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Why Social Media For Your Restaurant Is Important

Let’s turn the clock back about 10 years, shall we? Then, if you’d enjoyed a lovely meal at a new restaurant, you might mention it to a colleague over the water cooler at work or to a friend at the school gates.

If they liked the sound if it, they might ask you – weeks later – for the name and phone number.

And, through word of mouth and perhaps the occasional advert in the local newspaper, the restaurant’s trade would, hopefully and slowly, grow.

My, how we’ve changed. The unstoppable growth of social media platforms and engagement has literally brought eating out into real time.

Now, you go to a restaurant, you post a pic of your meal and, before you have even eaten it, your social media network has seen it, commented on it and quite probably even made their own booking … which is fabulous news for the restaurant.

In short, the customer has marketed your restaurant at no cost or effort to you at all.

This is what’s called reactive marketing – the customer is reacting to the service, food and experience they have received.

And, as long as their reaction is positive, that’s the best kind of endorsement. But there are also proactive measures a restaurant can take to ensure their venue grabs its slice of the social media market.

Social media marketing for restaurants

The best social media for restaurants is an approach that makes the best use of each platform.

So, an image-led platform such as Instagram is the best place to show off your new dishes and your carefully curated décor, while sites such as Facebook enable you to provide factual information, from opening times and contact details to new menus and reviews.

When it comes to food marketing on social media, good photography is key, as is customer engagement.

Whether you are sharing pictures on Instagram or flagging up your new takeaway service, for example, on Facebook, encourage feedback and suggestions.

If someone asks you a question, respond. And, if they post a negative review – and that happens – craft a calm, pleasant and reasoned response.

Always create and share quality content frequently and be as creative as you can.

Social media ideas for restaurants can include everything from competitions and giveaways to special food tasting events and discounts.

Watch what other businesses – not only food ones – do. Many clothing and beauty retailers send discount codes or vouchers to customers on their birthday, for example, so make sure you invest in a data gathering system that logs those details.

Engage with your customers

Whichever platform you are using, always add feedback forms and invite customers to write reviews on your Facebook or Google pages. This is a great way to advertise and you can even upload some of the reviews on to your website.

Ask customers to share their content – and don’t stop there. Why not speak to your suppliers, or to local businesses and ask them to tag you into their social media posts? You can do the same for them and, by supporting each other, you can widen your digital reach.

Because when it comes to social media, it really is a case of the more, the merrier.

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