Whet Your Social Appetite: Three Ways to Market Your Restaurant Using Social Media
Beyond just posting on Facebook, we look at three tactics that can help transform your restaurant’s social media marketing
We all know that social media has become a game changer for many small businesses. From creating a Facebook business profile, gaining followers and posting relevant, engaging content to attract readers, and ultimately, diners, marketing on social media can be a time consuming project that many restaurateurs simply don’t have room to work into their already busy schedule. For those looking for a few ways to cut corners to make your social media marketing more effective, look no further: We have identified three ways to help you get more out of posting on social media so you can spend less time in front of the computer, and more time in the kitchen!
Set it and Forget it: Start Scheduling
Among the most valuable aspects of social media marketing is that of consistency. For people to see value in the content you post, and to grow your network of followers and engaged users, it is incredibly important that your social networks are updated consistently throughout the week with a number of different types of content. This ensures that readers begin to recognize you, your name, and your brand as a culinary leader in your area, and not someone just desperate to get some feet through the door.
Kevan Lee, at the Buffer blog, notes that “a consistent schedule is definitely part of the equation. You can set whatever schedule you choose, then be sure to stick with it.” But how do you create a consistent schedule and still set aside the time to cook and create? Start by developing a social media schedule that helps map out your social posts for that week, that month, and beyond.
Tools like HootSuite and Buffer have become intuitive, easy to use social media scheduling apps that help us to create content calendars for those looking to improve their restaurant’s social media marketing. These tools allow you to curate custom posts, and schedule them out based on the times of the week that you want to reach your users. The interesting thing about scheduling posts isn’t so much saving the time, but yet, doing the due diligence to ensure that you’re leveraging the data of when your target customers are online, and knowing when is best to reach them.
Tools like Followerwonk provide a great lens for this. Followerwonk is primarily designed for Twitter, but it can help give you a sense of when users are checking social media, and as a result, the best times of the day to schedule your posts. This is a great microanalysis of your social media audience (or that of a competitor) that can help decide the best times for you to post information about new items, new menu additions, specials, happy hours, and more.
Similarly, leveraging macro-data about Facebook’s user base can also yield some surprising results. In a study at Adobe, they found that Fridays are by far the most effective day to garner user engagement from posting on Facebook.
Be sure to leverage this when creating your social media; decide what days to post, what times to post, and then revisit and adjust.
Get Visual | Use Videos & Images
Visual content certainly has its strengths; you need to only look at the meteoric rise of Instagram to know what photos and video can do to help your business build awareness, reach others in your target market, and even advertise some of what makes your kitchen’s cooking unique. For images, let’s discuss three important tactics to consider.
Video Performs Better than Image on Facebook
A recent study surprisingly indicates an about face when it comes to the social giant’s organic reach; where photos used to command a huge amount of engagement and organic visibility, that honor has now been usurped by video.
- Video has an organic reach of about 8.71%, meaning just under nine fans out of 100 will see your posts organically
- Photo posts now come in at under 3.73%, below text-only and link-based posts (5.7% and 5.29%, respectively)
While video content used to be expensive to produce, even cheap, short, affordable videos tend to reach a wider audience. Find ways to leverage video over photos when creating your content. Perhaps save photos for other networks that can help you expand your social footprint, like Instagram.
Research Hashtag Performance
When posting images, be sure to include an image, a call to action, and some hashtags that might appear to your target customer in the caption. Hashtags have been transformative in their implementation for social media marketing, and allow you to tap in and piggyback onto several different ways that people may be talking about their eating habits or their diet.
Hashtagify.me is a great tool to monitor how these trends are behaving on Twitter, but as people sync accounts to streamline their social activity, a lot of these trends also spill over to other social networks, like Facebook and Instagram.
Be sure you’re identifying your unique selling points and including them in hashtags. If you have healthy options, consider that as a hashtag. Otherwise, if you offer items for dietary restrictions, research how to include vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free-friendly hashtags in order to help broaden your audience.
No Designer? No Problem!
If you’re worried about taking photos of food or having visual assets created to help your posts, fear not; you don’t have to be a graphic designer to have killer images to accompany your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram posts.
Tools like Canva offer seamless, cloud-based design solutions for brands of all sizes, with free and freemium features. Use these tools to create stunning graphics to help your posts resonate with your audience, and better market your restaurant.
There is perhaps no better way to help leverage your presence on social media into more meals sold then by offering incentives to engaged customers. Find ways to encourage users to participate online while at your restaurant. From including a card on the table to encourage users to share and hashtag their photos with a particular branded message, to offering a rewards program for those who check-in at your restaurant a certain number of times, there are plenty of ways to ensure that you are making the most of your social media marketing efforts.
For more information on how to better market your restaurant, contact us today!