When making a decision about where to eat, people of today’s generation go online first.
People spend two hours a day, five years in a lifetime, and spend more time on social media than eating/drinking. Most people (85 percent), search for local businesses online. If you do not show up in that initial search, then you might as well not exist at all. By understanding the span and reach that social media has in present day, you will be able to attract customers in a whole new way. Tangoo has developed the five best social media practices for proprietors and they are as follows:
1. Know Your Audience
If you don’t know who your audience is, then it will be impossible to know who you are targeting. It is important to be very detailed with who your audience is. This will help guide where you should be advertising, the exact vernacular to use, and what content will be the most engaging. You should make detailed and specific examples of who your target audience is. This should be layered right down to their age, their salary, job occupation, where they are from, and what they do for fun. This example will help paint a picture of who this person(s) is outside of just being your customer.
2. Double Down on Instagram
There are limitless ways to be present on social media. The important thing is to know how to utilize each of these platforms. Different platforms are useful for different things. In terms of what has the biggest impact and reach, Instagram takes the cake. Instagram is the platform chosen for social media influencers and is the most visually pleasing in terms of aesthetic. Instagram is also the number one social media app for engagement with restaurant brands, according to Track Maven.
3. Engage Through Video and Messaging
Simply posting a photo and leaving it at that will not create the type of engagement that you need to keep your brand alive online. Engaging with customers through social media is essential to restaurant marketing success. Videos get the highest amount of engagement, so ensure that video content makes up a large percentage of your social content. Adding a personal touch with customers always goes a long way. Engaging with users’ comments shows users that that you care about them and that you have great customer service both online and offline.
4. Professional Visuals Win
Instagram users scroll through content so quickly that the visual element has to be strong enough to make them stop and look at your photo/video. Instagram marketing wins for restaurants because close to 93 percent say the visual appearance of product influences their purchasing decision, according to Kissmetrics. Posting mouthwatering pictures of food is the greatest call-to-action that a restaurant can have.
5. Optimize Hashtags
Whether you like it or not, hashtags are the best way to boost your post and gain more traction. Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6 percent more engagement than those without a hashtag, states research from Simply Measured. The maximum amount of hashtags you can use is 30, so you have to ensure that each hashtag counts. Hashtags should be popular, trending, and related to the content of your post.
By applying these five top practices, you will soon see the breadth and reach that social media has on your restaurant. A properly executed social media strategy can be the difference between a restaurant “making it” or “breaking it." You could have the best food in the world, but if people don’t know about it, then how can they enjoy it?
About the Authors
Paul Davidescu is the principal at Tangoo, a food & beverage digital marketing company focused on helping restaurants and brands leverage online communities to build their businesses through social media, digital advertising, and food tech services.
Mary Collier is a copywriter/ communications specialist from Vancouver, BC.