Social media has proven to be hugely impactful for businesses. In fact, for some businesses, social media is where they do everything – from promoting and selling their product(s) to building a community of engaged followers!
If you’re not already using it to market your restaurant, you’re missing out on a huge audience of potential customers. When used effectively, social media is one of the best ways to connect with people and build a community. Best of all, you don’t need specialized skills or a huge budget to start – any one can do it.
In this blog, we’ll lay out the top six dos and don’ts of social media marketing to get your accounts popping, and to ensure you’re seeing the best ROI on your social-focused investments.
1. Do make sure you know your target demographic
There are so many social media platforms out there, it’s hard to know where your restaurant should be active. Knowing your target audience is the key to ensuring you aren't wasting time and effort – you’ll want to invest in platforms that you’re sure your potential customers are spending time on. For example, if you own a visually pleasing, trendy café, you’re probably looking to connect with a younger, hipper demographic; a demographic that is largely on Instagram and TikTok, as these are the best platforms for visual content consumption. On the other hand, if you run a high price point, fine dining restaurant, you’ll probably spend more of your efforts on Facebook. Your target demographic is likely to be an older audience with an income that supports fine dining, a crowd that is keen to use Facebook as it’s what they’re familiar with and know how to use.
Of course, each situation is different, and you’ll have to do a bit of research and digging to find out which social media platform, or combination of platforms, will work best for your restaurant. But knowing your target demographic will make sure you’re on a platform that reaches people who are most likely to connect with your brand.
A final tip here: once you’ve created your accounts and nailed down a target audience, make sure to promote yourself and let people know that you’re present on social media. Link your social media accounts on your website and post your handles around the restaurant to encourage visitors to follow you. (And after saying that, how could we not include a shameless plug to our own socials? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to stay updated on our newest blogs!)
2. Don’t forget to pay attention to details
Everything you post on social media will be seen by potential customers, so you’ll want to double check details and ensure you’re putting your best foot forward. Spelling and grammar should be impeccable, and your messaging clear and concise. Not only does this convey professionalism, but it builds your brand as reputable. This also means ensuring tone and voice are consistent; if you’re casual and friendly in-person and on Instagram, don’t switch to a formal personality on Facebook. Know your brand and embody it across all platforms – this makes it more likely that you’ll connect with an audience who’s aligned with your business.
3. Do post often (but not too often!)
One of the keys to social media marketing is posting enough content to keep your audience interested, without posting so much that they’re annoyed with you. Posting often shows the platform that you’re active and engaged, which helps you get ahead with the algorithm. What’s the algorithm, you ask? It’s a top-secret formula that evaluates which posts are prioritized on users’ feeds. Posts on social platforms aren’t chronological; they show up on users’ feeds based on what is popular and most relevant to them. Posting often helps to raise your score with the algorithm, ensuring your posts are pushed out more.
Try to space your posts out and mix things up – some can be more marketing-focused and promotional (e.g. announcing a new drink special), while others can be more about branding and personality. Post about team members, events, holidays, or even updates to the restaurant. These posts build a sense of community amongst your followers.
4. Don’t automatically hide negative reviews
It’s inevitable; while you try to build the best experience for your restaurant guests, you’re bound to run into a couple of negative reviews here and there. Don’t automatically delete or hide these comments; try to turn something negative into a positive. Social media is about building customer relationships and trust, so take the time to instead, respond to them with a positive, customer-focused message. For example, if a customer comments about a bad meal they had at your restaurant, apologize, and invite the customer back to give your restaurant the opportunity to do better. You might also ask them to reach out in a private message so you can continue the conversation there.
Responding to these negative reviews and comments shows other customers that you’re transparent and genuine – no business is perfect, but you’re doing your best.
5. Do respond, respond, respond!
Engaging with your customers is the best way to build relationships. Did someone comment on your post? Give their comment a response or a like – some form of acknowledgement to let them know they’re heard. It can be as simple as an emoji response! If someone tags your brand account, give their post some love, or even consider reposting to your account (with their permission, of course). Consistent engagement is another way to appease the algorithm, which will push your content up higher on other users’ feeds.
By interacting with people, you’re building trust, a sense of community, and showing that you truly care about your customers.
6. Don’t obsess over numbers
While a lot of social media seems to centre around numbers (think: follower counts, likes, and video views), don’t overthink these things. Some accounts will go so far as to buy followers and likes (something that is sure to kill your account’s engagement and reach), but how many followers you have or how many likes your photos get doesn’t matter as much as the quality of the relationships you’re building with your customers. As the saying goes, quality over quantity: you want your followers to be people that are truly interested in your brand – not an audience that was bought and doesn’t actually care about what you post.
Building brand awareness and a strong presence on social media is a long-term effort, but it pays off in the long run. Just focus on creating engaging content for your followers!
Do more with Ameego
Here’s a bonus “do”: free up time to do more by using a restaurant scheduling software!
So, social media has brought an influx of new customers to your business, and you’re so busy that you have less time to attend to things like social media. Good news: software like Ameego can save you dozens of hours of work each month, by automating and facilitating processes like:
Ameego takes care of the transactional things on your to-do list, so you can spend more time on other aspects of your business.
To learn more, speak with our team today!