Best restaurant practices for a better social media presence
Building a strong social media presence is an essential part of running a modern business.
It can help you stand out from the crowd, reach new customers, build an authentic brand for your business and keep an open line of communication with your customers.
Right now, these benefits are even more crucial as many restaurants adapt to a new way of interacting with their customers during the Coronavirus pandemic.
With this in mind, we've collected 7 practices that will help you to build a better social media presence for your restaurant.
Feature well-taken photos and videos
It’s often the case that people first interact with a restaurant through social media.
There are millions of social media posts and pages dedicated to showcasing recipes and food from different restaurants. It’s true that we eat with our eyes first, which is why these photos and videos of food are so popular.
Many ‘Instagrammable’ restaurants have become popular because their visual style caused them to go viral.
While this approach isn’t for everyone, it’s still important to make sure that all your content is well-shot and visually appealing to make your pages appear professional and engaging for visitors.
Another great way to make your content appealing is to feature ‘behind the scenes’ videos of what’s going on in the kitchen. This type of content is extremely popular across the internet.
This can also be a great way to keep customers engaged during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Videos of chefs sharing how to make signature dishes from home that customers might be missing will help keep them excited about your restaurant and encourage them to visit when you reopen.
With many people missing the dining out experience, it’s important to ensure your restaurant is on people’s minds.
Make it easy to view your menu and place an order
If people enjoy what they see on your pages, they’ll be more inclined to visit. When they do, it’s important that they can easily find all the information they need.
This includes accessing a menu. Did you know that 59% of millennial diners often review menus online before they visit?
You can include links to your website on social media pages and highlight seasonal or special menu items through posts or stories (on Instagram and Facebook). Facebook pages have contact sections and a menu link.
It's important to make sure all of this information is correctly filled in to make your profile look more cohesive and attract customers who are actively searching for somewhere to eat.
Engage with your patrons
Social media offers an opportunity for authentic contact from restaurant to customer, while giving the customer a chance to get a proper insight into what’s going in your business.
Restaurants are all about community after all, and social media means that that doesn’t have to stop even if your doors are shut.
This sort of authentic communication can come in the form of using social media to facilitate conversation, for example by asking questions and replying to comments.
You can also utilise features like Instagram stories for a more casual engagement.
Doing these sorts of things make your page and posts more memorable and help build a virtual community that can then drive business to your restaurant.
As restaurants and consumers also adapt to lockdown, it’s more important than ever to keep communication open. Use social media to inform your community how best to support you and tell them about (perhaps new) delivery options and news about reopening.
Use User Generated Content (USG)
When people visit your restaurant, they’ll usually take photos of their food and surroundings, and then upload them to Instagram or other social media sites.
You can make use of this free, authentic content by reposting select images to your own feed. This has the great benefit of attracting visitors to your page to get an unbiased view of the food you serve.
By reposting content, you also encourage more people to post pictures of their food for a chance to get featured on your page. Popular restaurants and food brands frequently repost user content, as do large restaurant-featuring sites and magazines like Buzzfeed Tasty or Bon Appetit.
Getting people to engage with your content is one of the most important parts of successfully running a social media page. You can increase this engagement with interactive content—such as polls, competitions and giveaways. After all, everyone loves free food!
A good example of such content is that which actively engages audiences, such as those that require people to follow the restaurant or tag friends to enter. This ensures that people engage with your content and in turn share your social media site with other potential customers.
Highlight positive reviews
Getting good reviews is an essential part of improving your restaurant’s profile and encouraging new visitors. People are more likely to trust that the food is delicious if it has consistently good reviews.
If you’re already putting in the work to encourage good reviews by reminding and incentivising customers to review, that’s great!
But take this a step further by making the most out of your social media by showcasing those positive reviews on your pages.
Highlighting your good reviews promotes authentic good opinions about your restaurant and can increase your follower and visitor counts. This in turn can lead to more customers eating at your restaurant.
Now that you’re aware of these tips, it’s time to use these to transform your social media through engaging content and authentic communication.
In doing so, you’ll be able to boost your restaurant's profile and help build a virtual community to keep your restaurant going during lockdown and beyond.