Let’s be frank! As a restaurateur, the mounting pressure of trying to stand out in a crowd can really weigh you down; now more so than ever, with restaurants continuing to witness a complete overhaul in the way they function.
The changing patterns in customer behavior have left restaurants with real challenges on navigating an uncharted territory. Going in with a solid plan dedicated to social media marketing for your restaurant could be a real gamechanger.
The Truth About Social Media Marketing For Restaurants You Need To Know
When the pandemic first hit, most restaurants struggled to build an online presence and eventually realized the importance of being on digital platforms. In the digital age, it is a necessity to integrate social media marketing for your restaurant business. But the advent of social media marketing for restaurants is a tale we’ve all heard before.
To ensure that your restaurant prospers in a cut-throat environment can be a daunting task. Juggling between the need to grow your customer base while simultaneously trying to get more orders is quite the balancing act; one that you may find is worth your time and effort.
In a study conducted on the restaurants of the future, 64% consumers said that they don’t anticipate returning to their pre-pandemic habits of dining in restaurants anytime soon.
Consumers are now choosing convenience and frictionless experiences prompted by their safety concerns. With online ordering replacing the traditional dining experience for the most part, the need to make your voice heard where your customers are, becomes critical.
What you really need to know when it comes to the social media marketing plan for your restaurant is that consumer psychology has spun on its own axis. The next step is to understand how your customers think and build a meaningful relationship with them, wherever they are.
Which Social Media Platforms Could Work For Your Restaurant
For your restaurant to make a mark on social media, it is crucial that you understand and define who your customers are, where they are present and how you can gain their trust by coming across as a genuine brand. That being said, there are social media platforms that could potentially work for your restaurant, based solely on the magnitude of their impact.
Anyone would tell you that Facebook has etched its way into every digital user’s screen space over the last decade. Almost 15 years after it went live, Facebook has transcended customer expectations and continues to constantly evolve with the changing technological landscape. Today, everyone we know is on Facebook and it’s no wonder that Facebook has earned a reputation as the most popular social media platform with over 2.91 billion active users!
If you’re still doubting whether Facebook would be the right fit for your restaurant, these whopping numbers should give you the assurance that it is the most sought after social platform there is!
If you mull over how clean the entire user experience and visually driven Instagram is, you will conclude that Instagram is the kind of niche platform that your restaurant is cut out for. Moreover, Instagram is easy to explore and discoverability is definitely one of its unique selling points. All this considered, you as a restaurant owner, would be wise to build a social media presence on Instagram because it offers an incredibly cost-effective way to advertise.
Again, much like Facebook, Instagram too has over a billion users which makes it a great channel for your restaurant’s customer engagement. And the odds of your target audience being on Instagram are extremely high!
Although many would consider WhatsApp to be an instant messaging platform, it qualifies as a social media platform because it checks all the boxes of a social channel including the ability to communicate, share audio plus video files, and social networking.
Coming to the prospect of WhatsApp being a top contender for restaurants, it follows through by offering what other platforms may not. The very essence of engaging customers is to know them and get their data. By the virtue of being an instant messaging and social media channel, WhatsApp adds immense value to your business by giving you direct access to your customer data. As soon as you receive a message from your customers, you have their name and number. This makes WhatsApp the reigning king of social media and is a must for your restaurant!
While these are the default platforms for most restaurants, you will have to deep dive into your customer profile and figure out where your customers are scrolling. Let’s say your customers are into video content, then you may want to look at YouTube as an option. If your customers are consuming bite-sized content pieces, you may consider TikTok.
The thing to remember here is that there is no one-size-fits-all rule that applies to choosing the right channel for your restaurant! So don’t be afraid to experiment with platforms and see what best suits you.
What Restaurants With Great Social Media Marketing Ideas Have Taught Us
A single compelling picture of your food can certainly help you widen your reach. However, when it comes to social media marketing ideas for your restaurant, there’s a lot more than just fancy food pictures that you’ll need to make it work for your business. Thankfully, there’s much to learn from restaurants that continue to push the boundaries on social media marketing.
Along the way, we have gained some key insights on the different nuances of social media marketing from restaurants who seem to have discovered the mantra to their success.
We have seen restaurants using social media marketing ideas in an ingenious way, allowing them to acquire new customers and increase their order volume. Let’s detail out the lessons that we have learnt from other restaurants:
1. Social Selling Is The Future
Until recently, social media was a way to communicate with people across the globe. On the surface, businesses were making use of social media to connect with their customers so far. Enter social selling and now the entire customer journey gets clubbed on social media – right from discovery to sale, social commerce offers a wholesome shopping experience and ensures authentic connections between customers and the brands they interact with.
As a restaurateur, you’ll be happy to know that enhanced audience ad profiling, targeting, better customer understanding, and deeper insights have presented a tremendous opportunity on social media. And this can be attributed to the rise of social commerce.
When executed with perfection, social selling strengthens a brand among existing customers and lets businesses acquire new customers that are keen on innovative social shopping formats and experiences.
Social commerce is expected to grow three times as fast as traditional commerce to $1.2 trillion by 2025. This is great news for restaurant owners who can now utilize social media not only to reach out to their customers but also elevate their entire ordering experience by letting them make a purchase wherever they are.
2. Performance Marketing Is An Investment Not An Expense
Restaurant owners have always been conflicted on whether to take the organic path to marketing or allot a budget towards their paid marketing. However, there’s a lot more than meets the eye here.
Truth be told, while organic marketing may appear to be the ideal option, it can actually limit your growth as a restaurant; so much so that you may just end up lagging far behind. This may be the reason behind some of the best restaurants relying on performance marketing and not just on their organic marketing.
Performance marketing leverages the paid social media marketing strategy for your restaurant based on your relevant business objectives and intended results. The conversions that you would pay for, typically fulfill objectives like downloads, leads, purchases or clicks. But the great news for you as a restaurant owner is that you only pay when you get the desired action and if you don’t, you can optimize your ad campaigns further in the future, without losing a penny!
Using the right performance marketing channels can scale your marketing to meet the needs of your restaurant and not drain you monetarily. However, looking at performance marketing as an investment and not an expense, is the shift in perspective you need because there is no doubt that it can get you a lot more traffic and orders than you are hoping for.
Since you can specifically target audiences, instead of waiting for them to stumble upon your restaurant, performance marketing is one of those social media marketing ideas for your restaurant that will become the beginning of your own masterstroke.
3. High Engagement = High Recall Value
Engagement is proof that your audience is invested enough to make a positive action. And it is clear as day that engagement is directly correlated to conversions.You can garner high engagement by using interactive content, or asking questions and creating polls – something that most marketers would agree has reusable value and plays a key role in ensuring repeat visitors. Although, this is not the full stop to customer engagement.
There are restaurants who have shown us, time and again, that meaningful engagement could prove fruitful in leaving a lasting impression on customers.
By diving into more sensitive issues such as mental health, Nando’s is engaging their audience on a deeper level, while coming across as a brand that can positively contribute to the progressing dialogue on such topics.
The advantages of running a campaign like this are multifold – first, it shows us that customers are seeking relatable experiences that strike a chord with them and makes them feel cared for. Secondly, they are bound to remember such campaigns that go beyond the stereotypical conversations used by brands to wow customers. Also, they make a statement that reverberates with a large segment of their audience, giving them the confidence that this brand is really listening to them.
Earning your customers’ trust and support can take your restaurant places. It can also occupy space in your customers’ minds and truly build a sincere relationship with them. When customers are happy with the experience you create, they are likely to refer friends and family, and those friends and family members will in turn bring you more customers. So start interacting with your social media followers if you hope to get more customers for your restaurant.
4. Customers Are Everything
Customers are the essence of every business. We’ve heard it all – “Customer is God”, “Customer is king”, “Customers are always right” and this is because your restaurant wouldn’t be a talking point at all if it wasn’t for your customers.
Everything that you do on social media or for that matter, even your restaurant business, is undeniably for your customers. Customers give your brand meaning and a reason to improve your experience on the whole.
We have all seen and love restaurants that go the extra mile to please their customers. The lesson we learn from such restaurants is that great customer service echoes the type of deep-rooted culture that takes years to build, and then it just feeds itself. Being a restaurant owner gives you the means to dig into your customers’ preferences by starting a conversation with them and really listening to what they want.
A Social Media Marketing Plan For Restaurants That Spells Success
Social media has not only impacted how we communicate with each other but it has also changed the way restaurants connect with their customers. This is a clear opportunity for restaurants to take charge of how they interact with customers and earn their trust.
Not leveraging social media for all it offers, is bound to hamper the growth of your business!
For restaurants, conceptualizing a social media marketing plan can be rather tricky because you’re always trying to figure out how you can stay ahead of the competition and still come across as a reliable brand to your customers. But social media marketing for your restaurant business can go a long way in realizing both these goals. In fact, as a restaurant owner, you may just find yourself propelled into gaining new customers and getting more orders.
Social media marketing amplifies reach and building a social strategy that hinges on customer centricity is vital to the success of your business. That’s why your restaurant’s social media marketing plan must consider placing customers first. If your restaurant has to succeed, taking a route that is authentic and highlights your journey, would certainly put you in a favorable position with your customers and widen your influence.
How Lyve Can Support Your Restaurant
As a restaurant owner, you’re obviously wondering how to get started. Engaging customers on social media is one thing but trying to convince your customers to make a purchase from you on social media is another. But fret not! This is where we come into the picture.
Lyve works seamlessly on all social media channels and enables you to sell directly to your customers, absolutely anywhere. Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook or WhatsApp you want to sell on, Lyve works on a plug-and-play basis which means you can quite simply add it to any social media platform and get started with your direct ordering journey. Furthermore, the social media strategy for your restaurant business can be amped up with end-to-end solutions that we offer.
We can lead the way as you crack the code to successful social media marketing for your restaurant and write your own success story!