Are you including social media as part of your marketing efforts to promote your restaurant? Most business owners are aware at this point that social media is one of the best ways to create brand awareness and engage with their clientele. However, many don’t have the time or the skills to understand the best ways to utilize social media. Read the tips in this blog to fine tune your social media strategy to promote your business online.
Focus on a Limited Amount of Platforms
There are a multitude of social media platforms, which makes it difficult for restaurant owners to concentrate and devote enough time to each and every one. Instead of doing a poor job managing various social media profiles, focus on one to three of most important ones, which are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Facebook is definitely the most important platform to concentrate on because the site has 1.71 billion users around the world, each of whom has an average of 155 friends. Therefore, creating a Facebook Business page is essential.
Think carefully about what cover image you want to include; it can be an enticing and unique dish or a photo of your patrons having a great time in your restaurant. Consider what image you want your restaurant to reflect – family friendly, hip and trendy or business-appropriate, and then create a consistent look across all of your marketing strategies.
Facebook has tabs and sections that allow you to include text, photos and videos to promote your restaurant. This is the perfect place to share your menu items, photos of food, coupons and specials to attract your clients.
Twitter has over 67 million users in the US alone; more than 20% of all Internet users have a Twitter account. This platform allows you to share tweets of 140 characters or less, as well as photos and videos. It’s advantageous to include photos because those tweets get read and shared more than those that only include text.
Twitter is great to announce new menu items, specials and coupons and ask followers to retweet that information. Twitter is popular for their hashtags, which are simply words or phrases that are relevant to your brand that your users can search for. These may include: #NYrestaurants; #Chinesefood; #LAcheapeats; #baconcheeseburger, etc.
Since Facebook acquired Instagram, it is estimated that 95% of the time a Facebook user shares an image, it also gets posted on their Instagram account. Instagram allows users to post photos and videos only, although they can include a comment and tag their location (to your restaurant location).
It’s vital to use bright, creative and unique images that will stand out from the competition if you want to get noticed. Additionally, Instagram is big on hashtags too, so including them in the comments will help your posts get noticed and shared.
General Tips for Getting Better Results from Social Media
Whether you only decide to focus on one or all three of the platforms mentioned above, you need to utilize the following tips to get the best from your efforts:
- Be consistent – The only way to build a loyal fan base is to be consistent in your marketing efforts. Posting a few times per week will keep your customers engaged with your business and aware of the latest happenings in your restaurant.
- Time your posts – You may only have time to post after work, but by then most of your customers may be busy with other tasks. Evaluate when your posts get the most likes, comments and shares, and plan to post during those times so your content will get maximum views.
- Create contests – Social media is a great way to get free referrals and advertising from your followers. To encourage them to share your posts with their network, create contests that will reward those who repost or retweet your posts with a free dinner!
While simply spending your own time to incorporate social media into your marketing strategy doesn’t have to cost a thing, investing into social media can provide great returns. Endeavours such as social media advertising, paying influencers to spread the word about your restaurant and hiring professionals photographers to create one-of-a-kind images can be costly. If you need financial help to invest in your business, contact IOU Financial. We can help you with a small business loan of up to $300,000 in 24-48 hours.