In the early days of the Internet, it was enough for a restaurant to have a website. These days, of course, it’s nearly impossible to effectively set yourself apart from the crowd without maintaining one or more social-media profiles for your establishment. Today at the V&E blog, we thought we’d offer up just a few basic tips for increasing your online profile as a restaurant or bar.
First, though, let’s quickly underscore the importance of being active over social media for any business…
The Value of Upping Your Social Media Game
According to a 2016 Sprout Social analysis, 75% of customers reported purchasing a product because they’d seen it advertised on social media. The majority of those customers, furthermore, make the decision to purchase only after seeing said product posted two to four times.
That’s pretty stark evidence for how many potential patrons you’re likely missing out on if you’re an infrequent user of social media or your restaurant isn’t on any platforms at all.
Engage with Customers
Limit your social-media activities to posts about new dishes or weekly specials, and your customer base may eventually start glazing over. Such promotions are all well and good, but you can strengthen your presence online and deepen your connection to customers by engaging with them via social media: responding to comments and questions, soliciting fun customer surveys, or hopping onboard hashtag or meme trains.
Such activity makes you look more relevant and, again, inspires a greater affinity for your establishment on the part of diners.
Make Your Basic Details Easily Accessible
Few things are more frustrating for a hungry somebody searching online for a place to eat than a restaurant whose basic information—location, directions, contact info, hours—is hidden away on a social-media profile. Put those fundamentals front and center so a person in a hurry (or at that impatient “hangry” stage of things) doesn’t have to hunt around for them.
Use Location-Based Advertising
You can better target customers by using location-based advertising on Facebook, still the one social-media platform at a minimum your restaurant should be using. This Food Newsfeed guide to restaurant social-media techniques by Bo Breuklander provides step-by-step instructions in that regard.
Timing, Timing, Timing
Be strategic about when you make particular posts on social media, as the Sprout Social article we linked to above emphasizes. There’s much you can learn about the best times to post, but some of it’s basically common sense, if too often ignored: If you’re a bar, as Sprout Social notes, it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense posting about drink specials first thing in the morning. Generic/fun posts may have less of a time-stamp limitation but consider optimal windows when it comes to advertising things such as daily specials or restaurant events.