The goal of any restaurant owner is to get more people through their doors. According to current statistics, 34 percent of Americans regularly visit casual dining restaurants. To be successful, you want to attract these diners away from other establishments and into your business. The best way to gain more customers is to market your restaurant.
An advanced and affordable way to advertise is to take advantage of social media when increasing your reach. If you want to use it correctly, there are a few ways to ensure that your social media efforts prove to be useful and successful.
Take Amazing Photos of Your Food
Whether you’re posting on Instagram or Facebook, you can utilize different types of social media accounts that you use as a way to advertise the food that you serve in your restaurant. Only post high-quality photos and use professional camera equipment to ensure that your followers can get an idea of how delicious the food is, whether you advertise your appetizers or desserts. Posting appetizing photos can entice customers to pay a visit to your establishment and crave the food that you’re serving each season. Post different photos throughout the week to show the versatility of your menu and keep the content interesting.
Encouraging your audience to check in or post a photo of their meal can also allow you to have more content that is diverse and intriguing from the customer’s perspective. Restaurant Engine explains, “make sure to use all the social media options you have available to you. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and various blog platforms are opportunities for you to promote your business.” Consider offering discounts to those who post an image of their meal as an incentive for customers to document their experience at the establishment.
Manage Any Online Reviews
Whether you receive reviews from your customers on Google, Yelp, or Facebook, it’s important to stay on top of the reviews to ensure that you keep your customers satisfied. Make it a point to respond to reviews that are posted. For positive reviews, thank the customer for their business and communicate that you’re glad they were happy with their experience. Any negative reviews also need attention to appease each individual. Apologize for any issues that occurred and consider offering a full refund or a discount on their next visit.
Responding to each customer’s review will show that you’re committed to providing excellent customer service. It will also increase your public perception, which is almost as important as good advertising. Podium explains, “a majority of people trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends.” They’ll also help improve your local search rankings and will make your business easy to find on search engines.
Engage with Your Audience
Engaging with your audience is necessary to ensure that you’re utilizing social media correctly and are increasing your success. Consider hosting polls that draw attention to your social media pages. You can ask your followers what their favorite type of dish is at your establishment or if there’s a certain type of drink that they want to be on the menu. Hosting contests is also a great way of attracting more customers and getting them to dine at your restaurant. You can request that you followers repost the contest and tag a few friends as a way to enter. Consider offering a free meal or a year’s worth of food to make yourself stand out online and generate plenty of buzz. You can also include various feedback options for those who frequent your restaurant like using tablets or other smart devices.
Engaging with your audience can also include offering coupons to your followers as a way to increase the size of your restaurant’s network over time. Toast explains, “many restaurants are taking the next step in encouraging customer social media engagement by offering an exclusive deal to customers who share online! Coupons like this are more likely to be shared among friends and can inadvertently increase the size of the restaurant’s network overall.” The coupons shared among friends are a great way of getting your name out on social media and attracting more business through word of mouth. Announcing specials, themed weeks, fresh food celebrations and events tied to community festivals are all great things to consider doing here.
Knowing how to utilize social media correctly is necessary to ensure that you can advertise the food that you serve at your restaurant on a consistent basis. By remaining active throughout the week and interacting with your customers, you’ll attract more business and can stand out in the industry.
Ready to start building a relationship with your diners? At The Digital Restaurant, we make it easy to build an online presence via social media. Reach out to us today to learn more about our social media marketing services.