Use Social Media to Boost Your Restaurant’s Online Presence
If you want to attract more customers to your restaurant, social media is one of your best tools. When people are thinking about trying a new bar, restaurant, or club, the first thing they do is go online and look it up on Facebook, Google, or Yelp. They want to see a description, photos, and, hopefully, positive reviews. It’s now essential for restaurants to have a strong social media presence. Here are some suggestions to attract more customers with social media.
Facebook -You can’t overlook Facebook, the largest social media site of all. It’s easy to put up a page but the real challenge is staying active. Try to post every day, even if it’s just a quick photo or mentioning the day’s special. You might also use Facebook Live to showcase special events such as live music, karaoke or happy hours. When viewers see how much fun everyone is having, they’ll want to stop by as well.
Instagram – Use Instagram to share photos of your restaurant. Highlight some delicious looking entrée or dessert. Temp followers with pictures of exotic cocktails. It’s also helpful to post attractive photos of scenery, animals, and people. For example, if you’re on a beautiful Hawaiian island, upload photos and entice your Instagram followers to visit.
Twitter – It only takes a minute or less to compose a tweet. Twitter is great for promoting daily specials. Sharing photos helps you get more attention. As with Instagram, it’s beneficial to promote your surroundings as well as your restaurant. This is especially true if you’re in an area that attracts tourists.
Yelp – Reviews are now crucial for restaurants. Many prospective customers will head straight for Yelp before trying a new restaurant. If they’re on vacation, they may do their research from thousands of miles away. Do everything possible to encourage customers to post reviews on Yelp and other review sites. Make sure you add your business on Yelp. Optimize your pages with photos of your restaurant and all relevant information, such as location, hours, and the type of food you serve.
Trip Advisor – Another popular review site for restaurants is Trip Advisor. This site is especially important for restaurants in areas that depend largely on tourist traffic, such as Hawaii. Many travelers use this site to plan many aspects of their trip, including hotels, attractions, and places to eat. Trip Advisor offers cards and other tools to help you get more reviews.
How to Get More Reviews
To get customers to leave reviews, you want to gently encourage them without being too aggressive about it. Never offer rewards in exchange for reviews, as this violates the TOS of review sites and will get your listing removed. People also don’t like a heavy-handed approach. Hang a sign near the register and a short notice in your menu. Rather than outright asking for a review, you might say “Find us on Yelp/Trip Advisor.”
Tips For an Effective Social Media Strategy
Most of your customers are probably on multiple social media sites. Here are some tips to keep in mind to get the most out of your efforts.
- Automate your tasks. When you take a photo, upload it to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at the same time to save time. There are also automation tools that let you post to several sites at once.
- Engage with your followers. Always answer questions and comments.
- Hold contests. Give winners meals, entrées or cocktails with social media contests. Contests on Facebook and other sites is a good way to get people to share your posts.
- Blog regularly. Your blog is one of the best places to promote your restaurant as well as your social media pages.
- Offer coupons. You might use an app for creating coupons. Or just tell people to mention that they saw your post on Twitter, Facebook, or another site for a discount.