It’s no secret that social media is a great tool for marketing your restaurant—45% of diners in the U.S. say they have tried a restaurant for the first time because of a social media post. Consistently sharing your popular dishes, daily offers, or even upcoming events, keeps your menu and restaurant top-of-mind, and is an excellent way to promote your business without overtly advertising.
If building your restaurant social media marketing strategy feels somewhat intimidating, don’t fret, we’re here to help! Whether you’re not sure what to post, or have trouble making time to keep up across social platforms, this guide is a quick list of the Do’s and Don’t of restaurant social media marketing.
Setting up restaurant social media marketing
Do – Add crucial information to your restaurant’s social media profile
All the main social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) allow you to link to your restaurant’s website in the profile bio. On Facebook, you can also provide restaurant hours, link a ‘book now’ button for guests to make reservations, and manage a reviews page. The point is—the more information you can provide to your guests, the more likely they are to choose your restaurant for their next meal.
Don’t – Post menus as photos or PDFs
Your menu is the most important part of the guest journey—so make sure when you’re highlighting food items, they are clear and easy to read. Consumers can be impatient, and a PDF or JPG of a menu can be difficult to read and may drive customers away from your restaurant and your social page.
PopTip: Make sure guests can easily access your website from your social page and that your menu is easy to find and easy to read online—especially when viewing on a mobile device. Bonus points if your menu has photos and reviews under each dish!
Do – Set up a business profile
Using a business account (vs a personal one) will instantly boost your restaurant social media marketing capabilities. Many of the important tracking tools are only available through a business profile, so setting up a business profile is crucial for seeing the impact your posts have made.
Planning your restaurant social media marketing
Do – Schedule your posts
Managing your restaurant’s social media marketing can feel like a big time commitment, but even a little bit of planning goes a long way. An increase from zero posts, to 2-3 posts a week is likely to get you on guests' social feeds, and help drive them through your door. The best way to get started is to plan ahead. Set time aside once or twice a week to ideate—great posts can be anything from featured weekly specials or mouthwatering photos of fan favorites, to customer appreciation posts. Get creative and don’t be afraid to try something new!
Don’t – Overwhelm customers with too much promotion
Consumers are inundated with advertisements on social media, so it’s important to make sure your content doesn’t feel like another ad. People engage on social media for friends, family and fun—they don’t want to be reminded that you want their money. Re-wording captions to avoid call-to-actions, posting about customers, or just showing off delicious food are simple ways to engage with guests. A good posting cadence usually has a 4:1 ratio of “fun, family, friends” posts to advertising posts.
Do – Create ways to increase engagement
Part of what makes restaurant social media marketing so intimidating is the constant challenge to hit the sweet spot with “the algorithm”—a social media’s way of sorting posts in a user's feed. But, understanding how the algorithm works is simple; the more engagement your page gets, the more the platform will show you to consumers. The more you can encourage guests to like, comment, and share your posts, the better your page will do. Try giving away gift cards or merchandise and having guests 'like', comment and share the post to be entered. Asking questions is another great way to generate engagement, a simple “Who’s ready for Friday?” with mouthwatering food photos is sure to get people excited and talking about your restaurant.
Creating content for social media marketing
Do – Look at others for ideas
It can be difficult to constantly come up with new ideas for social posting, so looking at what others are doing can be a great way to come up with inspiration. Whether you’re sneaking a peek at a competitor, admiring one of your personal favorite restaurants, or checking out a business outside the restaurant industry, good ideas can come from anywhere!
Don’t – Post low quality photos
High quality content is what will keep people engaged. Remember, part of what makes restaurant social media marketing so powerful is the ability to easily share posts. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook make sharing easy, but usually guests share, post, and comment on content that they’re willing to put their name on or associate themselves with—and no one is particularly excited to put their name on a low resolution photo.
PopTip: Invest in professional photography to ensure your food is always crave-able.
Do – Post a variety of content
Visual content is always king when it comes to restaurant social media marketing. Using photos and native video will not only attract more engagements, but social platforms will boost the posts more because visual content is more relevant to social media users.
Pay attention to new features released by social platforms as well. Some recent examples would be Twitter introducing fleets or Instagram introducing reels. Social media companies spend lots of time investing in new features and want these features to be used, so they are more likely to boost content that uses new features to help drive broader feature adoption. Incorporating new tools into the variety of content you post is a sure way to get in front of more guests.
Do - Use Popmenu for your restaurant social media marketing
Popmenu is the marketing technology tool built for restaurants. Our included social media marketing tools make it easy to plan your social media strategy—so you can stay top-of-mind with guests.
Popmenu lets you connect directly to your restaurant's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google My Business accounts—so you can design, plan, publish or schedule posts directly from the Popmenu platform. Want to learn more? Connect with our team!