When marketing your restaurant, you may treat social media as an afterthought. After all, does having a Facebook page or Pinterest account really matter when it comes to attracting new guests?
In short, the answer is a clear yes. Social media, when done correctly, can play a significant part in helping you grow awareness of your restaurant in the area. The key, of course, is to take a strategic approach to marketing. Here are 4 reasons a social media strategy is vital to the success of your restaurant.
1. Reach your audience where they spend their time
Social media has long moved beyond a fad that only a defined audience uses. Today, 78% of the United States population has a social media profile. More than 200 million people hop on Facebook or other networks for almost two hours every day to engage and interact with friends and family.
Through a strategic social media presence, you can become a part of that conversation. By creating relevant content for your target audience, you begin to establish yourself as a resource worth following. Sooner or later, your restaurant becomes a natural part of your guests’ social media feeds anytime they log in.
Through your social media presence, you can share visuals and attract guests to your restaurant.
2. Create a visual presence of your restaurant online
We’re visual beings. Research has long shown that if we have the choice between reading content and viewing the same content in a visual format, we will choose the latter every time. Through social media, you have a unique opportunity to take advantage of this tendency.
Restaurants have plenty of content to share on a regular basis. Pictures of meals, full dining rooms, desert tables, and outside space on a summer day all lend themselves to making your restaurant look attractive. Through your social media presence, you can share these visuals and attract guests to your restaurant.
3. Allow guests to share their experiences
A major benefit of social media is in its name. Rather than being limited to a one-way communication channel, Twitter, Instagram, and other networks allow your guests to have a voice and share their thoughts about their experience at your restaurant.
Through a social media presence (and a social listening strategy), you can jump into these conversations and further broaden your reach. Not everything your guests share about your restaurant will be positive. But even for the occasional negative comment, wouldn’t you prefer to know about it and be able to address it?
By their nature, social media networks are more intimate and personal than print ads or other traditional promotions would be.
4. Offer a glimpse behind the scenes
Finally, don’t underestimate another benefit of a social media strategy for your restaurant: it’s ability to go beyond the types of messages that other marketing channels have to offer. By their nature, social media networks are more intimate and personal than print ads or other traditional promotions would be. If you approach social media strategically, you can take advantage of that expectation.
The most natural way to endear yourself to your audience on social media is to share content that offers a glimpse behind the scenes of your restaurant. Who are your chefs? What’s their favorite meal to cook, and how do they cook it? What does your kitchen actually look like? If your social presence can answer these types of questions, you’re well on your way to executing a strategy that promotes both first-time and return visits to your restaurant.
In short, social media can and should be a core part of your digital efforts. The above-mentioned points are just some of the benefits it offers. As long as you understand both your audience and the medium in which you operate, you can take advantage of its benefits to strategically reach out to potential visitors and grow your restaurant.
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