Digital marketing strategists very often emphasize the importance of having a customized marketing strategy specifically personalized to meet the unique requirements of each business.
Do you own, or do marketing for, a restaurant? Do you want to know how to use social media to market your restaurant?
Well, it is a common problem that restaurants want to be engaging with their customers, they want to use social tools to get more clients walking through their doors – but they just don’t know how.
Adding social media to your marketing mix can hugely increase awareness about your restaurant, generate motivated engagement with your food, and get you more customers in your door.
Should your restaurant business, whether you are a fine dining or a casual dining establishment affect your digital marketing strategy? Well, here are some digital solutions to bring more customers to your restaurant.
WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT: YES, IT MATTERS
Let’s look at the different elements that you’ll be using in your digital marketing strategy and determine how relevant your restaurant business is in each area. Firstly, we have website creation and optimization.
Fine dining restaurant websites have different features from casual dining ones. Both restaurants will need to have basic information about each establishment like an overview of what type of restaurant they are, what they serve, maybe even provide an online menu for the customers to peruse while deciding. But once you begin designing the user interface, that’s where the difference between the two will matter.
Fine dining restaurants, more often than not, will need a reservation platform and a contact form for any queries that they will receive from potential customers. So that you can easily capture customers’ information using the same technology you use to capture leads online and compile the information in a database that the restaurant staff can access onsite when
Casual dining restaurants, meanwhile, will have an interface more similar to e-commerce like key features should cover online ordering, checkout and delivery services. You’ll need to create a secure e-commerce platform that fit in with the restaurant’s own ordering and takeout system flawlessly while ensuring that your customers’ information is secure.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FOR RESTAURANTS:
Facebook provides an incredible opportunity for dining establishments to connect with their customers. Here are some tips to use Facebook in your marketing:
1. Cover image – Make sure you take full advantage of your cover image. Include delicious photos of your food, or people having a good time enjoying a meal with friends. You could change your cover image whenever you have a menu change and market the new items or specials.
2. Use lots of photos of your food – The most shared posts on Facebook are images. You are in the business of food and food is extremely visual. Be sure to include lots of images of your food in your regular Facebook updates.
3. Exclusive offers and group deals – Post exclusive offers on your Facebook Page. Give deals to customers if they “like” your Page. Give social coupon promotions to tempt your Fans to share your deal with their friends and get those friends to become Fans of your Page too.
4. Geo-target your ads- Facebook ads let you do all kinds of very specific, niche targeting. For restaurants and diners, this is ideal. You can target your ads to be seen only by people in your particular geographic location. You can also target your ads to be seen by those with specific likes, and by those who like certain pages.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FOR RESTAURANTS:
Instagram is a hugely popular photo-sharing platform. You can use Instagram in combination with your Facebook tactics, or you can use the site on its own. Here are some guidelines for Instagram marketing on its own:
1. Use hashtags – To increase awareness about both your Instagram profile and your restaurant, include relevant trending hashtags. For example- #tastycheesypizza.
2. Photos of menu items – Instagram is a site of photos. Use this opportunity to post delicious photos of your menu items.
3. Engage with menu items – Take photos of your menu one step further – get your customers to upload their favorite items, to help build your menu of images on the platform.
4. Employee Appreciation – Take a photo of your staff working with your product or menu items. It could be a chef, a waitress, or even a busboy. Post them to your company Instagram feed, with a short description.
5. Photo Contests – If you want to gain a lot of user-generated content (UGC), set up a photo contest on Instagram. A photo contest can motivate your customers to engage with you, your menu items and your restaurant. They can generate a lot of customer loyalty, as someone who takes a photo and submits it in your contest will care if they win or not. They will likely think about that photo, your menu item, and your restaurant for at least a little bit of time.
RESTAURANT REVIEWS: IMPORTANT FOR ALL
It is so important to have good reviews of your restaurants. Because customers mostly rely on good reviews before trying new items and going to the restaurants. This is the part of your digital marketing strategy that you do not have full control over, but you can attract your audience by promoting the listings on your social media, on your website and in your restaurant itself with signs and flyers.
Just how important review for your restaurant marketing strategy? In research, shows that out of all industries, consumers read restaurant reviews more than anything and 84% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as they would word-of-mouth.
DIGITAL MARKETING WILL HELP YOUR BUSINESS GROW
It is time to take advantage of huge reach and visual appeal of digital media. Watch your audience grow, your reservation rates soar, and the positive reviews flood in when you invest in digital marketing for your restaurant.