What is an effective social media marketing strategy for a restaurant?
Which social media platform is best? How often should you post? What type of social media content drives engagement for restaurants?
As more and more people use online delivery services and search online, I think a social media marketing strategy for a restaurant should place a big emphasis on reviews. Encourage them, solicit them, share them on social media.
You must also respond to reviews, especially the negative ones, because it shows that you care about your customers. If possible, you can offer a compensation behind the scenes if you can identify them.
Of course, first you must make sure that you are online whether it is a website, a social media page or an online listing so people can look you up.
Apart from that, all the usual rules should apply to your social media marketing strategy. Your profile, content and tone of voice should reflect your restaurant’s brand. You need to understand your target customers well enough such as which social media channel they are likely to be on, when they are likely to be searching for places to eat or order, and who influences their decisions.
All these will determine your posting times, content type and ads. Another alternative to ads that’s popular nowadays, is using social influencer. Even micro influencers with a few thousand of followers can help market your restaurant, because word of mouth is valuable for F&B outlets.
Just like any strategy, take a look at where you make your most money, then find the people who are most likely to buy in that space. Why do they come to you for that experience, and not the restaurant down the road? Or order in from Deliveroo?
Once you understand what's motivating these people to open their wallets to you, you can start working the channels which will present your best offers to them in the best possible way. At the time they're ready to buy.
I actually just recorded two videos on this on the Your Social Voice YouTube channel if you want to go check it out. The limitations of traditional businesses and then how to market traditional businesses.
From my point of view when it comes to 'traditional' businesses you need a bit of a different approach when considering social media campaigns. A restaurant for instance, you're not going to go ahead and create lead ads or get them to opt in to something and then call them up and say oh hey come down for a meal.
Awareness of your restaurant, where you are and what you provide is number 1. Great imagary to attract customers and also giving them a reason to come down. You need a great content plan so you're constantly putting out content about this and people know you're there and what you do best as a restaurant.
The next thing we suggest is the use of Facebook Messenger BOTs. Building a subscriber list to allow you to market to a list of people who are interested in your restaurant or who have been there before would work really well. One of the ways you can build a list is through a competition (that is facilitated by the BOT through your FB Page) and through this. You can also put the QR code of your FB page in store for customers to scan. This all builds you a list within the program you built the BOT on (eg: Chatfuel/ManyChat) and allows you to broadcast out to them (like you would normally via email) directly from your FB page to their messenger. With open rates on emails 20-30% and open rates on messages through messenger 90-100%, your customers/potential customers are sure to see your in store specials that you want to push out!
Hope this helps :)