Social media done right can be a powerful, affordable marketing tool. Social platforms offer businesses valuable data about their customers and a (mostly) free way to reach them. It has the ability to connect with current and potential customers, increase brand awareness and loyalty, gain valuable insight and increase brand awareness and loyalty. Most of your customers expect you to be on social media.

It’s the perfect space for your restaurant to share what makes it so special, to tell its story, to highlight what makes you unique and authentic. When done right, it can be an indispensable marketing tool.

The Basics

Regardless of the platform, keep basic information up to date. Ensure your hours are accurate, post when you’re closed, and let guests know when new menus rollout. Is your business listed on Google? Make it easier for your customers to find you and the good news, it’s free

The spirit of social media should be to enhance the users’ experience. Ask yourself if a post will brighten someone’s day—or annoy them. Social media is a conversation, meaning users are going to ask questions. You’ll want to be sure to respond quickly to questions and comments. Think of it as an extension of face-to-face customer service.

The Social Media Landscape IE, according to 2016 stats1

  • There are 74% of people in Ireland using Facebook daily.
  • 35% of Twitters users log in and use it every day.
  • There are 18% of people using LinkedIn every day in Ireland.
  • 48% use Instagram daily

 

Getting Started - Before you dive into the world of social media, think strategically about where your guests are spending their time. It’s better to select 2-3 platforms and do them well rather than spread yourself thin. Decide what your content strategy will be on each platform—keeping in mind users go to the sites for different reasons.

Best Practices by Platform

Facebook

Facebook

  • Did you know Facebook insights will show when your fans are online, so you can be sure that you are posting at peak times?
  • Click “Insights” at the top of your business page and then “posts” on the left hand side to see the best day and times for you to post on your page. Every audience is different.
  • Decide what your tone of voice or the way you want to communicate to your audience.
  • Aim for 3-5 posts a week, but notice how your audience is responding and adjust accordingly.
  • Ask questions.
  • Share third party links to get more reach to add value to the user.
  • Challenge yourself to keep copy short and sweet

Instagram

Instagram

  • Did you know Facebook insights will show when your fans are online, so you can be sure that you are posting at peak times?
  • Click “Insights” at the top of your business page and then “posts” on the left hand side to see the best day and times for you to post on your page. Every audience is different.
  • Decide what your tone of voice or the way you want to communicate to your audience.
  • Aim for 3-5 posts a week, but notice how your audience is responding and adjust accordingly.
  • Ask questions.
  • Share third party links to get more reach to add value to the user.
  • Challenge yourself to keep copy short and sweet

Twitter

Twitter

  • Don’t take yourself too seriously on Twitter. This is the platform to let your funny bone show.
  • Incorporate gifs and emojis to connect with followers.
  • What’s going on that day? Tapping into what customers are thinking about that day. For example, note the local weather or feelings toward the day of the week.
  • Aim for 3-5 tweets per day, but take notice what works best with your fans.
  • Retweet stories that resonate with your audience.
  • Interact with fans and answer questions.
  • The Twitter feed is constantly moving, so don’t be afraid to repost the same content a couple of times—just spread it out and tweak the copy a bit.
  • Use local hashtags for your city or region to reach nearby potential guests.

Content Ideas and Inspiration

See How Others Are Portraying Your Restaurant

  • Check social media for photos that customers have either tagged your restaurant in or photos when they “check-in” at your restaurant.
  • When you find a good one, ask the customer if you can re-share—they’ll feel special and you get free quality photography!
  • Be sure to always credit the original photographer.

Mark Special Occasions and Holidays

  • Create posts around certain events. Think National Burger Day, “Treat Yo’ Self Day,” big sporting events and use hashtags like #SundayFunday or #MondayMotivation.
  • Stay tapped into local news/events, and be sure to post during them with the appropriate local hashtags to drive traffic.

 

1http://bubbledigital.ie/2016/01/social-media-statistics-for-ireland-2016/