Social media is today’s most influential networking tool. However, sometimes managing social media marketing can feel overwhelming and almost like a second job. There is so much to learn, and right when you feel like you’ve caught up, new trends and apps emerge.
That’s because social media platforms are advancing and growing every day. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and now Tik Tok can offer your restaurant promotional content that can help you build relationships one post at a time.
The beauty of social media is that with the right tools, it can act as free marketing, leading to more customers and more revenue. Social media forever changed the restaurant industry and will continue to do so.
That is why we’ve collected some of the latest restaurant social media post ideas & tips to help guide you on this marketing journey, ranging from restaurant Facebook post ideas to Instagram, as well as the fastest-growing social media platform, TikTok.
Our complete guide for restaurant social media marketing covers key stats, content ideas tailored to each platform, and tricks to make social media easier for you.
The cost: why is it important for restaurants to be on social media?
In today’s digital age, social media has become a must-have for any restaurant that wants to stay in the food business. Nearly 89% of U.S. diners have a social media account. With this platform being so widely used, it offers immense exposure and invites potential customers to take a peek into what your restaurant is cooking up.
There’s so much competition in the food service industry, which is why having a strong online presence is essential to stay ahead of the game.
What are the best social media platforms for restaurants?
Social media has revolutionized the way restaurants market their offerings and get customers through their doors, using platforms like Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube, and more. But for those who want to get the best bang for their buck, there are three platforms that dominate the results for restaurant social media marketing; Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
Not only do all three of these platforms offer excellent customer engagement, but they also enable restaurants to effectively market and promote their menu items in an intriguing and creative way. For example, restaurants can use visuals and reels on Instagram to showcase their dishes in an intriguing way.
Restaurants can create fun, trending videos on TikTok. A study examining 700 U.S. TikTok users from MGH found that 36% of TikTok users have visited or ordered food from a restaurant after seeing a TikTok video about that restaurant, and 45% said they’d be interested in visiting a restaurant in a different state based on a TikTok video.
Additionally, more traditional updates can be posted on Facebook about upcoming events, specials, or takeout options. A study found that 75% of consumers have used Facebook to decide on what restaurant to eat at.
Foodies on Facebook
Facebook is an essential part of your restaurant’s marketing plan. Owners can post photos and updates about their restaurant and include their business hours, phone number, location, and a direct link to ordering takeout. Keeping this information up-to-date and easily accessible is important for businesses wanting to maximize visibility online – making it simple for customers to contact them.
Using Facebook for restaurant marketing is also a great way to showcase your brand. This is where you can show customers your logo, style, aesthetics, and more. Allowing you to spread brand awareness not only to current customers but potential newcomers as well.
Use these 5 tips below to optimize your Facebook marketing strategy, whether it’s organic or paid.
1. Set up your business profile correctly.
Did you fill out all the necessary profile information on your business page? Start with a full profile analysis before inputting everything into Facebook. Your profile should include the following:
- Your address
- Your hours
- The type of food you serve
- Your phone number
- Delivery/takeout specifics
- Some description of “your story” and what makes your food unique
- Mention the immediate neighborhood you are located in to help with local SEO
- A link or prompt to make a reservation
2. Include your offerings within Facebook menu.
Menus are now an available feature on Facebook! This is a free resource for restaurant owners to integrate their menu on their Business Page, allowing customers to order directly from Facebook.An important tip to consider -> ensure your online ordering is properly integrated with your in-house software so that food and drink items are automatically updated if they’re out of stock.
3. Allow customer reviews.
Allowing reviews on your page is a very important part of the decision-making process for customers. It also gives your restaurant an opportunity for growth, accepting the feedback customers give and putting it into action. In the case of a negative review, it’s beneficial to respond by easing the situation or including further evidence that clears up the misunderstanding. This will show customers and future ones that your business cares about their guests’ experience and build loyalty.
4. Keep your posting strategy simple.
The easiest way to fail at social media is never to specify what you should be posting and why. By defining post categories that are always worth tossing on your wall, you can pull from those for inspiration. Don’t get stuck in “but what should I post” land. Here are some categories you can hit on:
- Changes in hours or closures
- Specials or promotions
- Food photos
- Repost customer stories
- New chefs and employee stories
5. Play smart with paid efforts.
Restaurants can get a lot done organically on Facebook but do not expect to get very far outside of your audience on Facebook these days without paying. Split your efforts by these two avenues. View unpaid posts as a way to provide information to potential customers that find you and encourage previous ones to come back. Use paid advertising to bring brand-new people to your restaurant.
Making the most of Instagram
Restaurants have huge potential to create visually engaging content for their social media profiles, especially when it comes to Instagram. To take advantage of a larger audience, restaurants should consider using reels on their profile. Reels are making a comeback, and they are embedded into the platform’s algorithm – creating these types of post will drive engagement.
Strategizing with posts can be challenging, it’s important not to overcomplicate things or feel deterred by the algorithm – it’s all about trial and error, restaurants can find the best and most unique methods that work for them while providing interesting content to their followers.
A sure method of interaction can come from hashtags. There are over 400 million food hashtags on Instagram alone. The proper use of hashtags can increase your social engagement and impressions while also encouraging existing diners to share their own photos. Here are a few of the most popular restaurant hashtags to help boost marketing efforts:
The power of TikTok
TikTok is quickly becoming one of the most popular social media platforms, with over 1 billion monthly active users. This means it’s a great avenue for restaurants to promote their business. This can be done through videos promoting their menus, daily deals, aesthetics, and other specials that can attract potential customers to their eatery.
Marketing your restaurant on TikTok includes posting relevant food videos or sound clips that are trending on the app. Your post can go viral in an instant. Some of the top motivators for visiting a restaurant seen on TikTok from the users surveyed were:
- 72% went after seeing appetizing-looking food
- 45% went for a unique item
- 42% went because it looked like a fun place to go with friends or family
- 37% went because it displayed a cool atmosphere
The bottom line is the chances of attracting more customers increase significantly if your restaurant is active on TikTok.
8 Restaurant social media marketing tips and post ideas
Each social media platform has its own unique vibe, but the good news is that you can follow some universal tips and post ideas overall. Here are eight proven restaurant social media post ideas to fuel your success:
1. Incorporate UGC
Introducing the power of user-generated content! Real customers, real reviews, genuine engagement – all on social media. This content not only shows that you care about customers, but it helps connect and communicate their individual needs.
2. Go LIVE
The thrill of real-time engagement is here when you go live! By streaming live on social media, you’re not only engaging customers in a fun way, but you’re bringing them to your restaurant in real-time. Plus, your employees get to interact with customers on-the- spot – almost like having a virtual open house for your restaurant!
3. Team up with influencers
Partnering with social media influencers is a grand way to promote your restaurant, given that they already have a massive following. This can be done by incorporating a new dish at your eatery that an influencer may have created on their own and featuring them.
4. Create aesthetically pleasing posts
Attracting customers to your restaurant is all about creating an experience they can’t resist. One way to do this is by posting the aesthetic appeal of your business. You could post unique cocktails or an area at your eatery that’s “Insta-worthy” with a fun wallpaper – leading to UGC being shared, as mentioned above.
5. Initiate contests
There’s no denying that people love free stuff, and a contest is a sure way to engage your customers and boost your online presence. You could do an Instagram contest and give away a free entrée or drink if someone likes your post, follows your account, and tags friends in the comment section – attracting more people to your page.
6. Ride the social media wave
Keeping up with the latest trends on social media is a key factor in staying relevant and engaging. Customers don’t just crave a satisfying dining experience; they want to see eateries step out of their comfort zone and have fun on social media.
Give your customers a look at the people who give them the ultimate dining experience: the culinary staff. Show off their personalities online and recognize the hard work they put into generating success at your restaurant. Showing support for your staff demonstrates your genuine care and appreciation.
8. Go for gold
In the world of social media, the possibilities are endless. Take risks and try new things- you never know, your eatery could inspire a viral sensation. Don’t be afraid to connect with your customers online; ask them to sign up for your email marketing list to stay top of mind when they aren’t dining with you.
Mastering social media and connecting with customers
Whether your restaurant is just launching or has been a business for years, having an effective social media marketing strategy is necessary to thrive in today’s market. By integrating some of these restaurant social media ideas into your current online presence, you can create the best possible marketing plan designed to engage with customers and attract new ones.
It can be difficult to dedicate time and money to marketing efforts – however, this small investment could have very long-lasting results for your restaurant’s success. We are here to help you every step of the way on this journey, so follow us on our social media platforms below for more restaurant marketing tips on how to improve your social media game.