A chef taking a picture of a plate of food in a kitchen with a phone

A helpful guide for restaurant social media marketing.

Social media is a must-have ingredient for running your business in a digital world, as it affects the way you connect with your audience. After all, your customers are already on social, so it’s a great place to reach them. Not only can it help expand your customer base and boost online engagement, but it can also increase your overall brand awareness. 

The question is, where do you even begin? How do you know what social media platform is best to promote your business? And how do you effectively market your restaurant on social media? Have no fear. We’ve got the guide right here to help you leverage your social media account and get even more customers through the door. 

Why social media is a powerful tool for your restaurant

Using the power of social media, you can reach hundreds, if not thousands of potential guests, driving them toward your menu and website. Plus, it’s a great way to turn followers into loyal customers. 

How?

Frequently checking or responding to customers’ comments motivates your audience to interact with you further, which boosts your brand’s reputation and leaves followers hungry for more.

Here are a few handy tips for restaurant social media marketing:

Follow the leads.

As a restaurant owner, you should be consistent on social media by interacting with your followers on your posts, or through direct messaging on a daily or weekly basis.

Post high-quality photos of food

Showcase your top, crave-worthy menu items with professional, unique images of your dishes. Try to include people in your images too where it feels natural. There’s nothing like that human connection to draw in the viewer.

Keep communication open 24/7.                    
The key to online communication is being responsive and honest with your customers, as it builds trust and encourages followers to share your content and connect with you further. When followers get the inside scoop on what’s new with your business, like menu updates, seasonal hours, or special promotions, they feel like they’re part of the experience.

Capture your menu’s best side. 

When it comes to food content on the feed, you want your dishes to look their best, so it’s important to capture quality photos that make your food look delicious. That could mean hiring a photographer, or just making sure you’re updating photos regularly and seasonally. 

Show off your food from all angles.

Videos are an excellent marketing tool because of their ability to capture the audience’s attention quickly. As a restaurateur, incorporating quick 6 to 30-second videos into your marketing strategy on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok can help bring your brand personality and vibe to life.

Want to learn more about how to take pics that pop? Check out our 8 tips for taking better food photos and how to upload them on Skip here

#ReachMoreCustomersWithHashtags
Using hashtags is a piece of cake. They’re also an easy way to spark conversation with your brand, as people will be able to find your restaurant more easily. 

When you post on social platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, you can create hashtags for all kinds of things. Use them to communicate the location of your business or complement your new promo, like #WingItToWinIt. To make the best use of hashtags, keep them relatively short and easy to remember. The more you use them, the more you’ll open the door to more customers.

For more helpful tips on raising your social media game, check out our article highlighting other restaurant social media ideas.

Monitor your social media performance.

In order to increase your brand’s reach, it’s important to know how many followers are interacting with your page. A quick way to see how well your social media posts are performing on your business account is by examining the follower growth rate, as well as tracking these top social metrics:

  • Number of followers
  • Number of impressions (# of times your content has been viewed)
  • Overall engagement and conversion (Likes and comments)

Want to learn more about how to test and evaluate your social media success? Check out our article covering important restaurant social media statistics.

Bring on the Likes: the best social media platforms for restaurants. 

  • Instagram

Instagram is a great tool for restaurants to help build their brand and increase traffic because this platform is all about beautiful photography. Instagram also makes it easy to interact with guests, who can give valuable feedback through polls and surveys. Most importantly, when you create a business account you unlock more useful data, like general analytical insights.

  • Facebook

Facebook is an excellent platform to target a slightly older audience who also enjoy the convenience of online ordering. Like Instagram, it’s important to make sure your Facebook account is set up as a local business rather than a personal account, as this will give it credibility and make your restaurant easier to find. You can also stay on top of trends by joining Facebook groups with similar restaurants in your community. 

Update your page weekly with specials and promotions. You can share links within your posts, use longer descriptions compared to Instagram, share your location, and post photos and videos.

  •  TikTok

TikTok is a great way to interact with your younger customers. An ideal platform for restaurants, you can use your food, ambiance, and customer service to showcase your brand’s personality. TikTok reels are short videos that come in handy, as they capture the attention of your followers quickly, and you can share them on other apps, like Instagram.  

You can also use your restaurant’s TikTok account as a storytelling opportunity to educate consumers about what makes you stand out from other restaurants.

Check out this article for more helpful insights about restaurant marketing strategies on various social media platforms.

Helpful FAQs:

How do I create a social media marketing plan for my restaurant?

It’s easy to make an account and start posting on social media – but creating a successful marketing campaign, or share-worthy photos that connect with your followers, requires a bit more effort. 

Here are four easy steps to help you create the best social media strategy for your business.

Set your goals

  • The most important thing is to determine your goals before starting a social media plan.. Once you define them, you can build a strategy and begin to execute.

Create a calendar and follow it:

  • After you’ve created a calendar, you can use it to schedule all your social posts. In order to have success on social, you’llwant to post at the right time and stay organized. Managing your social channels correctly will help you attract (and keep) followers.

Advertise your restaurant

  • How do you make people notice your restaurant more? Promote it, promote it, and promote it some more. Utilizing paid media (even with a smaller budget) to advertise your restaurant will get more people to know about it, they’ll see what they like online, and order the food they crave.

Check out more helpful tips to raise your restaurant’s social game.

Interact with your followers

  • Now it’s time to get the conversation going. Message your followers about seasonal promotions or specials and respond to their comments on your posts. Share their content on your Instagram or Facebook stories to inspire interaction and boost engagement. Also, it’s great to keep track of how far your posts go by monitoring their reach and shares across all platforms.

How do I choose the right social channels for my restaurant?

There is no one-size-fits-all social strategy. Each platform should be considered for its strengths, weaknesses, audiences, and goals. Though some platforms are better suited for restaurant businesses than others (like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok) you know your business best, so make sure to test out different engagement channels and see what works for you.

From driving traffic to your site, to building a rapport with potential customers, social media is a great tool to help propel your brand forward. Pick the social media platforms that make sense for your restaurant and target audience and focus on building a culture around them. A cohesive social media strategy can help you reach customers more effectively and spread the word about your brand across multiple platforms. 

And while Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram are certainly the most popular picks, don’t overlook other sites like Pinterest, YouTube, or even Snapchat — the possibilities are endless.

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