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If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you know that walking into a noisy kitchen of people yelling at each other is the sign of a well-oiled and healthy machine. But in the age of COVID-19, restaurant kitchens across the world are silent for the first time.

Everyone is trying to navigate through the new normal that is being displayed before us. But have no fear! We are here to help you by showing some ways social media can help your business during these trying times and beyond.

 

Why Social Media?

For one, it is the most cost effective way to get your name out to your customers. With more than 398 million posts tagged #food and 42 million with #drinks, food and beverage photos are easily some of the most popular types of content on Instagram. It’s very likely that your customers are posting with or without your interaction. 

The Pew Research Center found that 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites, showing a significant increase in the last few years. This statistic shows that social media is key to reaching large numbers of people at once, and generally at a low cost to your bottom line. Having an intentional digital strategy is important to your restaurant. It’s also important to understand the relevant social media platforms for promoting your restaurants.

 

Let’s talk about the platforms and ways to promote your restaurant using them.

1.  Create a Facebook Page

Having a Facebook page for your restaurant is a must! Facebook continues to be the most popular social media platform. Not only is it essentially the OG of social media, it is also the only platform that reaches customers with the largest age range.

If you’re just getting started on your restaurant social media accounts, make sure pertinent information like your hours and contact information can be easily accessed on your profile. The less clicks it takes to find out about your restaurant, the better. 

Here is a checklist of items to add to your Facebook page:

  • Add a Book Now button if you accept reservations
  • Upload your menu
  • Add cuisine type
  • Add services like “Good for Kids,” “Good for Groups” and “Take Out”
  • Allow Reviews (and remember to respond to them)

When posting on Facebook, include videos or images with your text. As customers scroll through their feed, the number one attention grabber is videos and images. Explore the different posting options and as always listen to what your customers want. 

You have 851×351 pixels to market your restaurant for free in your timeline image.  Carry your brand identity through all of your social media so you are easily recognizable to users and be consistent. 

Lastly, Facebook offers numerous tools to help get your social media to the next level. We recommend exploring paid advertising, it is low on cost and extremely effective.

 

2.  Tweet, Tweet

Twitter, believe it or not, is the second most popular platform. We like to think of Twitter as a micro-blogging site. With a 140 character limit, it allows you to send out some pretty lengthy tweets. But, please don’t get all Kanye on your Twitter posts. 

Twitter is great for short messages such as daily meal deals, promotions, last minute menu additions and changes, fun facts and photos, and more.

Many restaurant brands allow Twitter to let out their quirky sides. For example, when Popeye’s came out with the infamous chicken sandwich, Chick-fil-A took to Twitter to throw some shade at Popeyes. Wendy’s even added in on the fun. Customers loved it with over 300,000 likes and retweets. Now that is what you call free marketing!

 

3.  Share & Promote on Instagram

Instagram is the perfect place to advertise your menu. There is nothing like a savory picture of pizza to get those taste buds watering. Get creative with your photos by using different backgrounds and props. High-quality photos are also a must! 

Try taking your Instagram a step further by encouraging your customers to post pictures of the food and use a hashtag that you have created for your restaurant. This helps build your menu of images while increasing engagement.

Always use hashtags on Instagram. They are relevant and prevalent. Use trending and niche hashtags. Remember that statistic we mentioned at the beginning of this blog pertaining to the amount of posts with #food or #drink? You don’t have to be creative with your hashtags. Honestly, sometimes the more generic the hashtag is, the greater the audience will be.

Instagram also integrates seamlessly with Facebook, allowing an easier way to continue consistency throughout all platforms. When posting on Instagram, all you have to do is toggle the ‘Share to Facebook’ button and it will post to Instagram and Facebook simultaneously.

 

4.  Get Listed on Yelp

Yelp isn’t part of a social media platform, but it is a site that allows customers to leave and read reviews on your restaurant page. In order to keep track of your restaurant's Yelp page, you must submit your business details to prove that you are the owner. 

Once you have claimed your page, you may respond to reviews and participate in advertising. Many restaurants add their menu to their Yelp page, as they have found that customers refer to Yelp for menus.

Additionally, your users can connect their Yelp and Foursquare accounts. This enables their Foursquare check-ins to show on Yelp. It’s vital to claim your Yelp listing as it greatly helps with your local search marketing.

 

5.  Google Alerts

When 88% of people are influenced by reviews and online comments, it is essential you stay on top of your online image. Set up Google Alerts to track all customer activity of your restaurant on the internet. Google will alert you anytime your restaurant is mentioned. Whether the post is positive or negative, it’s important to respond in a timely manner.  

 

If you are looking for ways to better market your restaurant through Bite Squad, please contact your Sales Representative.