Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest days of the year for restaurants. To connect with customers, we recommend that businesses use all their resources to attract customers, including social media and other online tools.
While it’s important for many restaurants to get a slice of the pie as Americans spend approximately 8 billion dollars on dining every Valentine’s Day, it is also essential to celebrate the holiday with your customers. If you only make it seem like you are interested in a customer’s wallet, it will kill the romance of the holiday and they probably will not visit your restaurant next Valentine’s Day.
Here are some ways restaurants are using social media:
1. Post Your Valentine’s Day Wishes
It goes without saying, but acknowledging Valentine’s Day is a way to make your restaurant more personal. Putting up a good post enables customers to share Valentine’s wishes with their friends and also plug your restaurant. For Valentine’s Day, you might find a photo that expresses to your customers that your restaurant and your staff is celebrating the holiday too. You might take a Valentine’s Day photo with all the staff. You might prepare some special dish for Valentine’s Day and take a photo. If you don’t do that, a stock image with a personalized message will give your restaurant the needed attention and remind your customers that behind your restaurant are people too.
2. Share Content about Valentine’s Day History
One way to draw attention on social media is to provide or share valuable information about Valentine’s Day. There is no better way to do that and rescue it from its Hallmark reputation than to share the dramatic history of Valentine’s Day. We prepared a fun history of Valentine’s Day for restaurants to share and we encourage you to post it on social media. However, you can write your own and include it in your blog side by side with your Valentine’s Day promotion.
3. Offer Promotional Deals or Valentine’s Day Specific Menu Items
Valentine’s Day is a big deal, but there is a lot of competition. While some restaurants look at it as a business opportunity to improve their margin, others try to gain attention and not profits. Customers need some compelling reason why customers should visit your restaurant over another. If a deal or discount is offered on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, it has the potential to become viral and entice visitors from everyone’s social media account to participate. If Valentine’s day is not one of the holidays that your restaurant benefits greatly from, the exposure on social media sites are perfect for offering two-for-one Valentine’s Deals. Restaurants often offer dining coupons to facilitate growth. All these things can be run from social media and target your most loyal customers.
4. Engage Your Customers with Valentine’s Day Questions
Engage your customers’ questions online about Valentine’s Day plans or what they did on Valentine’s Day. It may be hard to get customers to respond, so come up with questions with some originality. After they answer back, encourage customers to then share their responses with their special someone. You can also answer questions on the social media site to promote additional conversation. If you are the owner, you might also surrender the slightest bit of personal information to relate to customers. In the process, you can draw attention to your Valentine’s Day offerings at your restaurant.
5. Use Social Media to Feature Your Employees
Your employees can be a great asset on Valentine’s Day, as they are the human face for a restaurant. They can help in formulating posts or taking images. They can share their own Valentine’s Day stories. If you can obtain a consensus from your staff, you might make a photo collage of all the staff and their significant others. Maybe you will offer an incentive to do this. Either way, it will boost your social media (think about all your staff member’s friends) and improve customer relationships through social media
6. Give Customers a Taste of Your Valentine’s Day Menu Before Valentine’s Day
Solicit your followers on social media sites to offer advice about your Prix Fixe menu. That way, customers can communicate the most romantic part of your restaurant, which you can then put front and center on your menu. By crowdsourcing your menu a little, you may also build an attachment between the customers that participate and them spending Valentine’s Day at your restaurant. When they are involved, they feel appreciated and a part of the process. If they are, they are more likely to buy from the menu. Using social media to display this information will entice more people to get involved.
7. Use Social Media to Recap Valentine’s Day Festivities
Social media does not end with what your restaurant does on Valentine’s Day. Much of marketing has to do with memory, so on Valentine’s Day you might offer to take a photo of couples who visit your restaurant. Then later on you can post those photos deepening the connection between you and that couple. Most Valentine’s Days are happy occasions so it may be worth being a little forward and ask customers if they want a photo (a professional photographer is better).
Be Yourself on Valentine’s Day
The important thing about Valentine’s Day is to be not artificial and to genuinely wish people a happy, romantic holiday. If you keep to that, it is very difficult to not improve how much your customers connect with your restaurant.