The restaurant industry rules a large portion of the social media market, but not all restaurants are successful when it comes down to marketing on social media. For one, restaurants might find themselves only focusing on their target audience and not necessarily understanding the psychographics of who they are facing as an audience on social networks.
Why are certain restaurants struggling to find a strong presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even SnapChat? What are they doing wrong that blurs out their social media presence?
Let’s look at the Top 5 social media mistakes that restaurants commit when marketing:
1.) Inconsistent Posting
It comes as a great shock that restaurants who are either a popular chain or small mom and pop joint are on social media, but some are not quite taking full advantage of the power of social media. Some restaurants have abandoned their profile pages without posting for weeks or even months. Ask yourself, when was the last time someone spotted a tiny black and white ad in the LA times? Social media is the new classifieds and if you’re abandoning your profile or posting every so often you will not be seen.
2.) Where's Your Engagement?
What surprises me is that restaurants are not trying to understand the crux of social media. You sign up, create a Facebook page, upload a cover photo, post a few photos of your menu items and Instagram every meal of the day, then what? Wait for likes and followers to magically appear on your profile? NO WAY! Social media is a one-on-one conversation with your audience. You build your audience by engaging, responding to customers and researching potential customers. 95 percent of adults between ages 18 and 34 were said to most likely follow a brand because they reached out to them or responded to a comment. Reportedly, 71 percent of customers who have had a positive experience contacting a business through social media are more likely to recommend them to others. These statistics are proof that engaging works! Social media conveniently allows direct interaction with your audience. It's your duty to take full advantage of it.
3.) Not Utilizing Social Networks to the Max
Some restaurants prefer Facebook, over Twitter while others prefer Instagram or SnapChat. You don't need to be on every platform out there, but if you are reaching enough fans on each platform, then make sure you are regularly active. It is your duty as a social media marketer to use all the platforms to their maximum use and reach out to your audience. With that said, just remember that each platform has a different target audience. Conduct your research.
4.) Your Social Media Should not be Leftovers
A number of restaurants cater more to paid forms of advertising, including TV commercials or magazine publications or even newspaper ads. Then they spend what's left over on social media advertising. Any kind of advertising needs a strict budget to follow in order for it to work well. The rule of thumb is to keep 40% of your advertising budget for social media.
5.) Your Restaurant Could Benefit From an Influencer
It is great to build an organic audience on your social media profiles. However, every once in a while it is even better if you invite food bloggers, influencers, or even give it your best shot to network with social media celebrities with a large following to dine and hang out at your location. This will gain trust from potential customers. According to Nielsen's Harris study, 80 percent of Americans seek recommendations when making a purchase, which is all of the reason to reach out to food bloggers or influencers.
Social Media Marketing Tips:
Think of social media as your duty as a restaurant owner, manager or marketer.
Avoid posting just anything. Stay organized each month by creating a social media calendar. This will help you strategize your posts. Think of posts that will gain shares or retweets and, of course, likes.
Engage with your customers: responding to tags or comments by either thanking them, coming up with solutions to concerns or starting a conversation.
Your photos should be appealing and delicious to look at. Use proper lighting so your images are clear and sharp.
The captions should be playful and fun. Use appropriate humor or catchy phrases.