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7 Tips for Attracting Restaurant Customers with Social Media Marketing

Making the most of your restaurant’s social media presence boosts business, revenue and your brand’s reputation.

Around 72 percent of Americans use at least one social media platform such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Tik Tok, according to the Pew Research Center. And many of those users turn to social media for restaurant recommendations, deals and information about dining venues in their city or a city they plan to visit.

In fact, more than one-quarter (26 percent) of millennials and 28 percent of Gen Zers say they’re often swayed to visit a new restaurant based on social media recommendations, according to “Appetite for Loyalty,” a report on restaurant customers’ preferences by Vericast, a marketing solutions company.

More than half of millennials (56 percent) and Gen Zers (51 percent) also search online for restaurant discounts and coupons, according to the same report.

If your restaurant doesn’t have a regularly updated social media presence with a steady stream of posts, you’re missing out on attracting new and repeat customers alike.

Promoting your restaurant on social media platforms grabs the attention of new customers and reminds customers who’ve dined at your restaurant before to return to enjoy a meal, happy hour, specials or live entertainment.

Want to beef up your restaurant’s social media presence? Here are X tips for making your restaurant’s social media page a go-to source for restaurant guests.

1.  Post high-quality food photos

For outstanding photos, online ordering software company Restaurant Den recommends hiring a professional food photographer who knows how to enhance and highlight delicious food and drink menu items. Then post the images on social media for users to share as well as on your website and in print ads.

2. Feature staff member photos

Toast recommends featuring posts about the employee of the month, servers, bartenders, management, chefs and other staffer on social media:

“If you’re offering a happy hour deal for the week, post a photo of one of your bartenders pouring the perfect pint, and mention the available deal in the caption. Even better, repost the feed picture on your story with a swipe up to your online ordering site and your appetizer menu.”

3. Advertise deals and discounts

Social media is the perfect place to post your restaurant’s daily, weekly or seasonal specials, says the Toast Social Media Marketing Guide. For example, posting daily lunch or dinner specials can attract new guests as well as inform regular customers.

4. Keep Facebook “about” and information sections updated

“Just like your website, your Facebook business page should function as a one-stop source for your customers and followers,” says the Toast guide, which recommends that “about” and information page include:

  • Link to your restaurant website
  • Online ordering link
  • Address, phone number and restaurant hours
  • Menu
  • FAQs with answers

5. Share “behind-the-scenes” posts and videos

“Share the process behind one of your signature menu items or have someone who works in your back of house walk through your specials or show your followers around the kitchen,” says Toast.

6. Run Facebook ads

Facebook ads” attract new customers and “turn them into regulars,” according to the Toast guide. Target the audience for your ad based on demographic, profile information and location, recommends Toast.

7. Highlight live entertainment

If your restaurant features live entertainment on certain nights, post about the event and create additional posts about featured local musicians who perform while leading up to the event. If you’ll have food, drink and/or happy hour specials for the event, post about those deals, too.

Social media presence is crucial

“Having a social media presence is no longer an option — it’s a necessity,” according to the Toast Social Media Marketing Guide.

“The world of social media and online branding is fast-paced and sometimes hectic, but it’s also a fun, valuable and important part of your business’s marketing strategy.”