Social media advertising has taken over the restaurant industry!
45% of diners said they’ve tried a restaurant for the first time because of a social media post made by the restaurant itself.
The beauty of social media is that it gives you a way to connect with more of your target audience than ever before.
That is especially since 89% of diners have at least one social media account.
So what social media networks do my restaurant need to have a presence on?
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide where you want your digital content to live, but we would recommend Facebook and Instagram as must-haves.
This is because Facebook is still the number one social media platform and 49% of people search Facebook to find restaurants.
Instagram has seen massive growth in popularity for the restaurant industry…
…and is now the number one social media app for engagement with restaurant brands!
We’re now going to share with you 7 restaurant social media ideas that can be used on both of those platforms…
…as well as any others you may like to join.
These tips are sure to help you increase your engagement and bring in new customers. Let’s jump right in!
1. Post Timing
Our first tip has to do with post timing.
When you go to post content on your social media networks, are you paying attention to the timing?
Did you plan out in advance that you are going to post at that specific time or are you just logging on to share content randomly?
Timing has a great effect on the success and engagement of your posts.
There are known times with higher engagement on platforms such as Instagram as you can see here by this chart.
However, restaurants have to consider more than just popular posting times.
For example, if you run a diner that specializes in breakfast foods…
…you won’t want to post a picture of your pancakes, eggs, and bacon platter at 6 PM on a Friday when people are deciding what they should have for dinner.
As a restaurant, it is your goal to find a happy medium of well-known, popular times to post and target the breakfast, lunch, or dinner crowd appropriately.
2. Use Video
Next on our list of restaurant social media ideas is to use video when you can!
Video has become one of the most effective ways to share content in 2021…
…with 6 out of 10 people saying they would rather watch online videos than television.
When it comes to social media, social media posts that include videos have 48% more views.
So how can your restaurant leverage this method of sharing content?
Well, much like any other content you share, you want it to be valuable and informative for your current and potential customers.
Videos on new specials, cooking tutorials, and Q&As with your chef are a great place to start.
Most people assume that in order to take advantage of video, you need to hire a film crew. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
In fact, social networks are now providing even more ways to share video from a mobile device.
One method you can use is live video.
Live video is actually more effective than a regular video with the average person spending 3 times more time watching a live video than one that isn’t live.
If you want to learn more ideas on how to use live streaming for your business, then read this post next.
But if you want more ideas on what your restaurant can make videos on…
…keep reading because the next two content tips we’re going to give are also great options for videos!
3. Behind The Scenes Content
Showing what goes on behind the scenes at your restaurant is a great way of engaging with your audience…
…which is why this is the third one on our list of restaurant social media ideas.
Restaurant goers love to see how their food is being made.
And there are many popular YouTube videos that show how to make certain restaurant’s menu items that back up this claim.
Some ideas for behind-the-scenes content include:
- photos of meeting with local farms or vendors,
- posting staff traditions like a song you always play to end the night, or
- even a picture of all of the ingredients together that make up your most popular dish.
We just went over using video though as an extremely effective means of sharing content.
So you may be wondering, “how can I use video to show behind-the-scenes features of my restaurant?”
Well, the best way is to leverage the work your chefs are already doing which is cooking.
All you have to do now is film it.
A big tip for this though is to make sure that the kitchen is spotless!
Remember, the point of using a behind-the-scenes video is to get people interested in your restaurant and the food you serve…
…not scare them away with a dirty kitchen!
You can choose to show the entire process of making a meal, or you could only highlight the chef’s talent in tiny segments like:
- dicing onions,
- filleting a fish,
…or anything else your talented chefs specializes in.
4. Employee Spotlight
The best way to show current and potential customers that you care about your staff and recognize their strengths is…
…by showing them off on your social media accounts, which is why employee spotlight is our next social media idea.
Showcasing the people that are behind the success of your business is a great way to humanize the experience for customers.
Sharing posts about your staff is also a great way to boost engagement because these posts are likely to be shared by your staff, improving that post’s reach.
Highlighting your staff also provides staff members with well-deserved recognition for their talents, expertise, and personality.
If you have a small team that makes up your restaurant staff you may be asking…
…“how can we still post content highlighting our staff after we’ve already featured them once?”
You can continue to highlight staff members by showcasing their outside-of-work accomplishments such as:
- new babies,
Sharing user-generated content is a great way to boost engagement and acquire new customers through social media.
So what is user-generated content?
Well, it’s exactly like it sounds!
User-generated content, or UGC for short, is any content including text, videos, and images, that are created by people rather than brands.
But what can user-generated content do for your restaurant?
For starters, UGC promotes authenticity.
Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view UGC as authentic when compared to content created by brands.
UGC comes from real people that have visited your restaurant and potential customers will want some form of social proof…
…before deciding whether or not they are going to dine at your establishment.
UGC also creates trust with the consumer.
In fact, a recent study shows that 30% of millennials wouldn’t go to a restaurant if that restaurant’s Instagram presence was weak.
The last big thing that UGC helps with is driving purchasing decisions.
A study shows that nearly 80% of people say that UGC has a high-level impact on their purchasing decisions.
Arguably the best part about UGC is that your customers are doing 95% of the work for you!
Since they are taking the photos and already talking about your restaurant online…
…all you have to do is find the right content and you’ll have a backlog of posts ready to share at your leisure.
So how can your restaurant find images users have been posting from your restaurant to use for UGC purposes?
You can start by simply looking up the location of your restaurant on Instagram.
This is for you to see if anybody has shared content featuring your menu items by tagging their location.
If you promote any branded hashtags for your restaurant, you can also search for content that way.
If you don’t have any luck finding any content, there is a clever way to encourage your customers to post some.
That method is by running a social media contest!
Ask users to post photos from your restaurant and to use a specific hashtag as well as tag your restaurant’s page in the photo.
This will not only provide you with many options for UGC but will also raise brand awareness and recognition.
The best tip for restaurants that share UGC is to make sure the content that you are sharing fits your brand and its voice.
Moving on to our list of restaurant social media ideas is running social media contests.
79% of people only like a Facebook restaurant page for incentives and discounts.
Do you know anyone that doesn’t love free stuff?
We sure don’t know anybody like that!
Social media contests are a perfect method for providing these incentives.
Social media contests are a great way of building rapport and engagement with your social media following.
No matter what type of contest you run on social media…
…be sure to make some of the requirements to follow your restaurant’s page and to use a specified hashtag.
This will help build engagement and brand awareness.
The best part about these contests is that the prize at the end is entirely up to you.
Maybe you’ll offer smaller prizes like discounts or free meals for a week.
Or you might decide to run contests with much larger prizes like hosting a super bowl party at your restaurant.
Whatever your choice is, your restaurant will benefit from running social media contests.
The last one on our restaurant social media ideas list…
…will be the first non-organic method of building engagement and bringing new customers to your restaurant.
That tip is to run social media advertisements.
Social media has been known as a “pay-to-play” platform now in order to keep up with the competition.
That doesn’t mean that you need to break the bank just to get the most out of your social media budget though.
The biggest social media platform also happens to be the most popular to advertise on. That network is Facebook.
93% of social media advertisers use Facebook ads.
But what makes Facebook ads so great for restaurants?
Well, Facebook’s advertising platform gives you the ability to create a highly targeted audience.
This is to help ensure that you are reaching people in your restaurant’s local area.
Geo-targeted ads save restaurants time and money.
That’s because they know they are only reaching true potential customers that have the ability to visit their restaurant.
Facebook also allows you to target consumers based on their age, likes, interests, and followed pages.
One of the most effective features of Facebook ads is the ability to retarget consumers.
So what are retargeting ads?
Retargeting ads are ads that are designed to appear to users that have bounced from your website.
This means they left prematurely before engaging with your business in some way, shape, or form.
For restaurants, this could mean a user visited your website, checked out your menu, and left your site to move on to something else…
…without having made a reservation, signed up for your email newsletter, or taken any other action that benefits your restaurant.
Studies show that only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit.
So, you’ll definitely want to implement a Facebook retargeting strategy to remind the other 98% about the great food you serve at your restaurant.
For more creative restaurant marketing ideas, be sure to read this post next.