurants works well by making your customer experience “sharable.” One way to do this is by asking your customers to check in on Facebook. This encourages engagement with your customers and their followers as well.

social media marketing for restaurants

This can be done by using Facebook check-in signs at the tables of your restaurants,

When someone checks in using this location-based social network. The name and location appear on the person’s Facebook and Twitter profiles in real-time. It’s free social publicity and it can help spread the word about your restaurant. Just doing this encourages engagement. It will have your customers following and friends asking, “Hey, is that place any good?” If the answer is, “Yes…it’s amazing!”  You automatically have new customers. People love reviews and the opinions of their friends who they already like. know and trust. This persuades them to check it out based on the feedback they’ve gotten from their trusted “friend or source.”

So how effective is Facebook for social media marketing for restaurants?

Let’s ask Milwaukee bar and restaurant, AJ Bombers.  They held a special event benefitting a local Milwaukee charity. In that one-day alone their sales increased a whopping 110%AJ Bombers is now known city-wide for their events and people come flocking to them. They have been featured on television and food blogs nationwide.

Tell us What You Think

When was the last time you asked a customer for feedback?  I’m not talking about the little drop box where they can fill out a form and hope you read it. The days of pen and paper are over. People want to go online and give you their two cents. You can easily create a poll on either of your Facebook or Twitter pages asking customers about their experience. This is also a great way to encourage engagement and lets customers know you’re listening and care.

Simple questions like:

“How was the service?”

“Did you enjoy your lunch or dinner?”

“Was the temperature in the restaurant to your liking?”

These simple questions can really encourage engagement and you can get the “real deal” on your customer’s experience.

But also Local SEO is Key to Social Media Marketing for Restaurants

social media marketing for restaurants

There goes those 3 little letters we all hear are so important in your business visibility online. Local SEO is very important to a restaurant that wants to focus more on the local community. Make sure on your website and/or social platforms you focus on neighborhood keywords such as, “ Best restaurant in Sathorn” or “Cheap eats Siam” You can also use your YouTube videos for Local SEO with the Geotag option.

First off, Google loves video…especially YouTube videos. Google owns YouTube so they will give priority to it’s own over any other content. Which is great for your restaurants YouTube Channel.

You can access the Geotag option by going to the Video Manager ->Advanced Settings and then adding your business address. YouTube then converts your restaurant’s address into a searchable location on Google maps.

social media marketing for restaurants
When searching for Best Burger in Chiang Mai. This video pops up on the first page. Guess which one most people will choose?

You can also tag your video with your restaurants relevant keywords (ex: Best restaurant in Sathorn) in the description box making it highly searchable content on Google. Social Media Marketing holds the present and future success of your restaurant. It’s the best way of reaching a large numbers of potential customers at a marginal cost. Do you utilize social media marketing for restaurants? Feel free to post some of your tips below or contact Web course Bangkok for a 1-2-1 Social Media Strategy session for your Restaurant.

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