Not all types of businesses have adapted swiftly to the rise of social media, but the restaurant industry is one of the most successful in this new digital marketing domain. Successful restaurants use social media to establish and promote a brand. In a voice that suits the personality of the business and its customers, they post content that connects with and engages their followers, creating emotional associations in their brains which position the brand as favorable over competitors.
A great social media presence gets new customers in the door and gets current customers in more frequently! Consistency is the key. If you post consistently and keep a consistent voice throughout your posts, you’ll see your restaurant grow into a brand that your community knows and loves. Use these 5 restaurant social media post ideas to boost engagement and drive up business!
1. Ask Your Customers A Question:
Asking your customers a question is an effective way to get people thinking and talking about your brand, but don’t ask an open question and expect them to write an answer in the comments. Facebook, Twitter & Instagram Stories allow you to post a poll; this means you can ask your followers a question and let them click a button to vote for options that you designate. This is a great way to engage your customers and to find out what they want. Ask questions that people feel strongly enough about that they’d be willing to engage on a business’ social media over it. For instance, if you run a pizza restaurant, post a poll on social media asking your followers to weigh in on the controversial debate: does pineapple belong on pizza? Topics like these already have social media buzz, so it’s sure to get responses.
2. Make Use Of A Local Current Event:
The marketing industry calls this “newsjacking” and it can be very effective for restaurants. Use local news to your advantage, especially if there is an already-established hashtag being used to discuss a certain topic. Something as small as unusual weather can be used to help promote your restaurant; for example, post “join us for dinner during tomorrow’s snow storm and get a free drink!” Try to stay away from polarizing current event topics like politics and stick to the more light-hearted social media trends. Keep an eye on what’s trending and see if it can be incorporated using your brand voice. Large restaurant chains have become newsjacking experts; for example, IHOP has become well known in recent years for their hip and hilarious social media presence that rides on trending topics.
3. Spotlight An Employee:
While most of your posts should be customer-centric, it is beneficial to post about your business occasionally too, as long as it adds something positive to your brand image. Spotlighting an employee with a photo and a brief story or description not only shows who makes up your business, but it also shows that you care about the people who work for you. If the people of your company have personality, showcase it! Customers are much more drawn to the personality of a business than you’d think.
4. Encourage Social Sharing:
It can be hard for businesses to get their followers to share content on social media, but when they do, it allows the business to reach tons of potential customers that they couldn’t have otherwise. The best way to get people to share is to offer a reward! Come up with a simple deal; let’s say, buy a meal and get a free dessert. The catch is, you have to upload a photo of your meal to Instagram and caption it with a certain hashtag in order to receive the free dessert coupon. That way, you get a social share, which showcases your food to however many followers the customer has, and you get that customer to come back in again to redeem their coupon (hopefully they buy something else while they’re there). Think of other ways to encourage social sharing because it can be incredibly powerful especially if shared by popular accounts.
5. Host A Contest:
Contests are another effective post-type that boosts engagement and keeps your brand in people’s minds. One example of a social media contest that restaurants can do is a naming contest. Post a picture of a brand new menu item (try to make it something unique if not sensational) and ask your followers to give the dish a name. If you get a small amount of responses, pick your favorite and make a post congratulating the winner and/or offering them a reward. If you get a large amount of responses, pick your top 3 and run a poll, engaging your followers again to ask them to vote. Another classic contest is asking followers to guess the quantity of some object in a jar (like coins or pieces of candy) and rewarding the winner. A trick to boost reach on your contests is to also require that contestants share your original post.
Social media success is all about building upon what people already know about your restaurant. Once you get into the swing of a consistent social media post schedule, you’ll notice that your business is becoming more of a brand and people are talking about it more than they ever did in the past. Use these post ideas as inspiration for ways that you can engage and connect with your customers! If you’re interested in the idea of hiring a marketing agency to construct and manage an effective social media strategy for your restaurant, feel free to give us a call or visit our website for more information.