Why Restaurants Need to Utilize Social Media
Social media isn’t going anywhere. Hootsuite and We Are Social found in a recent study that there are now over 3 billion social media users – and that number is expected to continue to grow. If you’re looking for a way to reach a large audience, social media is your answer.
Many restaurants have made regular social media posts a daily routine. According to a Cornell University study, 59 percent of chain restaurants and 79 percent of independent restaurants use social media. Some restaurants are a little slower to jump on the bandwagon. If your restaurant would describe itself as the latter, it’s never too late to build a social media presence. If you’re on the fence about dedicating time to social media, we put together a list of a couple ways it will benefit your restaurant.
Improves Trust and Loyalty
One of the top reasons customers choose a restaurant is trust. Customers want to know that they can trust that their service and food quality will be consistent. Social media pages are a great way to establish transparency. Guests should always be encouraged to leave reviews and post pictures about their experience at your restaurant.
If you aren’t familiar with Foodstagramming, it is something worth looking into. SocialMediaToday stated that “food is the most photographed subject on Instagram”. There is no better way to build brand advocacy than to have customers post pictures of their entrees and generate buzz around your restaurant.
Billboards, commercials, and radio spots are pricey forms of advertising. Social media is free unless you choose to run paid ads which can still be much cheaper than other forms of advertising.
Staying Connected with Guests
One of the most important reasons a restaurant should have social media accounts is communicating with customers. Social media allows you to keep in touch and build a personal connection with your customers.
Provides Guests with Restaurant Updates
Social media is one of the fastest ways to keep guests in the know about your restaurant. Keep your social media pages up-to-date with information on new menu items, specials, holiday hours, events, etc.
If your restaurant is new to social media, it might be best to start off slowly. Choose one or two social media platforms and focus on building those. Once you have those established, you can move on to building other accounts.
We put together a few post ideas for specific social media platforms:
Out of every social media platform, Facebook has the most users worldwide. Facebook will probably be the number one social media platform customers will use to find out information about your restaurant. This means you need to have an up-to-date profile. Your address, phone number, hours of operation, etc. all need to be accurate. Make sure to frequently post pictures of menu items and even consider going behind the scene with Facebook live videos.
If you create a Twitter account, you will want to be very active. Some reports recommend tweeting and retweeting between seven and fifteen times a day. On Twitter, make sure to connect with people and tweet with them, use campaign specific hashtags, and tweet about trending topics.
Instagram is all about the photos so make sure to be visual. Run photo challenge contests, use hashtags, and location tags. Note that, Instagram doesn’t let you hyperlink, so you won’t be able to drive CTA traffic to your website. Still, regularly posting on Instagram keeps you on customers’ radars and allows them to see behind the scenes.
Like Twitter, Pinterest is another social media platform that you will want to be very active on. Anywhere from five to eleven pins a day is acceptable. Show your restaurant’s personality by creating boards that include pictures of dishes, restaurant photos, staff, and special events.
For All Social Media Platforms
Join in on trending topics, celebrate food holidays, run contests and giveaways, make posting on social a daily task, share your menu, post specials of the day, and, go behind the scenes.
Remember that no matter what social media platforms you choose, the most important part is to interact with your followers! Social media for restaurants allows customers to learn about your establishment, but so does your website. To learn more check out our blog on why restaurants need a website. If you’re simply looking for more restaurant marketing info, check out our restaurant marketing tips blog.
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About the Author
Emily Wimpsett was a Content & Social Media Specialist at QSR Automations. Emily was born and raised in Louisville, but considers herself a die-hard University of Kentucky fan. For college, Emily attended Indiana University Southeast and obtained a degree in Communications with a track in Advertising. In her free time, Emily enjoys just about every water-related activity, but she is partial to kayaking and whitewater rafting.