If you’re an owner—or marketer—at a great restaurant, we want to help you build a strong social media marketing strategy. We’ve put together a “tip sheet” that covers the major social media platforms.
Social Media Platforms & Social Media Marketing
There are a few things you should include across all platforms, so we’ll put these at the top. Then you can check out the subsections for platform-specific tips.
Discounts/Offers: Make most of these exclusive to each platform.
Geo-targeting: When you advertise, make sure your campaigns are targeting the right geographic area so that it’s personalized and relevant to your customers.
Giveaways/Contests: Again, try to keep these unique to each platform as possible. Use engagement with the platform as a means of entry to the contest. [Share this post, comment with your favorite dessert, etc. to be entered.]
High-quality images: Share great photos of your restaurant, happy customers, and of course, your food.
Facebook should be an integral part of your social media marketing. People check it multiple times a day, “check in” when they get to their favorite spots, and share pics of their crew hanging out once they arrive. So your Facebook page should be complete, visually appealing, and consistently updated. Here are a few things you should definitely pay attention to.
Cover image – This an 851 x 351 “billboard” for your restaurant. Use it to draw people in, so they’ll keep exploring your page.
Tabs – Tabs are a good way to “tease” content on your Facebook page, and encourage them to engage with you.
Videos – Videos are very cool when embedded directly into an update or in a tab. If you have videos about how your food is made, or you have an interview with your chef/ food suppliers/ happy customers – include them in an update.
Instagram is a big-time photo sharing platform that can easily be integrated with Twitter and Facebook. Since it’s all about the pictures, this is where your high-quality pics and video can shine. Here’s what to keep in mind when marketing your restaurant on Instagram:
A word about Hashtags: While you can use these on a variety of platforms, they’re most popular (and most effective) on Instagram and Twitter. You use the pound sign before a word or slogan (try and keep it short). Examples: #BobsBurgers #EatAtBobs #FaveBobsBurger
As long as there are no spaces, hashtags become clickable. Clicking the hashtag will take you to a search results page that lists all the uses of that hashtag, with the most recent ones nearest to the top. There are a few different types of hashtags you can use for your Instagram marketing:
Campaign specific: Create tags for specific promotions. Example: #NewYearsJam17
Niche: Niche hashtags, like #NashvilleHappyHour for example, use a characteristic of your niche market. That way, people in your market who are searching for happy hours in Nashville could come across your restaurant, and walk in your door.
Trending: Keep an eye on trending hashtags, like #nationalcoffeeday, that you can use to bring in people interested in that topic who are close to your location.
Instagram is more than just hashtags. There are a few more ways you can use it to market your restaurant on social media.
User-Generated Content: Get your customers involved sharing photos, too. You can do this on any platform, but it’s great for photo-centric Instagram. For example: Here’s our #FaveBobsBurger, share yours! [Don’t forget to like, comment, and follow with customers, especially if they engage with you.] You can also turn this into a contest [Our favorite photo gets 25% off their next order.]
Customer/Employee Appreciation: Share pics of your staff working hard. Give your loyal employees—and regular customers—props with a picture.
Have fun on Instagram, create appealing posts, and always ask yourself: how can I use this image to gain more followers on our restaurant’s page?
140 character-limits and a fast-moving feed make Twitter a unique place to promote content, so it gets seen (and shared) quickly. By the way, when sharing links, don’t forget to use a link-shortener, like Bitly. And as we mentioned, the hashtag strategies we shared on Instagram would work well on Twitter, too.
Use Links: Using shortened links with a quick intro will increase chances of users visiting your site or other social profiles.
Be strategic: Send tweets out around mealtimes to encourage folks on Twitter to pop in, especially if you’re running a time-sensitive special.
Social media marketing for your restaurant is what you make it. Be consistent, engaging, and thoughtful in what you share and promote. It’s a great way to build a loyal base of followers who love your food and are always hungry for more.