Four Tips for Restaurant Marketing and Social Media

The marketers at the fast food chain restaurant Checkers had it right back in 2000, when they introduced the slogan “You gotta eat.”  It’s true… Americans eat an average of three meals of day, spending an average of $2,700 per household eating out annually (and often times, even more in young, urban areas like Orlando, home to our Florida advertising agency).
If you’re a restaurant marketer, it may seem daunting to try to reach these people.  But if your restaurant hasn’t invested in a social media strategy, you may be hurting you chances of success.  It’s well known to marketers that people are more likely to try out new places based on recommendations from friends, and in this social age, it’s one of the best ways to get the word out.

Our Orlando advertising agency has come up with four tasty tips to help use social media to drive people into your restaurant.

Remember, It’s Not All About the Food

Okay, so to some degree, it IS all about the food.  The goal is to drive people into your restaurant, and to increase the bottom line.  But instead of thinking about social media in terms of return on investment, it’s more important to think about it in terms of return on relationship.

Restaurant marketers can do this by offering curated content that aligns with their customers’ lifestyles.  Followers of an organic restaurant might be interested to see photos of the farms where the chefs get their produce, while fans of a quirky hot dog stand might be more interested in reading about who won the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest in Coney Island.  The key is to know your audience, and to know their interests to better cater to them.

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People are visual creatures, so show them what you’re up to

A picture’s worth a thousand words, right?  Well, if not a thousand words, then at least a bunch of comments on Instagram.  After all, why do so many people use their expensive, high-resolution smartphone cameras to take photos of the pancakes they had for brunch?  It’s because images are better for capturing and parlaying an emotion, an impulse or a feeling.

While photos of food are great, it doesn’t have to stop there.  Just offering daily inspiration through a photo of a local mural, the kitchen team high-fiving or a couple of regulars sharing cocktails is enough to keep your followers and fans interested and engaged.

Listen to your followers

Social media offers great perspective to allow restaurant owners to hear what people are saying about their brands.  With Twitter Advanced Search, Monitter and Social Mention, there’s no reason not to listen in on the conversation.  (These are great resources to help keep an eye on your competitors as well.)

While a single customer service complaint may not be anything to be up in arms about, a string of similar responses may suggest you need to tweak something.  Show your followers you care by listening to them and answering their complaints.

Get creative

Your restaurant’s social media page is your page.  Try posting your favorite recipes, things you think your customers might enjoy, or even running a contest to encourage new subscribers and Twitter followers.   With technological advances expanding by leaps and bounds, there are thousands of ways that brands use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foursquare and a variety of other platforms to help connect with larger audiences.

Just as chefs get creative with the meals they serve, a restaurant social media team can get creative with the content it serves up to its followers.  For more novel ideas on how to best expand your restaurant’s social media outreach, contact us today!

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