Best Social Media Practices for Restaurants

Here are five best social media practices that will help your restaurant take marketing to the next level.

Today, customers check for positive online reviews and appealing food pictures on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, before deciding where to eat. As such, social media provides a lucrative opportunity for restaurants to engage with current customers and reel in new ones (maybe that’s why they’re called Instagram Reels!). Here are five best social media practices that will help your restaurant take marketing to the next level:

Share Behind-the-Scenes Content

A great way to set your business apart from other restaurants is sharing personal content that will interest your audience. Try showcasing the fresh produce you use in the kitchen or how you put the finishing touches on the most popular dishes with short 10-15 second clips. If you lack the equipment or expertise of filming an appealing video, consider inviting a food blogger with an existing social media presence to help you build a sense of community with your followers. 

Highlight Chefs, Bartenders, Servers, etc

Not only does helping your customers get to know your employees increase customer loyalty, it can also make your employees feel more valued and thus increase worker productivity and retention. An effective way of spotlighting employees is allowing an employee to “takeover” posting for a day, giving customers a chance to see the day-to-day operations of the restaurant. Other creative steps to attract customers include conducting Q&As to reveal employees’ favorite menu items or creating an employee of the month title to recognize your workforce’s specific talents.

Participate in TikTok/Reels Trends

A survey by marketing agency MGH revealed that 55% of users visited a restaurant after seeing its appetizing food on TikTok. TikTok videos and Instagram Reels allow their users to build a brand personality through short-form content at little to no cost. The algorithms of these platforms mean that adding trendy sounds to your food clips and commenting on or copying viral videos can increase your following significantly. The location tagging feature on Reels and TikTok also benefits restaurants as more and more people are searching for local businesses to support. Simply tag your restaurant’s location when you post to show up in more restaurant searches!

Actively Engage with Commenters

The comment sections across social media platforms lend an opportunity to cultivate a strong relationship with your customers by offering them high-quality service in and outside of your physical location. If a customer posts pictures from your restaurant, show your appreciation by resharing the free user-generated content to your page. You should also consistently respond to positive and negative comments, to show that you value your customers’ attention and feedback. 

Run a Gift Card Giveaway 

Gamifying promotions is an excellent way to drive engagement on your social media. It’s common to use gift cards as incentives to participate and rules like requiring participants to repost your giveaway or comment on their favorite menu from your business. To maximize your reach, have participants tag three of their followers who would also enjoy the gift card. It’s important to reach beyond your followers who likely belong to your current customer base because according to FSR magazine, 40% of consumers say gift cards encourage them to try places they’ve never visited before. 

Showcase Your Community Involvement

Let your followers know that your restaurant is not just a transactional business to get food, but also a place built into the identities of people in your community by posting about your charitable donations or events. Data from the 2020 5WPR Consumer Culture Report shows that 67% of millennials say it’s important to them that a brand they are purchasing from has a charitable component. 

Restaurants can give back to their communities by partnering with the GiftAMeal program, which provides a meal to someone in need on behalf of the restaurant, whenever a guest posts a picture of their meal there. Restaurant partners of GiftAMeal benefit from being given engaging content to post on social media and a cause that gets customers talking and posting about the restaurant.

Impact your community,
Impact your business

Book a no-obligation demo today and see how GiftAMeal can make your customers feel like heroes -- just for choosing your restaurant.

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