Social Media Marketing for Restaurants Best Practices for 2017

By Iren Licera / a couple of years ago

Knowledge, put into action, is power.

And so knowing the Social Media Marketing for Restaurants best practices for 2017 is going to be your ammunition against the barrage of competition in the restaurant industry as you have to understand all the ways on how to turn social media as your greatest advertising advantage.

In an era where internet, specifically social media, is already part of our lifestyle, there is no stopping on how people turns to social media platforms for almost anything and everything. Just quickly asses: when was the last time you logged out of Facebook? What would you feel if a post doesn’t get any likes? We turn to social media for communication with love ones, to ask queries, to find a tidbit of information or just to abate boredom.

However, the bottom-line is social media is part of our everyday lives. Thus, something that has become so integral and personal is a great platform for advertising for various businesses all over the world, because it is the fastest way to get the attention of the people and gain consumer traffic that would be eventually converted to sales increase. Am I right?

Therefore, for restaurant owners, it is a must for you to learn the best practices that you should implement to ensure that you get the best share of the market. Ignoring this will also be detremental to your survival in an ever competitive market.

So are you up for the challenge of social media marketing for your restaurant? Then scroll below!

Top 4 Social Media Giants

To begin with, these are the top social media platforms that you should consider when you market your food or restaurant brand online. I am also listing below on how you can use it. Be sure to see the link. It has all the necessary information on how you can use specific social media platform for your campaigns:

 1.) Use Facebook to the Fullest

  • Cover image: The very first picture that would be visible to the people is your cover photo, so take advantage of this and upload photo of your restaurant’s delectable food or use this area to highlight your latest menu or daily meal deals. It can even be an artistic shot of group of people enjoying good food inside your restaurant. Fill up the description box below with catchy phrases or simple but witty descriptions.
  • Create an Album for Food Photos: Pictures are the ones mostly shared in Facebook, so you better update your page with pictures of food from your menu. Make sure that it captures your food offering perfectly with proper lighting and angle and all of that because people are visual and they would surely share something that looks tasty with their friends.
  • Page Tabs: In case you’re not aware, but Facebook have page tabs that you can use to attract people to personally visit your restaurant. The first four tabs must include the most important components or information about your restaurant business such as food photos, the location and time schedule of your store, daily food promos, and the featured menu of the week.
  • Offer Groupons or other Promo: People love getting freebies, so you can use your Facebook page to give your customers exclusive deals if they would like your Facebook page, or share a particular photo, and then reward a user with the highest likes on the shared photo or video.
  • Don’t forget Geo-targeting: Facebook ads help business owners like in doing something in a very specific manner and you can take advantage of this function by making some ads visible only to a certain location. You can even make your ads be visible only to those people who liked specific pages, which helps them lead towards your own page.
  • Facebook Contests: Everyone loves a fun challenge so occasionally sponsor a contest on your Facebook page. It would not only help in making you trend, it would also create excitement among the people so they would be checking your page twice more. Also, the more excited people are, the more chance of them sharing a photo or video of your food photo.

2.) Instagram’s Photo-sharing Popularity

  • Menu Highlights: Instagram rose to fame because it’s a platform solely for sharing pictures, and now videos too, so you really should take advantage of the opportunity and posts photos of your food servings, in order to entice people to go to your store and try out your product.
  • Exclusive Campaign Hashtags: It’s highly suggested to always have a campaign running every day, make it different for each week as you highlight a particular promotion for your restaurant, and then encourage the people to use your hashtag as they eat in your store, have something delivered, or posts food photos.
  • Sponsor a Photo Contests: Even if you build an Instagram account with drool-worthy food photos and videos, if there is no loyal following from the people, it would be for nothing. So sponsor a photo contest from time to time, especially if there is a special holiday or event that is coming or if you are about to unveil a new promotions or menu choice. Photo competition would be a great motivation for the people to visit your restaurant, take photos, and then posts it with your specific hashtag as they enter your contest. So this is like hitting three goals with one stone!
  • Customer Engagement: Since you are a business that directly gives the customer service, it’s only right for you to engage with the people and encourage them to upload photos of their favorite food item from your restaurant and this is one of the Social Media Marketing for Restaurants best practices for 2017 since it builds rapport with the people and also helps you build a user-generated menu pictures that you can re-gram with permission.

3.) Twitter Campaign

  • Posts Photo Pictures: Nope, unlike Instagram, you cannot just bombard your twitter feed with photos because Twitter is all about using 140-characters in providing interesting information with just a side of entertainment to keep your followers curious and interested to check you out even more, but adding photos together with a interesting “tweet” would double the interest of the people, because the visual would drive the more traffic to your store.
  • Link of your Menu: Once you posted a photo of one of your food offerings, some people would be intrigued enough to want to see your entire menu as they try to see if there are other food serving that they would like from your restaurant. It helps people engage with you more and allows them to make the decision to try out your restaurant on their next food trip.
  • Timeliness of Tweets: As a restaurant business, you probably have a different menu for each time of the day such as different food servings for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So during the early hours, you can posts a picture of your breakfast serving with a tweet that invites people to start their day with you. You can even invite them for a late night dinner with a romantic photo setting and a tweet about love—which makes almost everyone melt.
  • Always Use a Hashtag: This is one of the drivers of Twitter, the use of hashtags, because it’s all about what is trending at the moment. So in order to become more visible to people, nationwide or worldwide, always include a hashtag with your every tweet. But keep your hashtag witty, relevant, but short, because there are character constraints in this social site.
  • Exclusive Coupons and Deals: This is actually part of traditional advertising technique, but it’s still applicable until today. You can promote your business by giving away coupons and discounted deals depending on the number of people that would avail a certain meal of the day. If you make it a groupon, this would be a greater hit, since people would be encouraged to share your tweet with their friends.
  • Promote Tweets: With all of the noise in Twitter and the different trending hashtags, it might become hard to breakthrough sometimes and it’s almost impossible to get on the Top 20 trending hashtag every day, so you can avail of the promoted tweet feature on Twitter so that you would be at the top of trending lists, thus increasing your visibility to a lot of audience.
  • Geo-targetting: Similar to Facebook, you have to make proper use of the location feature in social media platforms, but if you are using promoted tweets, it might be wise to turn off the location so that people from across the country or even the world would not be turned off because of the long distance.

After all, you can only raise interests in your restaurant if more people are talking about it, even from across the globe. Of course, there are times when you have to include location so you can encourage locals from dining with you, but not when promoting a tweet.

4.) Youtube Channel

  • Appetizing Content: Video marketing is really hot right now so take good advantage of your youtube channel and posts sizzling videos of you food servings. Think similar to your customers and how you would want to see food videos. In Youtube, people are not only looking for entertainment, they are also looking for additional information, so it would be good to always posts recipe videos and highlight the food preparations in your restaurant’s kitchen.
  • Engage Immediately: Videos are entertaining, unless you start out really slow and without any kind of hype at all. You have only a few seconds to get the attention of your customers, so start with a big bang and then expound from there, because no one goes to Youtube with the intent of being bored. Remember to show emotion and make your restaurant business more human, because this is the kind that would build connection with the people.
  • Cinematography Matters: Humans are normally visual-first kind of people, so remember to make your videos look enticing and make the people hungry just by looking at your dish preparations—create a food porn youtube channel, something that constantly shows culinary skill and wow factor for your food serving.
  • Optimize: Don’t forge to properly format your video, take care of the editing, and most especially, the video thumbnail! People on Youtube would take a look at the thumbnail before anything else, and this would determine whether they are intrigued enough to click your video to watch or not. So better choose an interesting thumbnail such as the final shot of your dish.

When you’re blogging…

1.) Truly Become a Blogger

Being a blogger isn’t easy, but it would pay off with more customer traffic and sales increase so patiently nurture your blog with appetizing content and enough side dish of entertainment to keep your blog followers interested. Bloggers know how to write blogpost and how to partner it with amazing shot of food photos. Bloggers are artistic and creative, so always up your photography skills and improve how you deliver the recipe of your food servings.

2.) Emotionally-charged Content

Yes, you are using your food blog as another form of social media marketing tactic, but you don’t have to straight up make people that you are just an advertisement blog, because that would make them lose interest. Don’t do hard sell content, place your food product subtly in your blogposts, and write an emotionally charged content. It doesn’t have to be tear-inducing, it can even have an exciting tone or purely delightful one, meant to encourage someone to have an awesome day then including a photo of your breakfast serving.

3.) Occasionally talk to followers using Videos

Another Social Media Marketing for Restaurants best practices for 2017 is to take a video of yourself talking directly to customers while promoting contests you are sponsoring or announcing a new menu addition in your store. This way, you make your customers feel important, because the video feels personal. It would build a sense of loyalty among them and you definitely need a loyal following in the restaurant business.

Other Social Media Strategies

These are some of the strategies that you can also consider:

1.) Novelty of Snapchat

Have a Snapchat account because it’s taking the Internet by storn and always update your Snapachat with what the moment-to-moment pictures or videos of the inside of your restaurant kitchen, because it would make people tune into your Snapchat every day since it puts expiration to content posted, creating a sense of urgency.

2.) Presence in Yelp

Yelp is a place where people could leave reviews for a business establishment so claim your restaurant page here and write as much information as you can and always respond to reviews given even to those bad ones, since it would make people feel like you care and is working hard despite their bad experiences. Other customers would see the bad review, your polite and informative response, and be relieved that the management is actively caring for each customer’s complaints.

3.) See What’s Trending

There are a lot of trends every day, try to relate your food serving or daily meal deals with the hashtag. For example, during the Olympic games, you can use the trending sports hashtag with the photo of your food and how it can “empower” people for the day. It’s one of the Social Media Marketing for Restaurants best practices for 2017 to always see what is currently trending and use that to your advantage, because a lot of people are checking out the current online trends, thus, you would get more visibility.

After learning all of the Social Media Marketing for Restaurants best practices for 2017 that are listed above, are you now confident that you would be able to face the new year with huge improvements in your social media advertising angles?

You should be because the only way for your restaurant business to thrive is if you strongly believe that you can make it. Remember that the social media is an unpredictable platform only if you fail to watch out for the tiny little changes that happen gradually over time. So be watchful and mindful of every movement that is going online and you’d certainly be fine!

LEARN Social Media Marketing for Managers and Professionals. CLICK THIS LINK!

About the author

Iren Licera

ESTRAT X's Chief Xperience Officer Iren Licera’s superb mastery of social media marketing, strategic content planning, creation and execution makes her one of crucial core executives. Iren's open-mindedness to do extra in every task makes her the prime go-to lady of ESTRAT’s loved clients. Read more about her here.


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