The internet is a fast paced, ever-changing environment where new social platforms pop up every day.
As a restaurant owner, there’s a good chance you’ve at least begun to realize the benefits of using social media for your business. If not, you’ve likely seen social media put to use by other restaurant owners across the country.
This day and age, an online presence is quickly becoming the number one way to grow and maintain your restaurant. So how can you be sure you’re doing everything possible to build your brand?
Don’t Merely Exist
Signing up for an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram is a great start. But it’s just that: a start. You need to have a regular presence on all social platforms and interact with others whom you’re connected to. You want to build a network and become a regular presence online, and no, you don’t need to hire a professional to do it for you.
You also want to make sure your profiles and information are filled out entirely, so there aren’t any questions left unanswered. Think like a customer. What would you want to know about a restaurant you’re thinking about visiting? If the information isn’t there, fill it in!
There are features on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook that allow you to share live events and pictures and social media followers love it! If you set aside just 30 minutes a day a few times a week, you’re on the right track.
Showcase Your Food & Your Talent
Yes, it’s okay to brag a little. You just need to make sure you’re doing it properly. The best way to share what you have to offer is through pictures.
Are you sharing gourmet dishes that look like works of art? Instagram users love beautiful food pictures! Are you cranking out mouth-watering BBQ that looks just as good as it tastes? Tell everyone on Facebook about it. Pinterest is a great way to share some tips and tricks you use in your own business to inspire others.
It’s also a good idea to consider marketing on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. You can pay for sponsored posts or actual advertisements on the sites to be sure your business is being seen.
Of course, you can do your own promotion for free, but those who have used social media advertising will likely agree that it’s worth the investment if you’re looking to expand your business and bring in more guests.
Don’t Forget About Your Team
Do you spend hours each day with the same people who help make your dreams a reality? Don’t forget to give them the recognition they deserve. To create a maintain a great human connection with your clientele, introduce your staff to your followers on social media. Invite guests into your kitchen (not literally) but through your online presence.
You can write up stories about their latest accomplishments, give shoutouts to your hard working staff, or even let them have a go at your social media for a day. There’s a good chance a staff member would have a ball taking over your restaurant’s Snapchat for the day, to give your clientele a sneak peek into what goes on behind the scenes.
Spread the Word About Upcoming Events
Would you rather spend hours at a time walking around passing out flyers or even worse, just hope people hear by word of mouth about an upcoming event? Or would you rather spend just a few minutes posting necessary information on social media?
If done creatively, in a way that can grab your followers’ attention, you’ll have more than just a strike of good luck getting people to attend your event. With just a few minutes of work, you can reach hundreds, if not thousands, of people in no time.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
There are programs designed specifically to help you grow your business and reach more people. The more of an online presence you have, the better. One great idea is to consider registering for a nationwide restaurant guide in order to maximize your presence online.
There are also programs like Google Lens that allows users to Google a restaurant just by pointing their phone’s camera at it. How cool is that? Pretty neat, but a total tragedy if your restaurant isn’t recognized by the program.
Additionally, once your restaurant is recognized by Google Lens, you want users to be able to find out more about the restaurant they’re interested in. That’s where your social media presence will come into play. You want clientele to be able to easily find photos, videos, and more that make your restaurant seem like the exact place they want to be.
Read Reviews, But Don’t Take Them to Heart
Once you’ve built a bigger presence online, you’ll quickly realize how easy it is for people to talk about your business. That’s a good thing, but it can also mean quite a bit of constructive criticism.
If you come across a negative review of your restaurant, it can be downright disheartening. But instead of griping about it, try to respond to the review if possible, to ensure customers you’re doing what you can to provide a quality, positive experience. Then take what they had to say and turn it into a learning experience. Did they point out a true fault? What can you do to make sure another customer doesn’t have the same experience? A popular business will have fans and naysayers. That’s just a fact. It’s all about how you handle them both.
Social Media Should Help You, Not Hurt You
It may seem a bit overwhelming, but in the grand scheme of things, social media is meant to help your business, not hurt it. Instead of stressing over how much work it is to maintain, focus on the positive outcomes as a result of putting it to good use. A little hard work goes a long way in terms of building your business. After all, more customers mean more revenue.