Which Social Media Channels are Right for Your Restaurant?

For restaurants, there are many reasons to market through social media. For one, deploying a localized social media marketing campaign is a low-cost alternative to more traditional advertising like billboards and TV. Thanks to evolving social media management tools, it’s easier than ever for restaurants to promote themselves. Most importantly, social media presents a number of ways to engage directly with diners, whether they’re long-time patrons or have never even heard of your restaurant before.

Getting started on social media can be a daunting task, but we’re here to explain how you can use the three major social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – to build brand awareness for your restaurant.

    1. Facebook

With more than 1.49 billion monthly active monthly users*, Facebook is the most popular social network and boasts a very diverse base of users – appealing to everyone from tweens and grandparents alike.

For restaurant owners, Facebook is best used to build an online community around your restaurant’s Facebook page. Your restaurant’s Facebook page becomes an extension of your website, a place where customers go to view photos, learn about specials and events and interact with the restaurant and other patrons. It’s also a great place to include a link to your menu on GrubHub if you already work with us,

Since your Facebook community is comprised of customers already familiar with your restaurants, use the platform to encourage customer retention by regularly posting photos, hosting contests and giveaways, and encouraging diners to “check-in” and share that they’re dining at your location.

 

    1. Twitter

With more than 316 million monthly active users*, Twitter’s micro-blogging platform limits messages 140-characters or less. Unlike Facebook, you aren’t likely to find many older patrons using Twitter, as the platform’s average user is 50 years old or younger.

For restaurants, Twitter is a medium best used to instantly share updates with followers, have real-time conversations and publicize time-sensitive promotions. If you’re having a slow night, use Twitter to offer an impromptu deal, special or discount. Diners might contact you via Twitter to thank you for a wonderful experience or ask you questions about your menu, hours or location before deciding to visit or place an order. Most Twitter users will contact your restaurant publicly (as opposed to sending a private direct message), so every conversation is an opportunity to showcase your restaurant’s excellent customer service.

 

    1. Instagram

With more than 300 million monthly active users*, Instagram is a photo-based platform that users access primarily from their mobile phones. The platform’s demographics skew even younger than Facebook and Twitter, so if Millennials are your target audience, you need to be there.

For restaurants, Instagram’s visual platform can work as a discovery engine as well. Post eye-catching and enticing photos of plated meals to show off your best dishes. Use hashtags that include cuisine type and location information – #authenticItalian or #Chicago – to help local diners discover your Instagram account and ultimately your restaurant.

*as of June 2015

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