Social media and food go together like…well, pizza and sushi. Sous Vide Tools reports that pizza is the most Instagrammed food, with more than 19 million hashtags. Sushi comes in at number two with more than 13 million. In other words, people are talking about your food on social media. If you’re not there to join — and lead — the conversation, you could miss out on the free promotion. A restaurant social media strategy is a must for any caterer.
Sure, setting up and maintaining social media profiles is just another thing on your growing to-do list. But if creating a restaurant social media marketing plan a priority, you will start to see the value quickly as you grow your following and extend the reach of your business on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. The world of social media is moving quickly. But follow these easy to tips for owning the conversation around your business and creating a solid restaurant social media marketing plan.
Your food is already #InstagramReady, but now it’s time to spread the word. TechCrunch reports that Instagram now has more than 500 million daily users. Here’s how to capitalize on that audience.
Setting Up Your Page: They say a picture is worth a thousand bites…or something like that. Download the app on your phone or tablet and start taking photos. Don’t forget to tag your restaurant in each description and to use the appropriate hashtags for each photo.
How Often to Post: It’s all about consistency. Aim for 1-2 posts per day, but be sure to maintain the same cadence moving forward.
Best Promotional Use: Share pictures of your beautiful food dishes. Add filters to give them that extra flare. And to mix things up, each week also include shots of your team and anything else that might personalize your business. If you’re offering a new menu special or a discount, this is a great place to show it off.
With more than 2 billion users, Facebook is by far the number one social media platform. As a part of your restaurant social media marketing plan, it’s the place to build community and engage with your customers.
Setting Up Your Page: This could be the first place your customers see your business. So make sure you have all the right details, including a link to your main website, hours, phone number, and your menu. For a profile picture, use either your logo or an exterior shot of the restaurant. For your cover photo, choose a shot of your interior, staff, or a selection of dishes. Facebook also offers a verification badge, which is a must.
How Often to Post: Try once per week, at first. But as you become savvier, and your following grows, try posting 2-3 times per week.
Best Promotional Use: As The New York Times notes, Facebook’s algorithm has recently changed. So how does that affect your restaurant social media strategy? Facebook has always been about engagement. You want to share posts your followers will want to see and share with their own followers. Ask questions, offer challenges, and try anything else that begs for interaction. Post photos of your dishes, share inspirational quotes, create content around holidays. And, if you can, create funny, inspirational videos around your business.
Twitter fits into your restaurant social media marketing plan as the place to share news and to respond to your customer’s questions, complaints, and compliments.
Setting Up Your Page: For your profile picture,add your logo. Write a quick bio that includes your location with a link to your main site. And then you’re ready to start tweeting. Twitter also allows you to add a verification badge for legitimacy.
How Often to Post: 1-5 times per day for original tweets, plus retweeting and customer responses.
Best Promotional Use: If your customers are unhappy, Twitter is where they will tell you. Any time someone complains about a mixed up order or a dish they didn’t like, make sure you respond. People just want to be heard. And the more you can encourage those personal interactions, the more you’ll be seen as an authentic part of the community. For original tweets, try to use images and video where you can. But broadly, look for ways to interact with your followers by using the right hashtags, like #MondayMotivation, #TBT, #TreatYoSelf, and others relevant to the moment. Retweet content from your favorite Twitter users and businesses to show what you care about.
Snapchat is all about those fleeting moments. Any picture or video you add to your story only stays up for 24 hours. It’s a way to share something that’s happening right now. As Fortune reports, Snapchat generally reaches younger users, but its audience is growing quickly among people of all ages.
Setting Up Your Page: Download the app for your phone or tablet. Try to make your username the name of your business or something at least close. And then share your Snapcode on your other social media networks so people know how to find you.
How Often to Post: Use as needed for special promotions or fun events.
Best Promotional Use: Are you having a secret pop-up event? Or are you offering a happy hour special at a certain time of the day? Use Snapchat to get those messages out. Don’t feel like you have to add to your story several times per day. But have fun with it, and incorporate it into your strategy.
Tips for Creating a Restaurant Social Media Strategy
Now that you’ve got the skinny on the different social media platforms, here are some things to remember when building your restaurant social media strategy:
- Don’t feel like you have to master all four platforms at once. If you only have the time to set up Instagram or Facebook, do that today. It’s better to be good at one platform than mediocre at four. Add on as you become a savvier social media marketer.
- The goal of social media marketing is to build relationships with your customers in an authentic way. While your first instinct when reading a bad review or tweet may be to get defensive, just remember that these are your customers. The right response could still win them back for repeat business.
- To develop a brand voice across your platforms, think of how you want your customers to perceive you. Which words come to mind? Some options could be: warm, inviting, friendly, and engaging. When you develop your posts always keep this list close by.
- Build a social media calendar and plan your posts ahead of time.
- But always leave room for flexibility, since you never know what might come up.
- Social media should be fun. If you’re having fun, it will come through in your posts. And then your customers will have fun with you.