In the last few years, social media has fast become one of the most talked about marketing channels for businesses.
We’ve all heard the numbers. Zephoria Inc. tells us that there are over 2.01 billion active Facebook users worldwide as of June 2017. There is a definite opportunity.
And, there is no question social media can be used to help you generate business. But many marketers take to social media with a “push” approach, which can quickly turn off their audience. Social media is where people go to connect with others, not where they go to buy things (unless it’s something they really want).
So, how you use social media is critically important to your success. Here are some tips on how to use Facebook to fill your restaurant.
Run Contests & Giveaways
Social media marketers always talk about contests and giveaways as a worthwhile tactic. This is because it works. It drives up engagement, gets your community involved, and can help you get more people coming to your restaurant if executed properly.
For instance, you could encourage your customers to take a photo of their meal and send it to you. You could post all the photos to your Facebook page with permission, select the best ones and reward the winners with a coupon or even a free meal.
Contests and giveaways also tend to encourage more sharing among your followers. Though Facebook’s organic reach is throttled, reaching more people is easier when more people interact with your posts.
Give first and add value to your followers without expecting something in return. Don’t just focus on getting.
Make Generous Use Of Visual Content
Visual content is still one of the most powerful tools you can use on social media, whether it’s graphs and charts, infographics, pictures, or videos.
As a restaurant, it makes sense to post pictures of your most mouth-watering dishes. This will attract people who love the type of food you serve and cause them to want to visit your restaurant to try your offerings.
You can combine visual content with several other tactics. For example, you could:
- Feature a “fan of the week” on your Facebook page.
- Feature an employee of the month.
- Show how a specific dish is made in a video.
- Create a behind-the-scenes video of your kitchen.
And so on.
Study The Competition
While trying to develop their own social media strategy, many marketers overlook studying what the competition is doing to drive up engagement on their social channels.
Your competition is one of the best sources for worthwhile ideas. You can see exactly what posts of theirs have gotten good engagement, and which were completely ignored. You can study what tactics they are using to get their community involved.
Before trying a great new idea that came up during a brainstorming session, perhaps take some time to explore whether any of your peers are already doing something like it, and assess whether it appears to be effective for them.
Social media lends itself to spontaneity and fun. But many marketers seem keen to bombard their audience with sales and marketing messages around the clock. If this approach works for you, change nothing. Keep doing what you’re doing.
But if you find your strategy is falling short, you should carefully consider your audience, what their interests are, how you’re engaging them, and what your long-term strategy is. Building community should be top of mind, not how much money you’ll make as result of building your following.
Show your personality on social media – be witty, humorous, maybe even a bit controversial. If people resonate with your message, they will want to check out your restaurant.