Social media marketing has rapidly become a vital method for engaging your customers. Within the past few years, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and now Snapchat (to name only a few) have disrupted the way you market your restaurant.
Restaurant owners have new ways to share photos of delicious food. Specialty, chefs can post behind-the-scenes stories of their creation process. Each new platform creates a new opportunity to share your message with your customers.
Without an element to make your message stand apart from the hordes of other messages that your customer receives, you will quickly become lost in the crowd. As a result, all of your social media marketing efforts will be for naught.
While social messages may be an integral part of modern marketing, simply writing a message and posting it is not enough. The customers who visit your restaurants are bombarded with a wealth of social media messages on any given day.
When competition is high, finding ways to stand out from the crowd requires creative ends. Below are seven tips that can help you to write more powerful social messages.
1. Know who you’re targeting
This might sound simple, but you must know who your audience is before you can target them. If you operate a restaurant, think about whom you are trying to entice into your establishment. Perhaps you are trying to woo the business lunch crowd. Or, maybe you want to encourage professionals to drop by for drinks after work. It could be families looking for an outing on the week or even tourists. Know who your customers are and then develop your message around them. Knowing your target audience is crucial to developing your social messages.
2. Take advantage of the opportunity educate your fans and followers
Your customers do not follow you on social media to see advertisements. Social media can offer a rare opportunity for restaurants to showcase new entrees, explain the origins of a particular dish, or even share recipes. Meat lovers would love to know what kind of rubs are being used on the favorite menu items. The key is to hone in on “insider” information your audience might love to read.
3. Show off your products
When it comes to creating powerful social media messages, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a written message at all. A picture always has been, and always will be, worth a thousand words. Food not only smells delicious, it looks appetizing, too. Post pictures of your restaurant’s dishes to whet your customer’s appetites and encourage them to visit.
Perhaps you own a fast casual kind of restaurant. If you do, you can share photos of how your most popular menu items are made. While pictures are always great, sensory descriptions also work well. Think of unique and interesting ways you can describe new additions to your new products carried by your store.
4. Create an interesting online persona
While your restaurant is obviously in business to earn a profit, it can often be easy to become too promotional when leveraging social media. If you appear to be too self-serving, you can quickly drive away your customers. Focus on creating the right blend of special offers, promotions, customer service, education, and engagement. The use of a diverse set of social media messages can help you to gain notice and build your brand.
5. Don’t be afraid to share your good news
Although this tip might seem to be a bit contradictory compared to the previous tip, sharing your good press is simply good marketing. Customers always want to follow the best brands. If your restaurant was recently awarded the “Best Taste in Town” award, be sure to boast about it.
What else could be considered good news?
- Raving customer reviews — customers will use social media to search for this kind of information about your business. So, give it to them!
- Your involvement within the local community — community involvement is usually the cherry on top of all marketing efforts.
6. Finally, don’t forget to check out your competition
It’s hard to stand out from the crowd if you don’t know what the crowd is doing. Your best research can be done by following your competition. Here are some things you should look out for
- How often your competition is posting
- When are they posting
- What types of posts get the most engagement (Product videos? Customer Selfies?)
- What other platforms are they using
- How do they interact with their audience (e.g. whether they reply to Facebook Ads comments?)
Effective recon will round out your social media strategy. Use your findings to develop your tactics for engagement then put them to the test.
You may find some of your ideas aren’t working as well at first, but don’t get discouraged. Consistency and time have a great way of rewarding well managed social media accounts. Your efforts will pay off.
We’d love to know if this article was helpful for you. What are some other questions you have about social media marketing for your restaurant? Tweet us @joinhomebase.