These days, the vast majority of restaurants have social media accounts. They are important tools to help bring in new customers, reconnect with regulars, deal with reviews, and further brand awareness. However, they do take a lot of work to manage!
The amount of work you put into social media doesn’t necessarily equate to a return in customers or other results. Many restaurants could stand to refine and optimize their social media presence, focusing on those efforts that actually produce results. If you’re looking to optimize your social presence, we have some tips for you.
1. Focus on the Right Platforms
How many social media accounts are you currently actively using? There are three main social platforms that can benefit all restaurants: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you’re spreading yourself too thin across each platform, you can use social media software to easily publish the same content on each. That said, each has its own unique features and opportunities that you should take advantage of, ideally with customized content.
- Facebook: If you can have only one social media presence, then it should be Facebook. Almost half of people use Facebook to find restaurants, according to Modern Restaurant Management. Facebook is proven to help restaurants generate business and cultivate an audience. Facebook also allows you to set multiple locations so that your local customers can easily find you.
- Instagram: It’s easier to connect with customers on Instagram, as that is frequently where they are posting their own images of your food and your restaurant. This platform creates the most engagement with your brand, so it is essential to be on it. Instagram is all about image quality, so if you go this route you must invest in good photography.
- Twitter: It may seem surprising, as there is so much content on Twitter, but Twitter users actually engage with restaurants more than with other businesses in other industries. Consider using Twitter cards to make your tweets stand out on your customer’s feed and be sure to respond to Tweets where people reference your brand.
2. Feel More Authentic
Making the most of your social media presence is all about connecting with people. Your business has to express more than just its own interests in order to connect. In fact, one of the behaviors that bothers consumers on social media the most is when businesses post too many promotions. You may think that promotions are always viewed positively by your followers, but that’s not the case. Social media is about being social and connecting, not solely advertising.
So, other than posting fewer advertisements, how can you feel more authentic and connect with people? There are a few ways that might work for you:
- Show life behind the scenes: You can keep the focus on your business and provide something more than just a discount with a behind the scenes peek. It’s a good way to help followers feel like they have inside information about your restaurant. You can show off unusual ingredients, processes, or kitchen gear when you do—which gives your customers something to talk about.
- Profile staff: The people at your restaurant are another great avenue you can use to connect more directly with customers and is especially compelling because your regulars will recognize the faces of your servers.
- Profile food: Of course, people want to bond with your food—and it’s a great thing to bond over! Don’t just list out ingredients, seek to make that emotional connection. Showcase your sustainability or local dishes and ask customers to share their favorite memories and favorite meals.
- Ask questions: You’ll get more engagement if you can give customers a reason to leave a comment or re-tweet/share your post. Questions are a great way to do this, but the type of question matters a lot. Don’t ask questions that don’t matter to you or pump out mindless trivia about your food. Ask deeper questions that really matter to your brand.
3. Focus on Your Customer’s Posts
Your customers create amazing posts about your restaurant and spotlighting them can help you develop a relationship with that customer and feel more authentic to others. Besides, it can be hard to keep up a huge posting schedule on social media! You need to post several times per day, and it can be a struggle to come up with something new to say.
That’s okay because your customers have something to say! Commenting on your customer’s posts shows that you care about them and how they experience your food, and that’s always compelling.
4. Fine Tune Your Posting Schedule
Are you putting out a lot of posts and not getting much traction? Sometimes it’s about timing. People use different social media platforms at different times. You want to maximize your posts, sending them out when they are most likely to be seen. You can use the metrics each social media platform releases to look at the time that your users are most active. However, you can also look at your own posts and see when you’re getting the most traction and focus on posting more often during these times. This more personal approach helps you better reach your existing audience.
5. Contests and Community Events
What’s on social media doesn’t have to stay there. The best accounts spur people to act in the real world. One way to do this is to promote your events or local community happenings on your platform. Another way is to hold contests through social media that ask people to take real-world action. Consider holding contests that have followers attend events, head to different parts of your city and generally explore. This community-focus will help your brand feel more adventurous and exciting too, which is great for a restaurant.
6. Get Expert Strategy
In the end, you have a restaurant to run, so how much time can you devote to social media? Is it easier to have the experts get more from your social media efforts? The team at C’MON Go can help you refine your social media strategy and execution, so you fill more tables and further your brand presence.