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Social strategies for effective restaurant marketing

Restaurant owners that need to attract customers to their establishment have turned to social media as part of their marketing strategy. Having an effective strategy can present and promote your restaurant to a whole new audience and entice customers to visit your restaurant. This is where going local with your marketing strategy can pay big dividends. Most people will be seeking new and interesting food outlets within their immediate area so staying within a close range can really pay off.

For a restaurant marketing strategy to be really effective there are some other things you will need to consider:

Pick your platform

Advertising your latest dishes and sharing photos of food that looks mouthwatering, will help you to tempt new patrons. For this reason, you will want to choose a social platform that supports the sharing of images and can be used to target your local market.

For many restaurant owners, Instagram is a top choice for marketing with its array of business tools and photo-sharing capabilities. A high-quality image can attract a lot of attention so make sure that any pictures you share are well lit and sharply focused to gain the most likes and reactions. It may be an idea to enlist the services of a professional photographer to get the best from your images and make sure they really pop.

Stay away from social platforms that are not focused so much on image sharing. While social media channels like Linkedin and Twitter have their place, they may not be the best option for restaurant marketing.

Add location and use hashtags

Along with its image editing features, Instagram allows precise targeting with the use of hashtags and the ability to add a location to your posts. This can help to keep your content in front of people that are within an easy traveling range of your restaurant. Once you have made your post look for the location tag and add your local area or city to your posts. People searching and living in the area will have a higher chance of seeing your content.

Hashtags can be useful too. Even though the latest Instagram directive suggests that hashtags should be limited to 3-5 per post, you can still use them to your advantage.

Using posts such as:

#vegan
#neworleans
#meatfree
#menuspecials
#bourbonstreet

will bring your posts to a highly targeted audience who are interesting in a specific menu and dietary choices.

Run special offers

An excellent way of generating interest in your business is to run competitions and giveaways. The promise of a free meal can be enough to encourage your followers to share and tag your posts, extending your reach to a wider audience. In terms of advertising cost, this is a super cheap way to advertise your business and gain more customers.

For followers that regularly check your social posts, it can be worth rewarding their loyalty with the occasional special offer or discount coupon. Followers of your social channels are more likely to remain if they know they will receive a money-saving coupon from time to time.

Be responsive

Marketing online is one thing, but for your restaurant strategy to be effective, you will need to do more than post great pictures. People want to connect with the places where they will be doing business or spending money, which means you will need to be responsive to questions and comments. Being available means that you can demonstrate a real interest in your clientele and show that you are committed to providing top-quality service.

If this is something that you don’t have time to manage yourself, then it can be worth outsourcing your account monitoring to a managed social media service. Not only can they keep an eye on engagement and respond to questions, but they can also help you to formulate a good restaurant marketing strategy and design professional on-brand graphics for you.

Enlist influencers

There are hundreds of users out there with a massive number of followers who can share and promote your content at a relatively affordable price. While this can be an effective strategy for your restaurant marketing, there are a few guidelines you will want to follow.

Choose an influencer in your local area
If you are seeking to market your restaurant in the Tampa, FL area, then an influencer in South Africa will not be of much use. You need to find someone that understands your local area and connects with people there. Food bloggers can be really helpful for this as they frequently focus on their hometown area to provide advice and reviews that their followers can use.

Make sure their content aligns with your brand
Your restaurant marketing strategy will be most effective when using influencers that align well with your brand. If you operate a steakhouse then an influencer that reviews vegetarian restaurants will not reach the right audience for your business. Check the kind of things they post and understand what their affiliations are before using their services.

Check engagement levels
While many people like to say that they are an ‘influencer’ the truth is that followers can be bought. Having a high number of followers can look impressive but it may not be enough for your restaurant marketing purposes. The real test is in the level of engagement an influencer generates. Check their feed history for likes, shares, and reactions. If your influencer has 650K followers, but each post only generates 3 like, then something is amiss.

Final words

It is important to remember that when designing a restaurant marketing strategy, anything you post will reflect your business. Unprofessional comments, poor customer service, and even low-quality photos can make you look bad, and will not encourage new customers to visit your restaurant.

Think about your social presence and the things that you want to convey via your social accounts then tailor your posts accordingly. If your artistic abilities are limited then use a designer and have graphics created for you to attract more users.

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