Facebook is probably the first social media site that comes to mind. When consumers are making a decision about what to do this evening and which restaurants to choose from, they are highly likely to check Facebook for events and local restaurant pages. On Facebook they can find different restaurants, menu options, food pictures and pricing.
If you are not employing Facebook marketing as part of the overall strategy for marketing your restaurant, then you are missing out on the millions of people using Facebook to make a decision about where to eat.
To use Facebook as an effective source of marketing, first you create your restaurant’s page. Facebook lets you create targeted promotions that boost your posts. This way you spread the word about your restaurant to the people in your local area.
Additionally, you should invest in marketing strategies such as offering discounts and exclusive offers through your Facebook group/pages to attract more customers, and turn your Facebook likes into actual revenue generating customers.
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Yelp is a popular platform for consumers to review the places they visit. Diners post reviews about restaurants where they have eaten, for better or for worse. Adding your restaurant information to Yelp makes you part of the conversation.
Update your restaurant page with your operating hours, menu, and prices. When people search for local restaurants they’ll find your listing, along with customer reviews.
When you use Yelp, make sure to respond to your customers’ feedback. Be aware of and deal directly with any negative feedback. Respond graciously to the positive feedback you receive.
Most people search local results online before deciding where to eat. This is especially true for people who are from out of town. For example, if someone wants sushi while they are in New York City, and they are new there, they’ll likely turn to a Google search.
Google will present them with a map of local sushi restaurants along with images and reviews. While the results are hyper-relevant they’re not particularly social. Because Google Maps is mostly designed to address the problem of finding reviews, you’ll mostly be responding to positive and negative reviews.
To promote your restaurant using ads targeted to potential customers, you’ll need to take advantage of Google Local Search.
Twitter provides you with a minimalist approach to marketing that can be very cost effective. You can run competitions in exchange for sharing your posts. You can create buzz with advanced updates about new food before it’s added to the menu.
Encourage your regular customers to post about your food and tag your page. With just 140 characters you have a lot of creative options. Your active Twitter followers are more likely to interact with your promotions. So give them something to look forward to and make them feel like insiders.
Instagram users are well known for taking pictures of their food. And although this is sometimes characterized as passé, food images are still one of the most popular forms of content on the platform.
As a restaurant marketer, you can use this opportunity to create Instagram-worthy moments for your guests. Create an Instagram page for your restaurant and encourage your customers to interact with your page.
Every like and share promotes your food creations so it helps if you have an eye for photography.
Your Website’s Blog
Your own website’s blog is an important part of your social media resources. Post updates first to your restaurant’s blog and then link to your social media accounts. This practice helps you to coordinate your posts across platforms and helps you track total engagement.
Use your blog as a store of marketing content for your restaurant. Add a comments section to your blog as well to increase customer interaction.
The key to marketing any business is to employ a holistic online and offline approach to promote a coordinated message. Understanding your target market is the first step, engaging with them is the second step. The benefit of social media is the ability to earn a loyal customer following by making your interactions personal.