During the last decade, social media has grown to become one of the most powerful marketing tools. Businesses from all industries and of different sizes utilize the power of social media to make sure their brand is recognized and their businesses successful. The same goes for restaurant owners.
As a small restaurant owner, you need to find the right way of using social media. You need to make sure your audience stays engaged and you maintain steady communication with them. Otherwise, your efforts will be in vain. This article breaks down the most effective social media tricks to help small restaurant owners stay connected to their customers.
Let’s take a closer look.
1. Effective Profiles Setup
It’s best that we start from scratch.
If you want to ensure your customers stay connected to you, you need to make it easy for them to do so. That means that you have to set up all your social media profiles the right way.
Whether you have a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account, they all need to provide the following information:
- your location(s)
- phone number
- link to your website
- business hours
- cuisine type
In addition, you should add clickable buttons such as:
- Get Directions
- Send Message
This way, your customers don’t have to go through any trouble to contact you, ask a question, or make a reservation.
2. Special Products Posts
If you want to stay connected to your audience, you need to give them a reason to keep following you. The best way to do this is to show off how versatile and interesting your offer is.
Images can help you do it.
This is why you must constantly create and publish posts about:
- different types of meals you offer
- special dishes
- latest inventions from your kitchen
- house specialties
- additions to the menu
Give information about each product you post about. Use images to awake their imagination and make them want to come to your restaurant.
3. Behind The Scene
To stay connected to your customers, you should aim for creating an emotional bond with them. Have them get to know you better and grow closer to your brand.
You achieve this by creating a "behind the scenes" post on social media.
You can create videos and images about:
- your staff
- your chef
- how you make a meal from scratch
- origin of your fresh groceries
- team meeting
The things you do to make your restaurant what it is will be extremely interesting for the customers to see. Use this technique to give them a sneak peek into your routines and everyday schedule.
4. User-Generated Content
Your connection with your customers has to go both ways. That means they too need to be motivated to reach out to you and create meaningful bonds.
User-generated content is a way of keeping your customers engaged and using their social media activity to boost your engagement.
It’s also a way of showing those who still don’t know you that you’ve earned customer trust and give them the social proof they need.
However, you need to inspire people to create UGC:
- create a special hashtag and ask them to use it for posts related to your restaurant
- repost their images, stories, and videos
- thank them for creating UGC
- invite them to keep making it
“If you start acknowledging UGC made by your customers, others will see you welcome it and will start doing the same. Therefore, freely use and incorporate UGC into your social media strategy”, says Mario Faber, a social media specialist and writer at Subjecto.
5. Feature an Influencer
As a small restaurant owner, no one expects you to collaborate with Lady Gaga on advertising your restaurant. Still, there are local micro-influencers that would be more than happy to team up.
A micro-influencer is a person who has 2k-50k followers, which is why they are more approachable than the others.
All you have to do is:
- find a micro-influencer that shares the approximately same target audience as you
- offer them a collaboration
- make a deal that suits both sides the most
Let’s say you team up with a local photographer.
You can do an exchange of services instead of you paying them money. Get them to post about your restaurant on their social media profile, and you mention their brilliant photography on yours.
6. Throw a Giveaway
Giveaways are brilliant for increasing your followers' base and getting your customers to engage with your business.
A giveaway is a contest that invites your customers to participate with a chance of winning something like a romantic dinner for two or making a meal with the chef of your restaurant.
Here are some basic rules:
- make the prize truly valuable and worth fighting for
- set clear rules for participation
- make sure the rules imply following your profile, liking the giveaway announcement, tagging friends in the comments, etc.
A small restaurant can benefit immensely from a giveaway. You get people to talk about you online and invite their friends to do the same. You also have them commenting, creating photos, or writing their best impression of your restaurant which is the best marketing you could imagine.
Just because you're running a small restaurant doesn't mean you shouldn't go big with your social media strategy. You can use all the tools and methods that big restaurants are using to engage with your customers.
Use the tips provided above to make sure you stay connected to your customers. Give them content they look forward to every day.