Building a Social Media Presence for Your Restaurant

 Social Media Presence

It requires a strong social media presence to make your restaurant succeed in today's business climate. Today's smart restaurant owners use social media to build a strong online presence that customers value. That establishes brand loyalty with existing customers and attracts new customers that help build the business.

Social media marketing campaigns offer restaurants an opportunity to promote and sell additional products and services. They raise awareness of their catering services, offer branded merchandise and gift certificates, and announce special events. By far, the largest and most influential social media site for your business is Facebook, which has more than 2 billion users around the globe.

But several other sites can be just as influential in building your business on the local level. Those options include Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, Yelp, Foursquare, StumbleUpon, Instagram, and others. By using some of them (no one can be effective on all platforms, so choose 2-3 that work best for you), they provide ways to measure interest in your posts. 

There are four factors in a successful social media marketing campaign: 

  • Audience
  • Message
  • Concept
  • Competition 

Getting each of these areas right will help you achieve your goal of keeping and attracting new customers. Here are some suggestions to make that a reality:

Identify Your Audience

The first step in planning a social marketing campaign is deciding who you are trying to reach. It takes an entirely different approach to reach the business lunch as opposed to the after-work/happy hour contingent or the weekend families & summer tourists contingent. Your message depends largely on the group you are targeting.

Target Your Message

If you're talking to the lunch crowd, posting daily specials and delivery schedules on weekdays would be ideal. That is why proprietors in the food truck business rely on social media to alert their customers to where they will be at what time each day. 

 

If you are looking to increase your weekend business, step up your postings on Fridays and through the weekend. Above all else, think creatively.

Social media is as much about entertainment as information. You can offer recipes from your chef or bartender, videos and photos of happenings in the neighborhood, or posts about upcoming local events.

Stay True to Your Concept

If you are a hip and trendy bar seeking to attract a young & active clientele, the messages you create should be ... hip and trendy. If your audience is older, don't try to keep up with the latest lingo, music, trends, and decorations. Your patrons may decide your restaurant is too hip and trendy for their tastes, and seek another place to drink and dine.

Your tone and vocabulary should reflect the kind of crowd you want to attract. In any case, posts or tweets about your restaurant should have a casual, friendly tone, and contain information pertinent to the audience.

Check Out the Competition

It is essential to know what social sites your fellow restaurants are using and what type of content they are providing. Follow their posts, tweets, and pins, and you may find some useful techniques to employ in your own social media campaign. You may also find useful opportunities for collaboration, such as restaurant week events or community fundraisers.