The restaurant business is a tricky one. It is very different than many other types of business and for that reason it needs a very different marketing plan. People have to eat, but how do you make them feel like they need to eat at your restaurant opposed to others? It’s all about having good word-of-mouth. Having someone tell their friend that they loved your food, and recommend it to them is worth way more than any paid advertisement. This is because people trust their friends’ opinion over messages sent through a business. Getting people talking about your restaurant, or getting a so called “buzz” going, is a great way to bring in new business. Although there is no perfect solution that will work for everyone in the food industry, there are still things that you can do to help spread the word about your business, and be the catalyst for the buzz.
1. Use instagram
Instagram is made for food- well not really, but it does seem like it. You can barely get through 5 pictures without one of them being a picture of someone’s breakfast or dinner. This makes it a perfect platform for restaurants to spread their word. Now Instagram can be tricky though. It’s different than many other social networks because people cannot yet easily share their friends content. This means that you just posting to your restaurant’s instagram account won’t really do a lot of good unless you have a ton of followers. The way around this is by having your customers post to their personal account. If possible have a hashtag on your menu that encourages people to instagram a pic of their food with you hashtag, by telling them that you will repost all good pics to your other social platforms (people love feeling like they are doing something important).
2. Encourage people to Check-in
There are a variety of ways that people can check-in at your restaurant. Whether it is facebook, foursquare, twitter, or a variety of other sites, it is amazing if you can get your current customers to do this. When someone checks-in, all of their friends can see that they are eating at your restaurant, making them more likely to learn more about it and go there. To encourage people to check-in, you can give people a coupon or give them a free appetizer if they show you proof of their check in on their phone. The cot of the coupon or free appetizer is definitely worth it, for 300 of their friends to see your restaurant.
3. Target trending topics
When you post to your social networks try to target trending topics. Because you are in the food industry there is never a lack of fun and random holidays that you can capitalize on. Things like “national cupcake day,” or “national tequila day,” are fun times to create shareable content. Check the calendar and see what days match the foods that you already have and then post a fun picture telling people to come in and try it.
Most restaurants have a lot of untapped potential on social media. If you take time to research and execute your social media plan, you will be creating buzz in no time. For more information contact the Social Jeanie.