Using social media for your restaurant delivers a number of benefits. Adding it to your marketing strategy generates more engagement with your restaurant, introduces new potential customers, and can get more people in the door or ordering online.
If you are not already taking advantage of social media platforms for your restaurant, you can’t afford not to anymore. If you are already on social media, you may need to step up your game. According to the Pew Research Center, 52% of online adults use two or more social media sites. This statistic shows how many people you can reach, and at a low cost, to increase your online ordering results.
Let’s take a look at the best social media platforms and strategies for promoting your restaurant and increasing your revenue.
1. Create a Facebook Page
A Facebook page is essential for marketing your restaurant’s online ordering service. Since it continues to be the most popular social media platform, you’ll likely reach the most people here.
Carefully consider the photos you use on your Facebook page. It is a good idea to include a photo of the menu for those looking to place a togo order. Additionally, make sure your website and phone number is featured prominently, so people can find where to place an online or phone order.
Instead of just posting text, make sure to include a photo or video with each post. Visuals are better at grabbing your audience’s attention, and it’s a great way to entice them to order your food. Use a photo of the special of the day, a new menu item, or a patron enjoying their meal. You could post a short video of the chef plating a dish to get people excited about your food.
Be sure to maintain a consistent voice on your Facebook page. Deliver what your customers want to see, and don’t self-promote too much. Instead, give them useful tips, offer discounts for online order, or let them know of current promotions.
If you have some money in your marketing budget, you could try running Facebook ads that direct potential customers to your online ordering system. Entice them to click on the ad with a coupon code and a delicious-looking photo to maximize results.
2. Utilize Twitter
Take advantage of the second most popular platform, Twitter, to share short messages with your followers. Tweets are a perfect way to share daily deals, promotions, fun food facts, and photos. Again, be sure to include your website both in your profile and tweets to direct readers to your online ordering system.
If you can find what your Twitter followers like, you can benefit from them retweeting your content, which will get your site out to even more people. Take a look at what is trending on Twitter and hashtag your posts for even more people to find you.
Just like with Facebook, you can pay to get your message out to more people. Promoted tweets around mealtime is a great way to get people to your website to place online orders.
3. Create a YouTube Channel
YouTube is a perfect resource for restaurants. There are a number of types of videos you can share with your followers. Plus, you can use the videos as content to post on your other social media platforms. Some ideas for videos include:
Cooking tips and tricks
Interviews with special guests
Customer testimonial videos
Employee and chef highlights
4. Promote on Instagram
Since Instagram utilizes videos and photos, it’s a great platform to share your food and entice potential customers to order from your website. Additionally, you can integrate it with Facebook, so anytime you post on Instagram, it will show up on both platforms.
When using Instagram, be sure to use only high-quality photos. Ask your customers to tag you in their photos to increase the number of photos while encouraging engagement. Similar to Twitter, Instagram uses hashtags, so include them on your photos. You can share promotions and deals via Instagram and direct people to your website to place their order.
There are a number of social media platforms your restaurant can use to boost online orders. We’ve highlighted some of the most popular platforms in this article, but you could also look into taking advantage of Google+, Pinterest, Yelp, and more. Look into where your customers and potential customers are already interacting, and focus on those platforms first, instead of trying to gain followers on less-popular sites.
Finally, make sure your brand is consistent across all platforms. Use the same profile picture and cover photos to help increase your brand recognition. If platforms can be integrated, be sure to do so. If used correctly, social media can boost your online ordering results and increase your overall revenue with little to no hit to your marketing budget.
Rafi Cohen, a graduate of Baruch College & Brooklyn native is the Co-Founder @ Orders2me, an online ordering platform that gives restaurant owners all the features they need to grow their business in the digital age.
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We are on a mission to help local restaurants thrive in the new digital economy. Our blog is designed to give local restaurants best practices from some of the top restaurants in the world today.