How to supercharge your restaurant’s social media presence

In 2016, there were more than 85,000 places to eat out (source) in Australia, and the number has only been steadily growing since then. 

Fortunately, there are many tools available for small restaurants today that can help them make a dent in the industry, and perhaps none of them is as powerful as social media.

Why bother with social media?

Here’s why – social media is one of the cheapest and most accessible marketing platforms available, and it lets you reach thousands of targeted customers almost instantly. It is this generation’s word-of-mouth marketing, a literal firestarter in the right hands.

If you’ve not been living under a rock for the last decade, you know that any business needs to have a strong social media presence today. It’s also not a surprise that almost every restaurant uses social media; unfortunately, most do not get it right.

Posting random pictures of the location and food three times a week on Instagram might have been adequate in 2015, but a modern social media strategy involves doing much more.

How do I supercharge my restaurant’s social media presence?

Here are some of the best practices to follow for restaurants when it comes to social media:

Go huge on visuals.

The two major social media platforms in 2020 are Facebook and Instagram (source). Both of these platforms have feeds that are favour images over text. When it comes to social media, especially for the hospitality sector, high-quality visuals are vital for the content

It is a scientifically-proven fact that there is a link between the visual perception of food and the desire to eat. People cannot taste your food on social media, and any decision they make relies on the quality of the pictures you use. If it looks like shit, they will assume it will also taste like shit.

How do you make your pictures look better for Instagram?

Here’s a quick secret – instead of focusing on just your photography skills, try to polish up your preparation skills too. A well lit and stylised picture will look much better, even if you don’t have the best photography skills.

In case you want to become the Ansel Adams of Instagram food photography, it is always a good idea to pick up your photography skills. The modern smartphone camera is more than adequate to take high-quality pictures for your restaurant’s Instagram.

Guides to learn how to take better photos

Cheap local targeting is the best targeting.

Social media platforms allow you to run paid campaigns on hyper-local target audiences. There are several local target tactics that you can use to increase the return on your ad spend. 

For example, you can create a social media post promoting a coupon for local diners for a week. For the first few days, you let the post grow organically and reach all your followers and then you can boost the post on Facebook to get a much larger local audience. The idea is to use a single piece of content to drive as many results as possible by following a mixed organic and boosted growth strategy.

Facebook marketing for restaurants

Facebook particularly comes with many marketing features that are highly useful to small restaurants and businesses. You can read more about them here, but here’s a quick overview of the things you can do with Facebook:

  • Boost your posts promoting local offers and events.
  • Use the dedicated “Local Business Promotion” feature for better results.
  • Deploy a Facebook Messenger Bot to share information and offers to local customers.

Give them a reason to care.

Social media is not a one-way channel where you broadcast, and people listen. Engagement is the key to success in social media

The restaurants with the best social media strategies give their patrons a reason to engage with their feeds. Talk to your patrons in the comments, run contests and polls, and always focus on providing value.

How to increase engagement for restaurants on social media

According to Social Media Week, here are some of the best things you can do to increase your engagement on social media:

  • Post content that’s not just limited to your restaurant. Instead of talking about your product, it’s better to talk about your topic. 
  • Interact with and share content created by other people; it’s called SOCIAL media for a reason.
  • Personalise your replies to customers to create better engagement.
  • Use polls and surveys regularly.
  • Keep track of social media trends and follow them.
  • Post regularly.

Powerful visuals help you attract customers on social media but how you engage with them determines if they stay or not.

Your social media followers should also be able to take action on the page right away. For example, it should be easy for anyone visiting your restaurant’s Facebook page to check out your restaurant and book a table.

Even though the restaurant industry is more crowded than the CBD at lunch time, the internet has empowered small restaurants to market themselves and capture a juicy share as long as they’re willing to fight for it.

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