10 Tips To Weaponize Your Restaurant’s Social Media Marketing

Jan 22, 2020 1:41:04 PM

In any hunt for treasure, it pays to have a map. The same holds true for acquiring new customers. Don’t wander aimlessly, don’t poke around in the dark. If X marks the spot where your customers hang out, make a beeline to X. Period. 

When it comes to potential restaurant customers, X = Social Media. Did you know that 68% of U.S. restaurants use Facebook to promote their name and 24% uses Instagram? Those numbers, from surveys by the National Restaurant Association, relect the fact that the most desireable consumers – those with disposable income and an appetite for new experiences – can be found in their billions on social media. And as with love, politics and cat videos, social media has an awesome ability to drive  decisions on where to eat. 

But having a map may not be enough. You need to know how to read it, which was is North or South, and the perils that may lurk within. Targetable, the world’s most powerful AI-driven social media advertising platform, will navigate the most complex terrain for you. Keep reading and learn how the Targetable platform can leverage Facebook and Instagram to drive your restaurant’s growth. 

1. Choose the Right Platforms

First things first, you need to understand where you should build your online presence and, for restaurants, that's typically in the biggest platforms, Facebook and Instagram.

  • Facebook

Facebook was probably the first website that came to mind when you started reading this article, and rightly so. People use Facebook not only to stay in touch with friends, but for recommendations from friends on where to have a good meal in any given city, not to mention  useful information like opening hours, address and prices. Your restaurant’s Facebook profile may drive some business now just by virtue of the fact you have a Facebook page. Connect that page to a Targetable-driven ad campaign, and watch your revenue explode! 

  • Instagram

People eat with their eyes before they eat with their mouths, which is why restaurants should always be on Instagram, the biggest visual platform out there. Your restaurant’s Facebook, Instagram and other websites should include plenty of images of the cuisine, the atmosphere and the friendly, happy people who eat there. Targetable’s AI-driven algorithm will mine these images to automatically create suggested ads for your business, providing you with a simple “Approve, Reject, Edit” choice that literally cuts hours a month off the time spent on traditional marketing.  

2. Take Advantage of Social Media Monitoring

With social media monitoring, you can check your restaurant's mentions in real-time, which translates into many opportunities:

  • You can find your customers and interact with them.
  • You can access customer feedback, which we will get into in a bit.
  • You can manage your online reputation.

3. Create Facebook Ads

It wasn’t long ago that just posting on Facebook – what’s known in the marketing business as organic traffic – might have been enough to generate views to your restaurant’s page. But for a variety of reasons, organic traffic no longer drives eyeballs the way it used to. Nowadays, it's essential that you allocate a part of your marketing budget to paid ads. 

As paid content has been growing, the number of targeting options on Facebook ads has grown exponentially, which means you can be as specific as you want on the target you want to reach. Targetable helps you make the most of those features. Not only will our easy-to-navigate app automatically create the ads you want to distribute, it will also help you narrow down the exact neighborhoods and demographic profile of the people you most want to see walk through your restaurant’s front door.

4. Focus on the Quality of Your Photos

We mentioned before that people eat with their eyes before anything else, which explains why you should only post high-quality photos.

Nowadays, a phone with a good camera is all you need for your social media photos. So grab yours and remember to:

  • Take the photo outside or by a window so you can use natural lighting.
  • Use a neutral background and avoid using too many props, so that the focus is on the dish.
  • Experiment with different angles.

5. Use Influencer Marketing

We've all heard about influencers: individuals create online content and build huge followings. They're considered internet famous and some are so successful, they even turn into the so-called traditional celebrities.

Why does this matter to you?

By partnering up with relevant influencers, you reach their followers. Considering the fact that 81% of American consumers have made a purchase after clicking on a link or image that an influencer posted, this can be a huge opportunity for you to sell.

But it’s important, too, to remember what the late Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill once said: “All politics is local.” So, too, are influencers. You can’t get Scarlett Johansson on video eating a slide of your meat lover’s pie? No problem, you may be able to get the captain of your local high school’s football team instead.

6. Repost Content From Your Customers

We've all seen people order their food, take six or seven photos once it arrives and only then start to eat. Nowadays, this is almost like a ritual and many of these photos end up being posted on Facebook or Instagram.

This is great news for restaurants, as it means you'll always have high-quality content to repost and won't have to spend as much time taking photos yourself.

So, to incentivize customers to take photos and post them:

  • Make sure each dish that leaves the kitchen looks mouthwatering.
  • Create and share your own hashtag.
  • Remember to credit whoever posted the photo originally.

7. Host Contests and Heed the News Cycle

Who doesn't love winning free things? And, as they say, timing is everything.

Offering a contest that hands out a free meal to the winner can be a great way to get more attention, likes and shares. Even smarter is linking the contest to a local event – a sports team that’s in the playoffs, an annual festival that defines the local community, or holidays that tend to drive up foot traffic.  

Pro tip: Don't forget to check the rules of each platform regarding contests. Some allow cash prizes and games of chance. Some don’t. (Sports betting pools can be particularly dangerous in this regard). You don't want to break the law by accident!

8. Reply to Your Reviews

Did you know that 89% of users read businesses' replies to their reviews?

Whether they're good or bad, replying to your customers' reviews is always a good idea. It shows that you listen to them and care about what they have to say.

Besides replying, it's important that you use these reviews in order to improve. One huge perk of this digital era is that it's easier than ever for you to get feedback on your service. Although there's always a chance you'll find some harsh comments on your social media, you'll also find constructive feedback and that's always useful.

9. Use Video Marketing

55% of people in America watch videos online every single day. The numbers are slightly lower globally, but trends suggest they will catch up quickly! Facebook alone enerated 8 billion video views on average per day in 2019, according to Social Media Monitor, a research group. 

Given how visual the food industry tends to be, it's easy to understand why video marketing is a good investment for restaurants to make. It could be the kitchen in action on a busy night, or a short video introducing new dishes on the menu to season-specific campaigns. Recipe videos showing how certain items on your menu are prepared can also be hugely popular: the options are almost endless.

10. Show the Behind-the-Scenes

By showing your followers the people behind your brand and the things that happen in your day-to-day life at the restaurant, you give your brand a personality, making it a lot easier for customers to relate to it.

Plus, you can always show parts of your restaurant that might not be apparent at first, but that customers will appreciate. 

Don’t Wait to Learn from the Competition

Tens of thousands of restaurants have discovered the power of social media to drive consumer decisions on where to have a meal. Ss a consumer yourself, you can understand why it is important for restaurants to have a strong digital presence. 

But staying abreast of the latest in data analytics, applied marketing theory and other tricks of the trade should not have to be your job. Nor should you have to spend thousands a month on a high priced agency to do it for you. With Targetable, we take the hard part off your plate and serve up to you, the restaurant owner, full control of your messaging and customer acquisition strategy in a simple, easy to navigate smart phone app.

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