Why Social Media Marketing Is an Important Tool for Restaurants

Why Social Media Marketing Is an Important Tool for Restaurants

As social media continues its exponential growth in the vast digital era, almost every imaginable industry has adapted new marketing strategies that utilize its extended reach and influence. Social media marketing has become an especially crucial tool for restaurant owners as a platform to promote their business and interact with customers.

A restaurant that maintains an active social media presence puts itself at a distinct advantage for many reasons.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Restaurants 

1. It Lets the Customers Inside the Kitchen 

Allowing the customers to actually walk into the kitchen and casually check things out would violate just about every health code violation in the book. However, a look behind the scenes at the restaurant equipment and the dynamics of food prep would really pique a lot of people’s interest. Social media makes this a reality with photo and video posts that capture this rarely seen side of eating at a restaurant.

2. It Humanizes Employees

This, of course, is not to say that the average customer looks at their hostesses, servers or bussers as robots or anything less than human. However, a social media post that provides a candid picture of the person who brings them their food or a silly anecdote about the person who shows them to their table can be a powerful thing. Suddenly, to the customers who click on the post, your restaurant doesn’t just employ workers. It employs real people.

3. It Opens the Lines of Communication

Having a conversation with a customer, or potential customer, has never been easier. Social media marketing for restaurants completely opens the lines of communication on both ends. Customers can ask questions and receive timely answers. They can also interact by tagging the restaurant in a post or comment.

Social media allows restaurants to respond to reviews, either thanking a happy customer for their business or addressing a dissatisfied customer’s complaint. They can also engage with their followers by:

  • Reposting customer content 
  • Getting involved in popular viral trends or hashtags 
  • Starting social media giveaway contests for gift cards or other relevant prizes

4. It Boosts Brand Voice

Social media allows restaurants to develop a personality representative of their environment. This is what is commonly known as a brand voice. For example, if the restaurant is a casual, friendly dining experience, the posts should be casual and friendly as well. Other styles of voice include funny, witty or even straightforward and serious. Owners should consider what brand voice they want to consistently convey when posting and stay true to it.

5. It Informs and Updates

Whether a restaurant wants to promote an upcoming event or share some exciting news, social media is now the most streamlined way these announcements can reach customers. It is also a platform to communicate daily announcements such as hours of operation or specials.  

6. It Levels the Advertising Playing Field

Reaching customers no longer requires purchasing expensive television, print or billboard advertising space. Social media rewards the restaurants that are willing to put in the extra marketing effort at no additional cost. This lends itself to independent and local restaurants that do not have an advertising team with a large budget, allowing them to compete with a voice that is just as digitally present as any other establishment. 

Points To Consider When Social Media Marketing for Restaurants

There are a few important points that a restaurant should consider as it prepares to launch its social media presence.

  • Explore the different platforms and commit to the ones that are the best fit. Instagram is commonly used by restaurants for its visual appeal. 
  • Use a business profile instead of a personal profile. Setting up a social media account as a business provides better access to helpful tracking tools.
  • Post regularly to keep your followers engaged. The algorithms that social media platforms use will also recognize consistent posting practices.

Just getting started is often one of the more challenging parts of trying anything new. Social media marketing is no different. However, managing a strong, consistent and active social media presence has evolved into one of the most important strategies for success in the restaurant industry.