As a restaurateur in 2020, you have no excuse if you’re not using social media as a marketing channel for your restaurant or Food & Beverage (F&B) business.
Social media marketing is both an art and science, with brand awareness as the ultimate advantage no matter how big or small your business is.
And now with the global COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially important during this circuit breaker (that’s what we call a “silent/mini lockdown” in Singapore) period where digital marketing is the forefront marketing channel in reaching your target audience.
It is important to note that social media makes up only one part of the entire digital marketing world. But it is undoubtedly the most powerful and cost-effective platform to promote your business.
So how do you get more traffic to your social media profile without the use of ads?
The key driver in making your restaurant stand out on social media is content.
Your content doesn’t have to be overly unique or extravagant.
It has to be relevant and valuable to your audience. Or at the very least, it should be able to evoke an emotion.
If you’ve realised and understood this, congratulations!
As much as I know you would like to publish a variety of content, you might be facing a mental block in generating ideas.
In this article, I’m going to outline 15 content tips and ideas on marketing your restaurant on social media.
15 Content Tips & Ideas: Social Media Marketing For Restaurants
When marketing a restaurant on social media, visuals are very important. You will need high-quality photos to use.
And what’s the best way to showcase your restaurant on social media? The food you serve!
It is especially important for Facebook and Instagram as visually appealing content do really well on these platforms.
The more engagement you receive with a smaller number of audience, the higher chances your post will appear on their news feed.
This will give your customers an idea of what to look forward to!
Now, don’t forget that you will also have to come up with a descriptive caption as well.
After some time, you could also engage with your customers and generate user-generated content. For instance, you could ask your audience to share images of their favourite food from your restaurant on their profile.
User-generated content will help you develop trust with your potential customers.
People trust the reviews, referrals, and recommendations from others.
After using different social media platforms, you’d realise that social media is constantly evolving.
What could have worked two years ago, might not work as well today.
For instance, we’ve seen the audience shift their preference from text content to visual content, especially on Facebook and Instagram. Video content has recently gained its rise in popularity, generating a ton of engagement.
Here’s a simple chart to show you the type of contents that work well on the different social media platforms.
Your restaurant needs to keep in mind that your social media page should make your followers hungry.
When producing video content, I suggest that you keep them as short as you can and dive straight to the point.
For example, you could take a 15 seconds slow-motion video of the chef garnishing the dish. You need to take a really close-up shot of the dish so that you can capture the details.
Ultimately, you need to ensure that the video is of high-quality and captures your audience’s attention.
There are many restaurants in Singapore that are trying to attract the same audience as you. Sharing recipes will not only put you upfront as a thought leader in your field, but it will also help in building rapport with your audience while being seen as a brand that is willing to share valuable knowledge.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to share your “grandma’s secret recipe”.
When choosing the recipes to share, think about simple foods, drinks or desserts people can recreate at home.
You might be a locally renowned restaurant, but it is important to maintain simplicity. This will help you in maintaining a reputation and be able to engage with your followers better.
Remember to always stay relatable!
As mentioned, this could be in the form of video content. If you choose to go with the text and a photo for the recipe, you should outline the steps and ingredients used thoroughly.
Video recipes are best viewed when they have subtitles indicating the ingredients.
Social media influencers act as social media referrals. Most of your new customers are likely coming to your restaurant because they were referred by someone (directly or indirectly) on social media.
Facebook and Instagram are amongst the best social media platforms for influencer marketing. Take this chance to find a couple of niche local influencers to help push your brand.
Having influencers talk about your restaurant’s food or menu will add authenticity to your brand.
I’ve written an article on the trends of working with influencers in Singapore for 2020. Be sure to read that first before engaging an influencer to work together with your business.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have the poll feature available on their platform.
Take advantage of this feature to gain feedback from your audience.
For example, you can use it to get insights on what your audience thinks about your new menu, or even encourage them to give you some suggestions!
Always listen to your audience!
My agency, Plexxie, has done this for a couple of F&B businesses in Singapore, and here’s how you can carry it out too:
Take good photos of the new dish options available for your audience to vote on and publish it along with the poll feature.
This way, you’re letting the audience decide on what should be on the menu. As a bonus, your audience will also feel that their opinion matter and that they belong to a community.
Loyalty programs are one of the best ways to reward your loyal customers.
Use your social media platforms to promote any loyalty programs your restaurant is offering.
For example, one of our clients created a loyalty program where the customer can enjoy a free cup of coffee after purchasing their 7th cup.
Here’s another idea: Create a simpler loyalty program on social media by creating a “Flash Post Campaign”. If the customer flashes the post at the cashier, they’d receive a freebie or discount to their bill.
You can also take this chance in gaining more followers on your social media channels in return. If the customers are not already following you, getting them to do so will entitle them to a small freebie or discount.
Part of handling the marketing for your restaurant is to gain more exposure by putting your brand in front of new customers.
Conducting giveaways is an excellent way to gain exposure. It is definitely one of the sure-fire ways to attract more followers.
The prize can range from free meals to free merchandises.
For instance, you can ask your audience to share a Facebook post, or comment on an Instagram post and the winner will receive a free meal at your restaurant.
If you’re one of those restaurants who do not believe in offering free meals as a prize, you can give useful information instead such as a free e-book on “10 Easy Home Recipes”.
When was the last time you examined your page check-ins and reviews?
Most restaurant social media managers never reach out to users/followers who have previously checked in the restaurant.
Start messaging the users who checked in your place directly. Express your interest in building a relationship with them.
Be sure not to fall into the “copy-and-paste” trap. Take some time to read each review or check-in posts before you respond.
When they feel heard and appreciated, they are likely to come back. You may ask them if they enjoyed their meal or relatively gather feedback.
You should already know the other businesses or popular locations surrounding your restaurant. Why not aim for the users who have checked-in at these business or locations?
Go to your neighbouring business’s page and look at the people who have checked-in or left a review on their page.
Go to the search page and use the location search feature. Type in the address of your neighbouring business and view the posts by people who have tagged the location.
These are all users who have been to your restaurant’s area and are most likely familiar with your area.
What you should do now is to reach out to them directly via Direct Messaging and invite them to your restaurant. If you’d like, you can even drop them a discount if they flash your message to your staff!
Reviews of your restaurant can be re-purposed as valuable content for your social media.
The more reviews, the better! Reviews with images? EVEN BETTER!
These are user-generated contents that you can easily share on your page.
Why are reviews important? Well, over 93% of consumers said that online reviews do impact their purchasing decisions.
So be sure to share as many positive reviews as you can, especially if they’re accompanied by great images of your food or your restaurant.
If most of your reviews are on Facebook instead of Instagram, you can create an Instagram post for that Facebook review as well. Be creative!
If you have too many reviews (that’s amazing), prioritise to share reviews made by industry thought leaders or key opinion leaders first.
Featuring your team members is one of the best ways to humanise your brand.
Sharing pictures, or even videos of your team is also a great way to showcase your company culture, which will rub off on your audience in a positive way as they might relate to you.
Again, be creative with this! Depending on your brand identity and brand voice, it can be a simple image of your team members or it can be a video of your team members casually having fun while working.
Another interesting idea is to set up a couple of fun questions for each employee to answer. Get personal! Let your staff tell their story, showcase their skills and maybe reveal a few unknown facts about their life.
The point is to make it as engaging and interesting as you can. Bring out their true personality and make the customers feel like they have already met your team even before they pay a visit!
Sharing facts is one of the simplest and most informative forms of content you can ever create.
A good educational and informative post is highly engaging as long as it’s interesting in the eyes of your audience. Based on my experience, these posts often get a ton of shares and bookmarks.
Here’s a general list of “Did You Know’ and Fun Facts ideas you can share:
- Interesting ingredients you’re using
- Health benefits of ingredients you’re using
- Health benefits of drinks
- The source of your ingredients
- Information on your restaurant
- Why you started a restaurant
- Promotions available
On top of it all, make them simple and easy for your followers to understand.
Were you recently featured on the local news, television channels, newspapers or magazines?
If yes, congratulations!
Part of repurposing content is to take existing content and presenting them in a different medium or creative.
Take this opportunity to share your media feature with your followers. This will help in building your brand authority further.
For instance, you should take a clear photo of the section in the magazine or newspaper that you were featured on.
To add more credibility and awareness to post, remember to tag or mention the publisher as well.
Let’s face it.
Every business has a group of customers who seem to ask the same set of questions more than twice (just to make sure).
So how do you educate your followers on the systems and processes that your restaurant or F&B business already have in place?
Through “Frequently Asked Questions”.
Take advantage of your FAQs, curate them as contents and have them posted up on your social media pages.
On Instagram, many restaurants & F&B businesses use the Stories’ Highlights feature to ensure that their page visitors can locate the FAQs at any time.
On Facebook, some restaurants display their FAQs on their Facebook Messenger pop-up.
Be sure to constantly update this section.
A simple, yet important piece of content that is often overlooked.
Create a step-by-step post on how to get to your restaurant or F&B outlet, from a prominent landmark (e.g. Train Station or Building).
Go one step further and include it in your Instagram Stories’ Highlights so that your page visitors can view it right away.
The goal is to make it as easy as possible for your followers to find you.
Social media marketing for F&B businesses is essential.
While most restaurants and F&B businesses in Singapore have embraced this digital marketing channel, posting the right content and executing the right tactics sets the difference between who’s able to gain the most attention.
Keep posting and find out which content and tactics work best.
Depending on the platforms you’re going to use, choose the right medium for your message.
The ideas, tips and examples that I’ve shared with you should have given you an idea of what content you should be creating. Along with the tactics you should be applying.
And as I’ve mentioned earlier, you just have to be relevant and be valuable to your audience, and you’ll be on your way to success.
P.S. All examples shown are works from the social media channels of our clients that were executed by us. If you’re interested in knowing more about how Plexxie can help your restaurant or F&B business, feel free to drop us an email.