Here are some of the top benefits of using social media For Restaurants

Although it has been around for a while, Social Media Marketing is still often overlooked by many restaurateurs. Many of the clients we work with worry that they do not have the resources (staff, time, or money) to be successful with Social Media Marketing, while others simply don’t see the benefit. After learning about the benefits, we find most of our clients find that they actually do have the resources. So let’s take a look at these advantages and some best practices for social media marketing for restaurants.

INCREASED AWARENESS Customer journeys begin with awareness, and social media can play a big role in increasing awareness of your restaurant. These days, almost everyone is on at least one social network. For example, Facebook is now the largest digital community in the world, with over two billion users. For advertisers and marketers, social media is a gold mine for connecting audiences to businesses, services, and products. Here are some ways you can increase awareness.

Highly targeted, highly measurable ads As a restaurant owner, you can run an ad on Facebook targeting specific age groups, geographic locations, interests, and other demographics. Restaurants can promote specials, launch new menu items, and promote their offerings in a meaningful and effective way to the audience who would be the most receptive to their messaging at the time. While Facebook may be the biggest player in the social media game, there are also advertising benefits for business owners on Yelp, Zomato, and other restaurant-specific platforms.

Show Off Your Food, Or Encourage Others to Do So The restaurant and foodie industry is quite fortunate because, on social media, they’ve become swept up in a phenomenon known as “food porn.” What started as some food-enthusiasts on Instagram taking photographs of their food at various restaurants, has now become one of the most popular types of user-generated content. In fact, it’s the 55th most used hashtag on Instagram, according to ShortStack. From a business owner’s perspective, what’s better than having your guests and customers create content based on your products and services, and sharing them with their audience? Here is where restaurant operators can share, engage with customers who produce content, and cross-pollinate with their own social media networks for the greatest benefit. In this way, you can create brand ambassadors – for free. There are always sponsorships and influencer marketing to pursue, of course. For some extra guidance on how to encourage your customers to Instagram your food, check out this great post by ezCater called Restaurant Marketing Ideas: 5 Ways to Create #InstagramReady Catering.

CONSIDERATION During the consideration stage, customers are considering whether or not your restaurant is worth going to. This is not a phase where you want to overwhelm people with calls-to-action or try to push a sale. Here are some tips to take into account while you create a situation that is inviting and appealing to your future customers.

Share the Experience Social Media Marketing gives you an unprecedented opportunity to share your restaurant experience with others. Show off your establishment’s highlights. If you host special events, anniversaries or celebrations, show pictures and/or video from these events.

LOYALTY If you give your customers an excellent experience, make them feel welcome, and provide a high-quality service, they are more likely to become loyal fans. This isn't rocket science, but it's super important. Here are a few ways to keep your fans in the loop and to create touchpoints that will engage them to return. Here are a few simple ways to achieve this:

  • Email newsletters
  • Social media
  • Sending them a special offer
  • Thank you/ Birthday messages
  • Just checking in with them
  • Regardless of what you choose to do, always show them that they're important, and they are remembered.

An extension of customer service While many people might comment, or give a negative review of a restaurant in person and on-site, these days, it’s prevalent for a customer to express their pleasure or displeasure online. They may take to social media to give a rundown of their experience, making their comments visible to everyone else. Doesn’t sound very nice, right? Actually, it’s your opportunity to provide excellent customer service, show them you care, and hopefully turn a hater into a brand advocate! According to Brightlocal, 95% of unhappy customers return to your business if you can resolve their issue quickly and efficiently. Not only will it demonstrate your concerns regarding the customer's experience, but your response will also be visible to other people who follow the page. In other words, the public will have the ability to listen to the conversation and see that you made your best efforts to remedy the situation. For a detailed guide of all the online criticism you may expect as a restaurant owner or operator, please see our blog here.

Provide value to your audience Social media is an opportunity for your restaurant to host contests, showcase employees, highlight company news, involvement with charities and community events, and bring the human element to your brand. Make sure your profiles are up to date, that you answer questions, and provide value to your customers. Developing your social media profiles will over time, give your restaurant creditability and will be a powerful extension of your business.

Social media can be a useful tool for gaining real-world business results, but to do so, you must understand how, when, and which tools to wield. At Absolute Marketing Solutions, we have experience launching award-winning social media campaigns for restaurants and elevating their brand message to their audiences. If you want to increase engagement with your audience, improve brand loyalty, and turn your critics into your advocates, contact the team at Absolute Marketing Solutions today. We can assess your social media marketing efforts to date, and provide a comprehensive strategy for your restaurant’s future. Fill out our form below and start working with us today.

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