Driving Social Media Success for Restaurant
Social media is a key tool for telling your story today and, if done properly, can drive traffic and recognition for your restaurant. It is also the primary way to expand your reach beyond digital and print outlets, especially to Millennials, who tend not to rely on traditional media at all but follow Instagram feeds instead.
The world of social media can seem overwhelming for a restaurateur or chef – it’s yet another thing that gets put on your already overflowing plate. Restaurateurs often ask us what social media platforms they should use. This has changed over the years as the world has moved from text based Twitter to visual media like Instagram. At this point, we recommend focusing on Instagram and Facebook, eschewing Twitter unless you have multiple outlets. More on that in a moment.
Key things to consider when doing social media for restaurants:
- Instagram is all about great images – but it doesn’t end there. You tell your story visually so not only do you have to have a “look,” you need to be consistent with your content and also tag and hashtag smartly to expand your reach.
- Your voice – how you speak to your followers is just as important as your visuals. Be pithy, be informative, be fun. Don’t be stiff or too formal. Most of all, be true to your restaurant’s story
- It’s not over when you post. You need to watch your feeds, like comments, reply to inquiries and look for ways to build your following.
Alas, poor planning and execution can turn off customers and potentially do damage to your bottom line. Successful feeds take time and investment. Make sure you hashtag smartly. If you are Japanese serving sushi use #sushi hashtags. Targeting Michelin or Eater? Tag them!
Images get results. A poorly lit cellphone photo is not going to do it. Invest in photography as it will pay dividends. Video is also increasingly important for both Facebook and Instagram. Think quick snippets of something eye-catching, interesting and/or quirky.
Engagement is the other key piece of the puzzle. If someone takes the time to comment, make sure you respond quickly. At the very least, like the comment (if appropriate). But if you can start a conversation, you may find out something you didn’t know or hopefully convert a commenter (or follower) into a customer.
Can you really skip Twitter? Twitter does have its uses, especially to get news out to a wide audience. With multiple restaurant outlets, you can market specials, promotions, events and more – Twitter can make sense (but so does Facebook). For a single restaurant with fewer resources, we recommend capitalizing on what works the best: great photos and video on Instagram, plus developing a Facebook community.
At MST Creative PR, we always strategize with our clients on their social media programs. We also run feeds. Some examples – we launched the Instagram feed for Butcher & Banker, which is now over 4,000 followers in just 3 months since opening. Last August, we re-launched the feeds for Sushi Ginza Onodera – their Instagram grew over 300% in just 6 months. How? Great photos of sushi plus photos and videos of the executive chef showcasing his personality – all of which shows how special the experience at the restaurant really is.
Social media is so important to the PR process that we include the first month management of Instagram and Facebook with every new client. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and see how we can help be part of your social media solution. And for more on our services, click here.