Social media has a great impact on every business. Even if your restaurant has a website, social media is a channel where you can contact, communicate, and engage your customers. From Facebook, to Instagram, to Twitter, or other apps, you can chose all or concentrate on just one of them. However, not all restaurants communicate in these channels as properly as they could, so as to receive a great turnout.
List of Tricks you Can Leverage to Attract More Customers into Your Restaurant
- Add an Online Reservation Widget. Even if you are not active on social media, your clients are probably looking for you there and gaining an impression by your online presence (or lack thereof). If they want to reserve a table for lunch or dinner, they would prefer to do it quickly and easily. By adding an online reservation widget to your profile, you’re providing them with a quick button to click and enjoy your services. You can also use it in all your restaurant messages and ads.
- Respond to Reviews and Comments. It is better to respond to a bad comment than to delete it or remove your review section. Every restaurant has misunderstandings, so it would be a better tactic to apologise, request an opportunity for redemption, and then prove its importance. This may allow you to save a customer as well as your restaurant’s reputation, by admitting fault and offering to resolve the situation. It is also a good trick to show appreciation for positive reviews. A good rule of thumb is to respond to reviews within 24 hours.
- Share High Quality Food Photos. No matter the platform you use, photos are the most important communication message in a restaurant’s profile. It is necessary to upload photos of restaurant meals, the environment, or the chef in the kitchen regularly. Be sure that the photos are high quality, and don‘t upload pictures bought from stock images. It is better to maintain one photo style or to use the same filter across all photos. This will make the profile look more complete and orderly.
- Use Videos. Short 30-second or 1-minute videos engage people better than any other style of content. In a video, you can tell a story, pique an appetite, or interest your customers. You can film a “welcome” message from the chef, a video showcasing your clients’ experience, or share a customer’s testimonial. Stream events, videos of the chef preparing special meals, or talk about news of your restaurant on a live video. It will help activate the fans and keep you in the loop, since live-streams leave special notifications for your followers.
- Add a Menu. Make sure that your menu is not just on your website, but on social media too. Include a link to it in your tweets and posts, so that potential customers can take action, browse for more information, and engage.
- Create Value. Special offers, contests, daily specials, and valuable content (such as recipes, chef advice, and stories about your journey) are a great way to engage customers. You can remind clients of big festivals, celebrations, and other events, so they’re enticed to visit your restaurant. You can even frame it as advice, such as: “Looking for the most romantic place on Valentine’s Day? We have candles, harp music, and great meals – everything you need to surprise your beloved!” By posting a daily special, you can invite people to come to your restaurant that day.
- Focus on Trending Topics or Themes. Jumping on topics is a great way to increase customer engagement. It can be a topic about weather, fashion, technology, food, city events, traveling, and more – but you must avoid politics and social themes. “News-jacking“ is a good way to get unfollowed, so be careful with text and context, which can sometimes call out negative replies.
- Use Hashtags. Special hashtags can help customers find you by location, special places, or keywords; for example: #restaurantinparis, #foodlondoncentre, #dinnerinmanhattan, #tastytacos. The more hashtags you use within a single post, the more likely it is your post will be exposed to a larger audience. You can also create personally branded or creative hashtags, which should be used with all your messages; for example: #foodbymood or #piccolaitalia. This method helps attain more followers, who recognize you and find all your specials within.
- Target by Geography. Targeting your customer by country, city, or interests may be very expensive, so social media lets you target people by the location of your restaurant – also known as geo-targeting. Geo-targeting reaches potential customers who traveling, living, working, or shopping near your restaurant with a limited budget. The ads work efficiently, if you post daily specials, offers, and other unique content for people in that geographic place.
- Add “Call to Actions”. Just posting is not enough. It is necessary to entice customers to communicate, posting replies to comments, tweets, or messages. Along with great photos and content, you should always add a “call to action” text; for example, ask them to try a new meal or reserve a table by clicking your special link or button.
Although each of these tricks can help you to engage your customers and increase your fans, it is always better to create a marketing plan, monitoring your posts and measuring their effectiveness. By using these tricks in conjunction with that strategy, you can validate your target segment and find out which tricks work most effectively for your restaurant’s customers.