Most likely as a restaurant owner, you know how much of an impact social media can have on your restaurant’s traffic. Adding social media to your marketing mix can hugely increase awareness about your restaurant, generate motivated engagement with your food, and get you more customers.
Below is some helpful advice to boost your restaurant following along with your restaurant traffic.
Use Key Influencers To Build Your Restaurant Brand
An influencer will help build your customer base as they are someone that your customers listen to and trust. They are great for expanding the visibility of your business in the social media world and ultimately bring you more customers.
You can find influencers several ways.
- They are following you already-so keep the look out
- Do some research by looking up specific relevant hashtags and see who pops up. Contact them directly and create an opportunity for them to market your restaurant. It’s always nice to give them an incentive
- Research similar restaurants and see which influencers they are using
Engage With Your Customers
Customer engagement is where you’ll create loyalty and a community on your page. Foster your existing relationships, engage with the people who already love your food and your service and spread their good word. Ultimately the new word-of-mouth. Let your best advocates sell your brand organically.
Contests- People love contests and free food and drinks! By rewarding your customers with free food and drinks from your bar or restaurant, you are giving them even more reasons to return. Giving away small items like a free appetizer or dessert, or even a free drink for their participation can have a big pay-off.
Respond to reviews- People love to review online, especially when they have an outstanding or horrible experience. Even more importantly, people love to read reviews when choosing a local restaurant. Pay attention to what people are saying about your restaurant on places like Facebook, Yelp and Zomato. A good rule of thumb is to respond to reviews within 24 to 48 hours. The best response for negative reviews is to apologize and request an opportunity for redemption. Every restaurant has good nights and not-so-good-nights, and you may be able to save a customer by admitting fault and offering to resolve the situation. Enhance your restaurant’s online image with a running dialogue between you and your customers.
Target Your Customers
One of the simplest ways to boost your restaurant following is to focus on local consumers, also known as geo-targeting, is an easy and effective way to improve your social media presence. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms give you the leverage to limit your audience by country, state or even city. Each social media platform has its own techniques when you want to target a specific location.
Facebook gives you the ability to geo-target by using paid ads and posts as well as unpaid status updates
Twitter’s “promoted tweet” feature enables you hone in and specifically target locations. However, there only stipulation being you must pay to promote and target your tweets.
Instagram’s targeting can be done using location-specific hashtags, e.g. #downtownla, #bbqinboston, #timessquarenyc. Research to see which hashtags are trending in your area.
Like anything trial and error is key. You need to make sure to test different audiences to zero in on the right crowd for your business. Starting out with the unpaid posts on Facebook and Instagram is highly recommended since its low cost and low risk. This will help you to find your optimal audience in your relevant locations. Then spend the $$$ to boost your posts and drive sales.
Getting your message to the right patrons in the right location is particularly true for your mobile users. You might just reach your customers as they are walking by your door!
Instagram is the most popular photo sharing platform in the social media stratosphere. Hashtags are huge on Instagram, and helps your imagery filter into the right groups. They are widely spread and significant to the usage of social media. There are three main tactics to employ when using hashtags on Instagram (or any social site).
#Trending– To increase awareness on your Instagram profile and your restaurant, be sure to be mindful of the relevant trending hashtags. For example, if it happens to be #nationalpizzaday , and your restaurant includes pizza, be sure to get on the bandwagon and post something about your delicious pizzas.
#Niche– Get found more easily by your niche market by using specific hashtags. For example, if you’re a bakery in New York, and are located in Soho, use geographic specific tags, like #sohoeats. Instagram is a mobile social site – you use it on your phone. Including a specific location in your tags can get you found by foot traffic looking to eat – and they may be just outside your door.
#YourCampaign– When running your own marketing campaign make sure to come up with a catchy # specific to your promotion. This will allow for increased engagement with your followers on your campaigns, and re-posts on their pages as well.
Remenber, all you need to do is dedicate just a few minutes to your social media presence daily to help create a loyal customer base to last your restaurant for its lifetime.
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See you next week!
Your devoted hostess,
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