Why Social Media?
Restaurant social media gives you an instant direct line to people who are potentially interested in your business.
A whirlwind introduction to social media
Restaurant social media is now an essential part of your businesses marketing strategy. Three to five years ago it was still arguable as to whether it was worth it. Our view is that nowadays it’s an essential part of your hospitality armoury, and that there is a 100% tangible return on investment. Success in social media comes down to your ability to maintain momentum as consistency is key.
45% of diners will dine at a restaurant because of what they see on social media.
Here is our introductory setup and users guide.
1. Get the right social handles.
Make sure you have the best possible social media handles or names – and try and get the same ones across the three key networks. This can often be a challenge as a lot of names have already been taken, and there are different character counts for different platforms. We suggest you use all three networks as different age groups and demographics use different platforms; this way you are definitely ticking all the boxes.
Keep it simple and, where you can, make sure your social handle profile expresses what your business does. For example, @Backbeat_123 conveys little whereas @Backbeat_bar_diner conveys a lot.
2. Populate your social media accounts
Perception or tone is the key here, you only have one chance to make a first impression so make sure you take your time. Don’t try and manage your social media posting between split shifts. Instead, allocate a half-day for doing your marketing set up, the time invested will be worth it.
Our advice is to take your time when it comes to writing about your business. Use all of the three channels and use the word count for each platform wisely. You need to convey a straightforward and consistent message, communicating the prime features of your venue. Make sure the images or icons that you use are clear and attractive as they need to look great on mobile, tablet and desktop.
All social media accounts must also link to a good looking responsive website. The website will help ‘create the dream and set the scene’ (marketing jargon); without it, you are not conveying the complete experience to the potential customer. For example, if an Instagram user likes your Instagram post, clicks on your profile and there is no website – then it is unlikely they will be interested in pursuing your business further (at least one lost opportunity and they may tell their friends). Having an out of date or slow website is also just as bad as none at all.
Our top tips when looking at setting up a website are to look at ‘off the shelf’ websites via Theme Forest, which is inexpensive, and use a content management system called WordPress. Alternatively, you can use other basic systems like Squarespace. Obviously, the challenge here is that you have to do everything yourself and if it’s not your primary job, chances are you’ll let it slip. The alternative is to get a good web developer to guide you through it and they can do any complicated bits. This way you are saving some money by doing a bit yourself without having to train in an entirely new career.
4. You Deserve the Best Possible Photography
With points 1 to 3 in mind, it would be fair to say that every picture presented on social media for your business needs to look as good as possible.
Invest in a good food photography so you can build a library of stunning images to use on an ongoing basis. In the first instance make sure you get the following types of pictures so you have plenty covered.
- Inside and outside the venue
- Pictures of the team: front of house, kitchen, management. Action shots can be more interesting (pouring, mixing, slicing, dancing..) and it is nice if people smile. You want the set the scene of what customers can expect if they come to your establishment.
- Pictures of the dishes : six to eight will do to start with and a mix of starters mains and desserts.
- Behind the scenes pictures: baking bread, chef using the grill, plating up at the pass.
5. The Top Three
Facebook is like another shop front for you where you can feature your opening hours, your website address, your location and you can continually add new menus, promotions, competitions, photos and you can set the scene as to what’s happening in your business.
Top Tips. Post at least three to five times a week with a picture per post and include links to your website where you can. Invite all your friends to like your post, research sponsored posts as this may give you a leg up.
Instagram is the fastest growing social network driven by beautiful photos and plenty of hashtags. It is a perfect way to draw people in, as customers will be hooked by all the mouth-watering plates of food, your behind the scenes footage and all your exciting Insta stories.
Top Tips. Post an Insta story a day so your brand awareness is consistent. Post five to seven times a week into your Instagram feed. Use three to five hashtags only and make sure they specific to your business. Use popular (location-driven) hashtags too like #Brightonfood #RestaurantsBrighton.
Twitter. Twitter is a very important restaurant social media network as it communicates with a more local audience and works very well the more active you are in using it. Here you can get many enquiries or customer service requests and you can turn these into bookings. Be aware that, as with all networks, your business can be readily exposed when things don’t go right; but criticism on social media can be a good thing, encouraging you to polish your service and delivery.
Top Tips. Be active or you will lose your audience. Post twice daily.