Social media is a powerful tool for promoting your restaurant, attracting customers and generating new business. However, it is not enough to have an online presence, you also need to know how to create and manage effective and creative social media campaigns.
In this article, we present some ideas and strategies for you to make the most of the potential of social networks for your restaurant.
Why is social media important for your restaurant?
According to a study by MGH, a marketing agency specializing in restaurants, 45% of U.S. diners said they had tried a restaurant for the first time because of a social media post about the establishment. In addition, 74% of consumers said that social media influences their purchasing decisions.
This data shows that social networks can be a very effective channel to increase visibility, recognition and reputation of your brand, as well as to build loyalty and attract customers.
There are several professional studies that support the importance of social networks for restaurants. Some of them are:
- A study from Ohio State University found that restaurants that use social media are 20% more likely to be successful than those that do not.
- A study by SSRN reveals that 62% of consumers purchase food products through social networks, 54% do so because of convenience, and 48% do so because of recommendations. The study also found that the factors influencing the purchase decision are product quality, price, delivery, and trust.
- On the other hand, according to a Zomato study, 70% of the platform’s users follow at least one restaurant on social networks, 65% of them interact with the restaurant’s content, and 60% of them are inspired by social networks to try new dishes or restaurants.
It is very clear that social networks are of vital importance for your restaurant. But, we know that there are many types of social networks, which of these are the most important and which one should you pay more attention to? Here is a list of the most important ones for your restaurant.
Which social media platforms should you use?
There are many social media platforms available, but not all of them are right for your restaurant. Ideally, choose the ones that best suit your target audience, your type of food and your marketing goals. Some of the most popular and recommended platforms for restaurants are:
- Facebook: It is the most used social network in the world, with more than 2.8 billion monthly active users. It allows you to create a page where you can share information, photos, videos, offers, events, opinions and more. You can also integrate an online ordering or reservation system through Facebook.
- Instagram: It is the most visual social network and a favorite among food lovers. It has more than 1 billion monthly active users and allows you to show your dishes, your ambiance and your personality through photos and videos. You can also use stories, reels and live feeds to create more dynamic and interactive content.
- Twitter: It is the fastest and most direct social network, with more than 330 million monthly active users. It allows you to communicate with your customers, share news, news, promotions and opinions in real time. You can also use hashtags, polls and threads to generate conversation and engagement.
- TikTok: It is the most viral and creative social network of the moment, with more than 689 million monthly active users. It allows you to create short videos with music, effects and filters that can reach millions of people. You can also use challenges, duets and lives to have fun and show the human side of your restaurant.
These social networks are the most used nowadays, and the ones that bring the most benefits for restaurants. Clearly you don’t need to be on each and every one of them, but it’s good to keep in mind which are the most popular and test their effectiveness.
What type of content should you publish?
The content you post on your social networks must be varied, original, relevant and attractive to your audience. It is not only about showing your food, but also about telling your story, transmitting your values, resolving doubts, building trust and creating a community.
Some content ideas that you can publish are:
- Show what’s behind the scenes: People like to know how your restaurant works inside, who are the people working with you, how you prepare your dishes, what ingredients you use, what sanitary measures you follow, etc. This helps you create closeness and transparency with your customers.
- Share testimonials and reviews: Positive comments from your customers are a very effective way to demonstrate the quality and service of your restaurant. You can share the reviews you receive on platforms such as Google or Yelp, or ask your customers to tag or mention you in their posts. You can also incentivize them with sweepstakes or discounts.
- Offer deals and discounts: Promotions are a very attractive way to motivate your customers to visit your restaurant or order online. You can offer coupons, gifts, combos, special menus or theme days. Be sure to communicate the conditions and duration of the offer.
- Celebrate special dates: Social networks are an opportunity to connect with your customers on important moments such as birthdays, anniversaries, holidays or sporting events. You can congratulate them, dedicate a message, offer them a detail or create a special dish or menu for the occasion.
- Create educational or entertaining content: Not everything has to be promotional, you can also provide value to your audience with content that teaches them something or makes them have a good time. For example, you can share recipes, tips, curiosities, anecdotes, games, surveys, etc.
But don’t just take the information we give you, for sure, if you think about these things, you will come up with thousands of ideas. The possibilities are endless!
What type of format is most needed for your restaurant?
You already know the type of content you need to publish, now you just need to focus correctly on the format you need to focus on to generate better results.
What are the best formats for social networks? Here we tell you:
Video is king
Video on social networks has increased disproportionately (all TikTok’s fault), but at the same time its benefits have increased. Undoubtedly, it is the format that is reigning in social networks, both for organic content and advertising.
This is confirmed by the study Restaurant Industry: Facebook Case Studies by Meta for Business presents several success stories of restaurants that have used videos on Facebook and Instagram to achieve their business goals.
Additionally, the study shows how restaurants have leveraged social media features and formats, such as videos, stories, reels and in-stream ads, to increase brand awareness, reach, engagement and conversions.
The images continue to speak
Although images have lost the prominence of the past, they are still important to engage and make your audience see how provocative your dishes look. Good photos, the presence of the staff and the image of the place, are some of the things you can post on your social networks to connect with your customers.
You can also make use of valuable content in carousel format or make use of Instagram stories. The good thing about this format is that it is relatively simple to create, without the need to invest a lot of time.
Unfortunately, 51% of the audience considers that much of the content created by brands is not authentic. This represents a problem because it implies that what brands normally publish does not have a seal of authenticity (at least not for people).
This is where user-created content becomes so necessary, by this we mean photographs, videos and reviews of your customers enjoying the place or the food you have put on their table. This makes it more trustworthy, since you are not the one promoting the product, it is the community itself who does it freely.
How to measure the success of your social media campaigns?
To know if your social media campaigns are working and achieving your goals, you need to monitor and analyze them on a regular basis.
- Reach: It is the number of people who see your publications. It indicates the level of visibility and exposure of your restaurant on social networks.
- Impressions: This is the number of times your posts are shown. It indicates the frequency and repetition with which your restaurant appears on social networks.
- Interactions: This is the number of actions users take with your posts, such as likes, comments, shares, clicks, etc. It indicates the level of interest and participation of your audience with your restaurant.
- Conversions: This is the number of users who perform a desired action after viewing your publications, such as visiting your website, making a reservation, placing an order, subscribing to your newsletter, etc. It indicates the level of effectiveness and profitability of your campaigns.
The benefit of being aware of these metrics is that not only will you be aware of the effectiveness of your social media efforts, but you will also gain insights that will allow you to know what your audience likes and what you should focus on to generate results.
Social media is an essential tool for any restaurant that wants to stand out in today’s market. With a good strategy and the right content, you can take advantage of social media to promote your restaurant, attract customers and generate new business.