Saturday, August 30, 2014

How Restaurants Can Use Social Media To Grow Their Business

Have you ever scrolled through your feed on social media to find pictures of food or your friends "checking in" to their favorite restaurant? Imagine if that was your restaurant or your dish? How great would this exposure be with just the click of a button?  The majority of people want their friends and family to know what they are up to at all times (based on behavior).  Social media makes this very easy with just a few clicks on a smart phone or tablet.  Let's go through some ways that a restaurant can capitalize on this behavior and get more customers in the door. Hungry for those tips? Sorry couldn't resist.  Okay, let's go!

1. Facebook check in: Restaurants should encourage their diners to check-in on Facebook.  They can put signs at the front or have a subtle reminder in the menu.  Keep in mind that most people will do this anyway.  It's become natural behavior. If a restaurant doesn't have a Facebook page, diners can't check in.  The value of this action is that all of the diner's friends and family are now exposed to the restaurant!  Imagine if a diner checks in and has 800-1,000 friends. Mass exposure!

Checking in on Facebook

2. Show The Food: Posting a picture of a mouth-watering meal just before lunch or dinner will entice a few people that had not made up their mind on their dining destination to come on in and give a new restaurant a try (or can serve as a reminder to an old favorite).  Smart phones have such great cameras now that this can be done rather quickly.  Prepare the dish, snap the pic, upload and viola!

3. Search Twitter: Twitter is an amazing tool, but it's not just for posting content. You can also use it to search for conversations and gracefully join in.  Example: If you owned a Mexican food restaurant, you could search for terms like, "I am so hungry" or, "Tex-Mex", or "Mexican food" in a 10 to 15 mile radius of your location.  Imagine someone tweeting, "I really want some Tex-Mex for lunch".  You could write back saying, "We understand! Come on in, we have some great specials today!" or something to that effect.

4. Announce specials and other events:  There is no quicker way (in my humble opinion, of course) to get the word out about ANYTHING than through social media. What's great about running a restaurant is that you can change things on the fly. For instance, if you need a little bump in dinner sales you can run a special and post it to all of your networks and let all of your followers know at once. Just make sure you're well staffed! ;) Restaurants can also use their social media pages to broadcast events, new menus or special hours.

5. Pin recipes: If you followed my blog for a while, then you know I am all about leading with value. This means to feed the "what's in it for me?" mentality (which is just human nature).  A restaurant can give value by sharing recipes, nutrition tips and dinner ideas on their Pinterest pages.  Obviously they would not be giving away the secret sauce, but some basic helpful ideas would not hurt. Value leads to trust and trust leads to more business.

6. Show pics of restaurant, staff and kitchen: Nothing gives more insight and shows a business off like pictures of their facility and staff. A restaurant is no different.  Show off that dining room, show the friendly staff eager to serve, and for extra credit, go "behind the scenes" and get some pics of the kitchen and some preparation of meals in progress.  This shows future guests that your kitchen is so clean and efficient that you're willing to expose it to the world! Make it fun and make it social!

Word of mouth marketing is huge in the restaurant business and social media is a great tool to use to get more mouths talking about a dining establishment.  I hope these tips help and please share this with a restaurant owner that you know that could use some more business.  As always, if they can't keep up with a busy lunch rush and their social media, we'd be happy to assist!


Hilda W. Buffum said...

amazing!! i love it so much, thanks for posting it.

Social Media Marketing expert

Mario Wilson said...

My pleasure Hilda! Glad you found value in the article.