The keys to marketing your restaurant on social networks
Your restaurant has a presence on all social networks but still no result? Want to know the secrets of marketing on social networks to attract even more customers to your restaurant? These are fairly frequent questions from restaurant managers that have an online presence but haven’t yet felt the benefits.
While having a successful online presence depends on several factors, there are a few key points that can make a real difference when using social media as a sales tool, if you work at it patiently and regularly.
These key points include:
#1- Select your networks strategically:
Your restaurant doesn’t have to have an account on all social networks if that means you can’t use any of them correctly. It’s therefore essential to determine which communities you want to target. In addition, some social networks may correspond more to your objectives due to their various interactive mechanisms. The most frequently used social networks in the restaurant industry are:
This is the social network with the most users and which features the greatest range of ways of interacting with your customers. It’s not enough to simply have a Facebook page, fill in all the information required, and occasionally share information about your restaurant. You need to create a community. To do this, you should post a variety of content that encourages people who follow you to participate, for example, photos of dishes for your new menu, asking your customers to vote (with “likes”) for their favorites. You can also ask them to submit ideas for new creations or participate in competitions for a winning dish to be named after them. Take a look at popular UK chain Yo Sushi’s page, which features a variety of vibrant content. This restaurant chain’s marketing strategy is to attract a young audience. Its Facebook page features a range of appealing and interesting content (competitions, appealing photos, images of their strong team spirit, useful information, humor, discounts, and promotions) all with a natural tone.
This social network is normally used to publish photos and short videos of your products and services. It’s now fast becoming a great way of showing the human side of your restaurant. If you want to turn your diners into loyal customers, show them the real face of your establishment, the processes used to create your dishes, what your staff are doing, special events, etc. to show your followers that they are part of your restaurant’s family. For example, BALLS restaurant in Paris has an Instagram account that shows its close relationship with its diners, with both good taste and a clean, modern style.
This social network is perfect for attracting customers and communicating with them in real time as your events take place. It’s also a great way of attracting local workers and employees for lunch.
Because it is instant, you can use it to inform your followers about your day-to-day life and get them involved. This is exactly what chef Miquel Soria does, who always updates his followers of his movements through his Twitter account, with great results.
- Google +:
This is Google’s social network, and therefore always takes the top spot in its search engine results. So that your restaurant gets a great Google search result, it is essential to have an active Google Plus account and to regularly share relevant content with your followers. It’s also really important to include hashtags with your key words in the description of each of your posts. This will increase your visibility.
This is the largest travel community in the world. It is a fantastic way of gaining direct publicity, increasing your visibility, and attracting new customers via word of mouth in the hotel and restaurant market. Users rate you and leave a review about your business, and can also ask questions about your restaurant. You can also improve how you do things by listening to your customers and taking note of their comments.
#2- Specific posts for each network
The settings, users, and aim of each social network are different. Although it may seem easy to create a single post and share it on all your networks, this won’t necessarily always bring you great results in terms of marketing for your restaurant. For example, to see a post on your Facebook wall, sometimes people will need to sign up for an Instagram account. This will obviously generate frustration, which is counter productive. It also doesn’t make a lot of sense to share your Twitter posts on Facebook when these have a ton of hashtags.
The timing and frequency of posts will also vary for each of these networks. It’s therefore best to adapt your posts for each account and schedule different types for each network. Content management tools such as Hootsuite can also help you to do this, saving you time and achieving better results.
#3- Give your customers your full attention
A study by The Northridge Group showed that 17% of users that post questions on social networks want an immediate response while 32% of these potential customers would wait a day, and 35% would wait a week or more. So, simply by answering your customers’ questions quickly and effectively, you will make yourself stand out from the crowd and will gain an important competitive advantage. In terms of social networks, it’s best to respond to all users contributions promptly, whether they are comments, private messages. Try to set aside a specific time to check your social media so you can respond to customers. This will create confidence, reinforce your interactions, and show you are involved in your restaurant’s marketing strategy.
#4- Promote your social media accounts in your restaurant
Include your social media accounts in your decor (e.g. boards, slate signs), on the menu, or the check. This is the minimum you need to do to link your off- and online communications. You can also show your creativity by using your restaurant as a showcase for your virtual accounts. The staff at Panenka Restaurant in Madrid developed a really interesting strategy for its opening in 2014. They installed two screens that showed all their social media streams in real time, inviting their customers to participate. Just ninety days later, they had received more than a million retweets on Twitter alone. The publicity impact was enormous.
You can also offer your customers a social WiFi network, which involves providing your customers with free WiFi access in your restaurant in exchange for their data and activity on your social media. For example, if a customer wants to use your WiFi, they will first have to like your Facebook page and/or check-in to say that they are in your restaurant. You can also offer a discount in exchange for any posts, so it’s a win-win policy!
#5- Get your staff involved
Promotion begins in the restaurant. Encourage your staff to start their own accounts so they can share content from your restaurant page and actively contribute. If those working with you are fans of your restaurant, this means that you can be consistent in your publications. It’s a great way of projecting an image of great team spirit and authenticity.
Remember that the essential elements when using social media for marketing are frequency and timing. Begin by setting clear objectives for each social media account, select a strategy for continually sharing content, create a schedule for creating and posting content, responding to customers, and checking results. Are you ready to start social networking?