Whether or not your restaurant is active on social media, your customers are most certainly tweeting, posting, and ‘gramming about your restaurant online.
Meeting your customers (and prospective customers) where they are on social media is cheaper than direct mail and can pay dividends IRL (in real life) with foot traffic and customer retention.
Follow these 7 steps to a winning social media strategy:
- If you’re already on social media, determine what channel is delivering the most ROI (return on investment) for your time? There are 3 metrics you can look at to determine this:
- Follower count
- Engagement rate (what is the average number of engagements your posts receive, divided by the average reach or number of impressions per post)
- If your Facebook page is steadily gaining followers with minimal effort, but your Instagram is a ghost town despite a lot of time selecting the #perf filter, it’s time to devote your precious energy to one channel. After all, you’ve got a business to run!
- If you’re not already on social media, we recommend starting with Facebook because their sweet and simple OpenTable integration is pretty useful for restaurants.
- Create good content for your page. What’s good content?
- Content that your followers will find interesting, engaging, and useful
- Content that sparks attention
- Content that invites followers to interact (Leave a comment with your favorite menu item!)
- Create time in your calendar to plan and schedule 3-4 posts for the week. If you’re using a Facebook page account, you can create posts and schedule them ahead of time using the scheduling tool. If you’re using Twitter or Instagram, we really like using Later. Here are 3 posts you’ll want to include in your weekly plan:
- Mouth-watering images of your food
- Info about what’s going on at your restaurant: daily specials, happy hour, and events
- Info about the surrounding area – becoming a community resource is a great way to attract attention and eyeballs to your Facebook page, which can lead to foot traffic in your restaurant.
- Take the time to make sure your restaurant details are correct on your page – your address, website address, phone number, and hours.
- Commit to creating quality content and to posting regularly for 2 months.
- After 2 months, re-evaluate. Did you increase your engagement rate and follower count? If not, switch it up by posting more of the content that got the most engagements. Maybe your followers didn’t really engage with pictures of your food, but your happy hour menu got lots of shares and likes. Just like cooking the perfect dish, finding a social strategy that works will require a little bit of experimentation.