This week in Snackbox social media news, we hosted our very own #RestaurantWeek where we shared a wide variety of marketing tips designed to increase engagement and followers on a restaurant’s social media channels.
Running a restaurant is a challenge in itself, but has undoubtedly been more difficult for owners in the last few months. We wanted to shed light on marketing strategies and be a resource for restaurants during this unprecedented time.
Each social channel is unique
When creating social media content, it’s important to remember that each platform (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) is unique and should all be utilized differently in order to reap the benefits. Let’s take a closer look.
This social channel is great for blasting out lots of content and frequently. Because Twitter is fast-paced, it’s totally ok to share multiple pieces of content in one day.
Struggling with having a variety of content to share? Twitter polls are a great way to encourage engagement. Try setting a poll for favorite dishes, ingredients or even random viral arguments like, “Is a hotdog a sandwich?”
Don’t be scared to get clever with your Tweets and replies; users love engagement on this platform. Use popular hashtags that fit your brand voice to bring in new followers, and watch trending hashtags to engage in current conversations.
Here, you definitely want to avoid sounding too salesy. Hone in on your brand voice! Craft your content to be engaging and welcoming. Posts with video and photos typically perform better than a post with just a link. Find some good lighting to snap those product photos and show off those delicious dishes! Facebook is also a great platform for sharing links to your recent blog posts (with some text amplifying your key message). This will encourage people to visit your website, start exploring your menu and show up ready to grub.
Photos are KING on Instagram. This is the platform that people WANT to see your every meal, so restaurants are in luck. Share drool-worthy photos of your food on both your Instagram feed and in stories. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the lighting and backdrop. Be sure your styled photos stay consistent; this makes your feed look cleaner and more appealing to the eye. Branding on your feed should be subtle. Avoid posting heavy text images or images of your logo on your main feed, since the main point is to feel personal rather than like an ad. Also, watch trending memes! They’re great inspiration for a post or to share to your Instagram story to boost engagement.
This is a perfect place to post recent news coverage and for updating your audience on what’s been going on with your business. Any philanthropic work your restaurant has done plays well on LinkedIn as well as recruitment efforts to add to your team. Be sure to interact with other folks and businesses in your industry throughout the country. Strategic connections only make your LinkedIn experience better.
Google My Business
Google is one of the first places a customer will go to search for your business. Having strong reviews is key for Google. And, like LinkedIn, it’s a great place to share news coverage and any recent blog posts. Attaching an image to your news will help populate the “images” section when people are Googling your restaurant. Positive reviews and great images of food that show up in a quick internet search are a sure way to bring people in the door!
There is a national food holiday for… well, everything
Keep up with all the national food holidays each month in case you can leverage one to promote a food item or support the industry in general. Own a barbecue restaurant? National Barbecue Day is your day to go crazy on social media. Own a French food truck on National Taco Day? Sounds like a great day to invent a creative special of the day to promote
on social media. Even better, did you know you can come up with your own national holiday to promote?
Don’t forget the LTOs
Limited time offers (LTOs) are not only a great way to keep your menu fresh, but are the perfect excuse to spice up your social media. Freshen your feed by making it appealing with quality images and a full description of what your customers will get to enjoy. You can also use some social media advertising budget for LTOs to get your offerings in front of users online. Word of mouth is everything, so the more visibility you have, the higher the likelihood of customers eager to try your food!
And the winner is…
Social media contests offer a creative (and affordable) way to gain new followers and get users engaged. Find something that your restaurant is capable of offering. Whether it’s a $100 gift card or free tacos for a year, people love a good freebie. The key here is to use a quality image and create specific giveaway guidelines in your caption. Always require users to like your post and tag a friend to capitalize on exposure and drive a higher follower count.
This is an #ad
Influencer partnerships allow you to get your restaurant in front of a wider audience. Find influencers that align with your brand and pay them to promote your products and services, but make sure to screen your influencers before you choose to partner with them. In order to get the biggest return, scan their follower list to make sure influencers you select have real followers (not bots) and check that they have high engagement on their posts. These types of partnerships get your brand in front of a whole new audience.
Lights, camera, action!
Live TV features put your restaurant in front of a wide, local audience. Reach out to a local news desk with a fully composed idea of what you’d like to share or do on air. Cooking some of your featured items on air is a sure way to get foodies interested. Be sure to bring everything you’ll need to execute your dish, dress presentably in solid colors (patterns don’t play well on-air), and bring notes to ensure you hit all of your talking points. Using a PR firm, like *cough* Snackbox *cough*, is a great way to streamline this process and secure a segment that can then be amplified on social media.
Whether you are a local restaurant or operate a franchise, it’s important to show your presence in your local community. Consider giving a portion of proceeds back to a local nonprofit or sponsoring a local event. Philanthropic efforts can get your brand in front of new faces and communicate how much you care about your customers in the community.
Now, we can’t give away all the tricks up our sleeves. These marketing strategies are just the “tips” of the iceberg. Learn how Snackbox can help you make those growth plans a reality by contacting our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.