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  • Writer's pictureAndy Gahan

Social Media for Restaurants

Social Media Marketing Plan for Restaurants

Here are my Top 12 Social Media tips for Restaurants which can be started now!

1. Foodie Photos

One of the very best way to promote your restaurant online is with high-quality, drool-inducing photos. Visual content is in high demand online these days, and having delicious looking photos on your website and across various social media outlets is essential for drawing hungry eyes.

If you’ve ever logged onto Instagram, you’ll understand that food porn is alive and well. We can communicate with all social media streams with this technique.

You can spend time in the restaurant taking the photos yourself and adding descriptions, or you can send the photos to someone like The Pixel Bullies, where, we can edit them, make them look even better and then schedule posts to all your social media accounts.

2. Populate Your Google+ Account

Setting up your restaurant’s Google+ account is very important as Google+ is Google's search engine, which it undoubtedly gives preferential treatment to.

When you search a business within Google. Google's Knowledge Graph provides the business’s details in the sidebar. Google’s Knowledge Graph gathers a large chunk of its info from Google+, so having your business set up on Google+ is a huge bonus, as having your restaurant appear via Google’s Knowledge Graph allows for more prime search real estate (for free)!

3. Populate Instagram account

Having a strong Instagram presence is another 'too important to ignore' restaurant marketing tip.

There may already be a number of posts on Instagram about #YourPlace - so let's maximise the effect on these by building up the Instagram account and setting some #hashtags up for fans to use.

4. Send Out an Email Newsletter

Remember, your restaurant newsletter doesn’t have to be weekly – in fact, users will probably appreciate a less flooded inbox if you simply send them a newsletter every month or so.

Use your email newsletter as a chance to celebrate your success, discuss new menu items, or share special discounts. I will provide templates and help with the data collection.

5. Promote User-Generated Content

User Generated Content (UGC) is a great way to develop personal and intimate engagement with users. Host a photo contest by asking customers to share their favourite meal at your establishment, and share the entries on a dedicated content page, Social Networks, On the wall in the restaurant (in a frame). Consider awarding some random lucky contestants with a free appetizer or other prize!

Hosting and promoting user-generated content shows customers that you appreciate them, turning occasional visitors into die-hard devotees. Plus they will love seeing themselves on the wall when they visit.

6. Show Off Your Staff

Happy staff make great food. You can capitalise on this by having chef signature dishes or you can make short videos to share on your Social Media channels.

Showing off your pleasant employees also provides major reputation points – happy workers say a lot about a business, and fans are sure to take notice.

7. Set-up Google Alerts

Google Alerts notify you when your business name (or other designated keyword term) appears in a new piece of content on the web! This makes it easy to keep tabs on who is talking about you and your accolades.

8. Start a Blog

Starting your own blog is a great way to build community and engage with your customers. Blogs offer the chance to experiment with your restaurant’s voice and personality. Share your successes and struggles, funny stories, recipes, and anything else you think might interest your customers. You can use the blog as the focal point of the website where people can sign in. Then use blog posts for all the other social media posts and data mine the sigh-up for the newsletter.

9. Time the Tweets

Twitter can be a true treasure for restaurants, and timing your tweets can have a big influence on hungry stomachs. Schedule your social media posts with Hootsuite, or get an expert to do this for you, so you never have to worry about the timing of a tweet or Facebook post again. Posting when hungry people finish work is essential - not first thing in the morning - unless you serve breafasts!

10. Partner Up With Delivery Services

In today’s online-driven environment, ease of use is the name of the game. Many online delivery services streamline the ordering process, and internet-savvy patrons often love taking advantage of such delivery services.

11. Fish Bowl Business Card Giveaways

Let customers drop their business cards into a bowl for a raffle. The reward can vary – a meal for the winner and 4 friends, a 2-hour happy hour with discounted drinks, whatever you feel like!

Not only are these raffles fun, but you can also make use of those business cards by emailing customers. Let them know that while they didn’t win this time, they can sign up for your newsletter to be notified of their next chance to enter, plus the opportunity to hear about discounts and other offers they’d enjoy. Then ta-dah – you’ve got yourself a bunch of super valuable new newsletter subscribers! Have a special place in the restaurant for photos of the winners so customers can see that it is real.

12. Analytics

We recommend that you start to adopt all of these marketing techniques and we can help you with this. Each month we can review what's working and what's not, make changes and continually improve.

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