Social media is a free tool that restaurants have adopted in order to up their marketing game. Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Google +, and Facebook are a few of the many platforms in which you can reach your appropriate consumer. Not all platforms are made equal for each patron. It’s also not advised to spread yourself too thin by using too many. It’s best practice to form a strong image of your brand on only a few social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram. Once you have chosen the right platform(s) you may find it challenging to constantly come up with original content day after day. How do you keep them engaged and excited to visit your page? Here are 10 creative ways you can mix up your content posts.
1. Post Food
Turn your food into art. Take pictures of a special or popular items, then describe the dish explaining the ingredients, or even pair it with a specialty cocktail. Pictures get shared and sharing optimizes your site! Make people drool over your food before they’ve even tasted it!
2. Post Events
Capture the moments, the memories and the excitement! Take pictures of dinner parties, banquets and celebrations of your patrons having an exceptional time. Showcase birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc., showing off your venue and encouraging visitors to book their next event at your restaurant/venue.
3. Post About Your Specialty
What is your restaurant about and what sets it apart from competitors? Let people know what you’re famous for. Remember to post questions and answers about your speciality! Every brand has one thing they want to be known for. Flaunt how you do it! It's your specialty, so brag about it! If you’re a sushi place, tell fun facts about the techniques involved in rolling sushi. Or a BBQ restaurant could explain the intricate process of making their famous pulled pork. It’s a fun way to keep communication going. Generate questions about your specialty among your followers and give a free appetizer or coupon to whoever gets the answer first! Incentives are always a great way to get people to interact.
4. Post Recipes
How fun would it be to make your favorite signature martinis at home? Or even to make one of your favorite appetizers, entrees or desserts? You could start posting general recipes for the average, everyday chef. Then, for more complex recipes, you could possibly provide a free eBook on your website. In order to download that free recipe or eBook, require your visitors to enter some basic information into a form, or even answer a few simple survey questions. This is an easy way to find out what else they want to see on your page. It’s also a great opportunity receive email addresses so you can further delight them in their journey to becoming a regular! Recipe posts are definitely high sharing posts. You could even take it a step further and try to video record your chef or bartender in action – grab attention almost like you have your own cooking show!
5. Post Specials, Daily and Weekly
Everyone loves a good discount! Make sure to add your promotions in almost every post! Get the user excited for happy hour when they are still at their desk! Start talking about the weekend specials (happy hour, endless mimosas, etc.) before the weekend, so that by 5 p.m. on Friday, your restaurant is THE ONLY place your fans want to be! For Facebook and Twitter, afternoons are proven to be the prime time to inform patrons of specials and promotions so that they become customers!
6. Showcase Staff
This is fun for the staff and the guests! Create contests in which the winner is showcased on your page. Post their picture and add some content describing what an amazing employee he/she is, in an effort to reward them. You could do this with new employees, staff members of the month, the bartender who concocted a new cocktail, or a chef that created a new mouthwatering dish. It’s as easy as simply showing the staff having fun, which gives off an inviting feel for your establishment. You’re sharing the culture of your business.
7. Post Videos
Video marketing is on the rise, mostly because it grabs the audience's attention! Post videos of anything that enhances your brand! Video also increases your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of getting traffic from the free, organic, editorial or natural search results on search engines, making it easier to find your site! Again, make sure you're posting videos in the appropriate platform. Post Apple’s new toy, 360 photos and videos, and of course, live videos. This new software through your iPhone is great way to see 360 degrees of your venue, view what’s going on at the exact moment and get strangers to picture themselves in your establishment.
8. Ecourage Your Guests to Post
Once more, use what you get for free, ask your guests to tag themselves, post pictures and videos on social media. This is another way to engage with your community that may not know about you yet. You can create a competition between your guests to boost your brand awareness a number of ways including a contest in which whoever gets the most likes from a picture gets a free appetizer. Or, whoever gets the most shares on a picture gets a gift card. There are many ways to get your current customers excited to act as your promoters.
9. Post at the Right Times
Depending on what platform you choose, posting content at the appropriate time does affect the amount of views. You want to make sure you’re getting the most views on your posts, so do research on what will work best for your restaurant or try posting at different times to see what gets the most interaction. Then stick with those times for future posts.
Twitter: Monday – Friday, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. and on Wednesdays 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Facebook: Thursdays and Fridays 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Instagram: anytime Monday through Thursday (except 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.).
10. Post about Your Community
Stay connected with what's going on in the community. Fun fact: this also helps with optimizing your local search! If there is a fair, a big movie showing, taste of the town, walks/races for a cause, post about these things to show the community that your business supports it!
Social Is Your Friend
Using social media effectively will generate more visitors, convert those into customers, delight them with more content and that's how we get a regular! The key is to make your restaurant an active presence! Following these steps will help boost your business, form regulars and ultimately, create a restaurant that will set itself apart from the competition and succeed.