Social Media 101 for Restaurants

Online interaction is changing the way people live. Social media continues to skyrocket with more and more people using the outlets to conveniently connect with both individuals and companies. In fact, 9 out of 10 restaurants are using social media in order to form relationships with various communities. It’s easy to sign up, but how do restaurants make the most out of their social media platforms? Use these tips to help your restaurant dominate social media channels.

1. Determine what social media to use

This may seem simple, but utilizing the correct social media outlet can help restaurants hit the right target audiences. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are a few popular options that people of all ages are using, but restaurants need to determine what they want their audience to take away from their posts. Do you want people to drool over pictures of your food? Or do you want your social media to inform people about your upcoming spring specials? Set goals for your social media pages to get the most out of the free resources.

2. Share your brand

Social media offers the perfect opportunity to tell your consumers what your establishment is all about. Start sharing your company’s values to pull people to your restaurant. Social media can serve as a first impression to many guests that do research before determining where to eat. Restaurants using social networking can position themselves however they please by choosing what they want to emphasize about their restaurant, such as health or how they prepare their food. Take your social media page a step further by sharing articles and tips that relate back to your restaurant’s beliefs or ideals. This demonstrates to customers you are interested in more than just self-promotion and eliminates the chance of them tuning you out.

3. Interaction is key

Social media is ideal for forming relationships with both new and returning guests. This can be as simple as saying thank you after gaining a follower or returning a like. Try asking questions to your audiences to heighten engagement and develop a more genuine relationship. Having a social media presence gives a corporation a personality and makes them easier to relate to. People will establish an emotional connection with your restaurant instead of looking at it as a place that solely wants to make a profit. Designate someone to be in charge of social media operations so guests are constantly receiving updates and real-time responses.

Unfortunately, not all comments on social media are positive. People may turn to social media to address a concern or express a negative feeling. On the plus side, social media allows restaurants to address these issues in a timely manor and make the situation right again. Be brief in your response without placing blame on the consumer. Instead, take the comments as insight into the consumer’s mind and use what the customer has said as an opportunity to make improvements. When deciding what to respond, keep in mind that others are able to see how the situation was taken care of.

4. Promote yourself

Social media = an opportunity for free promotion. Your restaurant is able to share whatever information they want to bring people through their doors. This can include new deals, updates or features that the consumer may not know about until they visited your establishment. It can give customers a “behind the scenes” look of the restaurant and spark their interest. Utilize hyperlinks that allow customers to easily navigate to different pages that may hold more information.

The two-way communication aspect of social media allows for audiences to promote you as well. Restaurants can now witness who is recommending their establishment to their friends. Having a social media page helps people easily advertise your restaurant, growing your audience base.

5. Analyze your responses

Social media can serve as a free analyzing tool. Keep track of what your consumers like or retweet. Restaurants can find patterns and discover what consumers want or are talking about. Pay attention to time of day that the most popular posts are published. You can find out when your audiences are most lively and most likely to see your activity.