Social media is pretty much the perfect marketing tool for restaurants. After all, one of the key aspects of selling great food is to build a community of regular customers. All social media channels can just be an extension of that. It’s a visual experience, too – how many of your friends do you see posting pictures of incredible meals on their Facebook? Or Instagram? The trouble is, not every restaurateur gets it right. And in today’s guide, I’m going to explain some of the ways of ensuring your social media accounts are working for your business, not against it.
Consistency in tone of voice
All restaurants like to create a certain sense of atmosphere for their customers. It’s important that this tone continues when you are posting on social media, to make your client’s experience more rounded. For example, if you are an upmarket restaurant, you shouldn’t be posting pics of cute cats. Similarly, if you are a relaxed restaurant, focus on extending that atmosphere onto your social media channels.
Encourage your customers to follow you on social media
The biggest benefit of social media is that your followers do a lot of the hard work for you. But, of course, unless they follow your channels, they won’t be able to help. Tempt them to give your page a like on Facebook or follow you on Twitter with special deals. It might be 10 percent off, or a free glass of wine with their dinner – whatever you think is appropriate. As hospitality marketer Scodeggio Samuele states, it can have a dramatic impact. It’s a form of social recommendation – word of mouth, of you like. If the friends of your followers like what they see, there is more chance they will give you a try themselves.
Don’t be afraid of criticism
Many restaurateurs are a little scared of social media – and with good reason. We all know of a restaurant taking a hammering on Facebook or Twitter after poor customer service or a disastrous meal. But instead of being scared, why not see the opportunity it gives instead? If a client wants to complain in public, other people will be looking to see how you respond. If you just ignore the complaint, that won’t go well for you. If however, you appear reasonable, polite, and offer apologies, people will notice in a positive way. Everyone makes mistakes – and everyone knows it. It’s how you respond that can make the difference.
Use geo targeting
Facebook ads are kind of cool – if you get them right. There are a lot of tools at your disposal that can help you laser-focus your special offers to the right people at the right time. And, of course, in the right area. It gives you the chance to provide very specifically, niche targeting that can only be seen by people in your immediate vicinity.
Finally, don’t use Facebook or Twitter as a simple promotional tool. People don’t want to see advertisement after advertisement – you need to be more appealing. Offer them more value by posting interesting blog posts. Share – or curate – from other websites and Facebook pages, too. Aim to use a third of your posts for promoting your business at most – the rest should be a lot more interesting.
Hope these tips have helped – let me know how you are using social media!