Restaurant marketing fundamentals #1 - Social Media & Content Marketing
marketing , 6 May 2021
In our experience, there are five key marketing fundamentals that can take a restaurant from unnoticed to the forefront of the industry. Take a look at our best practice overviews and share them within your organisation to make sure you’re in the best position to see a return on investment for every marketing dollar spent.
Pro tips on Social Media & Content Marketing
Regardless of whether it’s one or multiple restaurants that you’re responsible for the marketing of, a key pillar of your marketing strategy should always be social media and content marketing.
To really hit the ground running or amp up your efforts, we’d recommend having the bare minimum of an Instagram page, Facebook account and blog,
These will serve three cross-functional purposes:
- Your Instagram will serve as your virtual restaurant, showing visually what you’re serving, expanding your audience through hashtags and stories, and hooking your future patrons into what you do best - serve mouth-watering dishes.
- Your Facebook page will become your hub for customer service. If someone has a problem with your food or service, they’ll be heading here to leave a review. Inversely, if your restaurant is excellent and receiving raving reviews, you’ll be able to engage with your customers, run promotions and build a community. According to Market Force research, 81% of its 12,000 respondents from the U.S. and UK confirmed that their purchasing decisions were directly influenced by their friends’ recommendations - so you (and other restaurants within your group) need to be active on the platform to leverage this exposure and social proofing.
- Your blog will serve as a tool to drive traffic to your website and place for customers who are heading towards the decision stage of the marketing funnel to build trust in your brand and keep them revisiting your website until they make the call to book. Posting regularly and using SEO best practice will see you in a strong position to improve your Google rankings too - which is often at the top of any marketer’s list.
It’s likely you’ll already have an Instagram account set up (if not, here’s a good article covering how to do so following best practice), so once that’s set up we’d recommend ensuring that you’re following best practice to gain the most traction.
We’ve created a useful checklist below that you can use to run an audit of your Restaurant(s) Instagram account. It’s key to make sure it’s always optimised to give you the best shot at success. Share these best practice tips with your marketing managers and restaurant managers to help them keep all accounts up to date.
Instagram Set Up
- Use your logo as your account icon.
- On your account page, list your location in your tagline and include a hyperlink to your website
- Ensure that your page has been created as a business account (this will allow you to run ads in future and see analytics), if it’s currently a personal page, switch it under settings.
- Launch your Instagram with at least nine images to fill the whole grid.
- Do your research on trending hashtags that relate to your food, look up relevant hashtags and see. how many users are viewing / using the tag. Always include these tags in your posts.
Instagram Posting Tips
- Always post frequently, a few times a week if you can. An active account looks like a popular restaurant to customers.
- Reply to your followers comments and encourage engagement.
- Run strategic competitions to expand your reach. For inspiration, check out Sals Facebook page.
- With photos, focus on lighting, detail and use a professional camera or high quality phone camera. Curate your images, showcase the intricacies of your dishes and be selective about what you post and when.
- Categorise your events and food specials into highlight reels so your customers can look back through your older posts at their leisure.
- Using foodie Instagram influencers is a great strategy to increase brand exposure and following - just be selective about the partnership and make sure they align with your brand well.
- Your copy should be short, punchy and reflect your brand. Show personality, build a persona behind the brand with words.
- Use analytics to see when your audience is most active and time posts to go out when you know they’ll be watching. There are scheduling tools like SproutSocial, and HubSpot that can help with this.
Remember, people buy from people. Don’t be afraid to branch out and deliver messaging that connects with the human side of your customers. Show them who you are, and back it up with irresistible photos to match and you’ll have a winning combination.
Here at First Table we use social media extensively to promote our partner restaurants and don't charge them a penny. We’ve put together a guide to take you through exactly how it works. You can download it for free, without obligation, below.
An innovative marketing strategy in combination with the other four pillars of restaurant marketing will give your restaurant(s) the competitive edge to reach an extensive audience and positively impact your bottom line.
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