Social Media

Social Media Marketing Fails: What To Do for Your Restaurant

Social Media Marketing for Restaurants

I’ve written a guest post for the Toast blog titled The Antidote to Stalled Restaurant Social Media Marketing. And I’ve done it for one big reason:

It happens to everyone. Restaurants are not unique.

Even social media marketing can stall or fail.

What some restaurant operators forget is that digital marketing channels are very similar to traditional marketing or advertising channels in this one way: not everything works. And when it doesn’t work, it’s tempting to throw out the channel altogether as unprofitable.

With social media marketing, I’m here to tell you, that’s not the case. We’ve shared and seen too many examples of this.

The biggest thing to focus on is this:

What do you do when it feels your social media marketing efforts are failing?

I give you three questions to ask yourself in that post, so I won’t paste them here as well. Again, check them out.

But here are three additional suggestions for you when you feel it’s all falling apart.

1. Don’t lose sight of your big picture goals.

You got going with social media because it’s promise was great. Okay, maybe someone you trust over-hyped what it could deliver for you just a wee bit, as they shared ONE story of ONE restaurant somewhere who had ONE great experience with a customer, and that has yet to happen to you.

Don’t get your dobber down. Stay with it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say. And you’re not going to amass an engaged, excited following via social media overnight, either.

It still represents a tremendous, digital word-of-mouth channel for you WHEN IT’S NURTURED PROPERLY. Don’t neglect that.

2. Do spend an hour or two with research.

Don’t read more articles. Check out what other restaurants are doing with their social feeds as a source of inspiration. You’re not just looking for home runs here, either. You’re just looking at what others are doing, to spur some creative thinking on your end.

Read:  5 Things That Would Make Me Love Your Restaurant on Instagram

Look at local competitors, look at different parts of the country.

A few examples via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter:

Feature Staff Photos

Feature Happy Customers’ Selections

Retweet Your Supporters, Especially When They’re Promoting You

3. Take a closer look at your best social posts.

No matter how much traction you’ve gotten, take a look at which posts have gotten any engagement.  Undoubtedly some high-quality, close-up photos of your food received a share, like, favorite, or retweet. But how about the others?

You don’t want to be overly promotional with social media. Let’s say half of your posts are self-promotional. What could you do with those other 50% to reel people in? Is there content on your site that you could feature (like your blog)? Could you simply share photos of how busy your restaurant is? Pics of smiling customers?

Just don’t give up, whatever you do.

Social media isn’t going away. In fact, “social media marketing” should really just be “marketing” at this point. While it’s not your only channel, it works like your others — it needs nurturing and tweaking and revised strategies frequently.

What do you think? What has worked for you?

About the author

Brandon Hull

Brandon is the original founder of He has helped thousands of restaurants implement innovative marketing strategies, campaigns, and tactics by incorporating new technology, in order to attract loyal guests.