In a previous article, we discussed why it is critical for businesses to have a social media presence. Restaurants, by any means, are no exceptions. It is of great importance not only to have a social media presence but also have an effective social media strategy for restaurants if they want to grow their businesses at the best possible pace. There are different kinds of restaurant, each with their own suitable strategy. We’re going to explore why an effective strategy is useful, how to make the most of it and what it can do for your restaurant.


Why be on social media?

It’s actually no longer “Why be on social media?”. More accurately, now it’s about “Can you afford not being on social media?”. According to Marketing Charts, 41 percent of businesses already depend on social media to drive revenue. (Restaurants make up a big portion of that statistic). According to another research, 75% of people purchased a product because they saw it on social media. Having this kind of an influence on potential customers, one would be living in the dark ages without tapping into this incredible pool of social media or simply not using an effective social media strategy for restaurants.

Source: ScienceMeetsFood

Not only does it keep customers updated, but the scope to gain more followers is broadened. You get to learn about your customers. Part of an effective social media strategy for restaurants involves thinking like your customer. You’ll begin to understand why your customers want to visit you, and you’ll get better at fine-tuning your social media skills to drive more sales. Learning about your customers through their interactions on social media (with you or with each other) plays a major role in it.


Everyone’s on it

According to a Cornell University study, 59 percent of chain restaurants and 79 percent of independent restaurants use social media. It’s a tactic that’s gaining momentum and for good reason. 88% of people are influenced by reviews and online comments. Having a bulletproof social media strategy can thus directly contribute to increasing revenue.

Food and beverage photos are easily some of the most popular types of content on Instagram. It’s very likely that your customers are posting your products with or without your interaction. Take full advantage of this free promotion

Source: Daily Mail

Part of an effective social media strategy for restaurants will enable making use of this incredible source of constantly flowing content and turn that into profitable outcomes.


Communicate in real time

With an effective social media strategy for restaurants and good messaging technology implemented, your customers are always updated and informed. When your customers make an inquiry, your team members are alerted in real-time. Customers are all about on-demand gratification, so the faster you respond the more satisfied they are, which works out in favor towards your customer loyalty.

Source: Winklix

Social media posting, in most cases, works instantly. Customers can give feedback and rate your restaurant before leaving the premises itself and these feedbacks and ratings collectively can make or break a business. A customer should not be over-promised on social media. Products and services must always live up to their advertising. If a single customer is disappointed, the opinion is spread to others instantly. So, an effective social media strategy for restaurants would glamourize the restaurant but will be careful to not promise something they cannot offer.


Target audiences like a sniper rifle

As a restaurant owner, social media lets you target specific age groups, geographic locations, interests, and other demographics. This kind of targeting can be highly effective in reaching your potential audience. An effective strategy that incorporates this technology is thus critical when it comes to getting the best returns off of your digital marketing budget.

Source: Marketing Management

Since ads cost money, it is highly advisable that you know what you’re doing when you create ads. When done right, restaurants can effectively 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 message at the time thanks to the targeting.


Real customer service on virtual platforms

Often, a customer might voice his dissatisfaction through a comment that may be visible to others. This forms an opportunity to handle the criticism as professionally and swiftly as possible. According to Brightlocal, 95% of unhappy customers return to your business if you can resolve their issue quickly and efficiently. Social media is the perfect place to exercise and execute good customer service. When there’s an audience watching the interaction, a good social media strategy for restaurants is the difference between appearing as arrogant, and showing that you care about your customers, therefore solidifying their status as brand advocates or even converting potential customers into future customers.

The following is a Zomato review from a dissatisfied customer of an Indian restaurant:

Here’s an excellent opportunity to undo the damage by being polite, courteous and apologetic while ensuring them that their next experience at the restaurant will not be the same. They have an opportunity to make things right. Will they rise to the challenge or simply discard the negativity? Professionals know how to handle this.


In conclusion

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. You must constantly provide value, but refrain from throwing too many random promotional materials at the faces of your valuable customers. It’s an art and a science, and some people are better at it than others.

On that note, feel free to check in with us and ask questions you may have about your restaurant’s marketing strategy. We’d love to help you put one together or evaluate an existing one (no charge). Or even better, we can help you maintain it to help your business increase footfall and grow to become the talk of the town.