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How To Market Your Restaurant on Social Media |Food Business/Restaurant Marketing Strategies


We’re going to be going over four ways to market your restaurant on social media. So many of you guys have already been on that social media train. So congratulations on that because a lot of people actually don’t see the value.

Just in the last two, three years people don’t see the value in posting on social media because there’s no direct ROI. There is no direct association with you putting in a dollar on ads. You putting a dollar on investing in your brand on social media and how much you get back. You don’t know which is the reason why a lot of people don’t do that.

1) Advertise Your business

Today people are waking up. People understand the importance of social media that’s the reason why people are spending thousands of dollars hiring social media people to take pictures for them, to write captions, to interact with their customers.

But in today’s now age it is not enough just to post nice pictures. It is not enough to just engage because the market is so saturated, The platforms like Facebook. Instagram. They are so saturated with beautiful? Pictures

You need the right strategies to actually stand up and, aside from the crowd, which is the reason why I want to be sharing with you. The four different ways to market through social media for your restaurant and they’re coming right up The number one way to market on social media is to use ads.

Now I’m 100 % against using ads. If you are not aware, and if you don’t understand objectives, and if you do not have already a solid base and foundation for your business. However, if you already have a solid foundation, if you already have people who are interacting with your brand, then running ads is a must running ads on Facebook and Instagram is still relatively cheap, as opposed to the native like print ads, bus ads, and video ads and stuff like that.

And on top of those running ads on social media like Facebook and Instagram is super effective when you can combine that with the right strategy. So for example, when we’re running ads just to sell people on. ‘Hey, know what comes to my restaurant, 20% off’. No, we don’t want to do that. We want to be able to run ads strategically to show people that.

Hey, you know what? This is the behind the scenes process of how we make our food. This is the type of food that we offer, this is the type of people that we serve. This is how they feel about our food after they come and consume it at our restaurant. This is behind the scenes. This is how everything is made and then when the timing is right, when you want to promote a certain campaign, you would want to then offer them something in return.

You’d tell them that you know what there’s 10% off or ‘Hey you know what come during this weekend for this specific promotion’. So at the end of the day running promotions is very strategic.

You cannot just send them an offer and expect your customers to return right away. You need to be able to warm them up. You need to show them behind the scenes. You need to be able to tell them a story. You need to be able to show them behind the scenes how you are working.

So at the end of the day when the timing is right, you’re going to become top of mind for your customers. And another powerful thing and another powerful way of running ads are to retarget.

What that means and that’s actually where the true power is when you’re running ads is when you can retarget people. And what that means is haven’t you ever experienced something that you know you were wanting to buy a certain item.

Let’s say, for example, a jacket you want to buy that jacket you click on add to cart, and at that moment someone calls you and you shut your computer and then you go out for dinner, something like that.

And an hour later you come back, you open up your laptop and you forget about the jacket. So you have the intent to buy that jacket, but because of the fact that life takes over, you forgot about it completely. And all of a sudden next day you get an email reminding you that ‘Hey, you know what? You have this jacket in your cart. Just want to remind you that if you want to check out, you get 10% off‘, something like that, that’s called retargeting. That’s showing up in your inbox, showing up in your feed, telling you that, ‘Hey, you know what? You forgot about me but I’m here’.

That’s the power of running ads. And then the same note, you can actually do the same thing with food and beverage as well. So for example, when people actually interact with your ad, they’re like, Hey, you know what?

I really like this product. I really like this menu of yours. I really like this recipe of yours. Great stuff. And next time whenever you have a promotion, you show it in front of my face, now because of the fact that I love your branding because I already love and want to try out your product, I’m much more inclined to actually come to your restaurant and try out your stuff.

And that’s the power of retargeting.

That’s the power of being timely with the ads so you’re not just running ads because everyone else is doing it. You need to have a strategy. You need to have objectives and you need to be able to retarget in a timely manner. That’s the number one way to market on social media for your restaurant in today’s time.

2) Get reviews

The second way to market through social media for your restaurant is through review sites. Review sites are social media as well because this is a platform where people can actually search for your restaurant and your brand. Believe it or not, more than 80% of people that go and eat a new place, go on review sites like Yelp, Google reviews, all these different review sites and you need to make sure you have a presence on these different sites.

And on top of that actually, I’m going to throw you another star, did you know that a half star rating increase accounts for more than 30% of increased traffic. And what that means is that if you have a three and a half star versus someone that has a four-star, and yet you guys serve the same thing 30% of the time, people will search.

People actually go and prefer the place with that half a star more, that four-star restaurant, they would prefer that and they would have 30% more sales than this company and brand this restaurant, which has only three and a half star which is the reason why you should pay a lot of attention on review sites.

A lot of times you may be wondering, I don’t have many reviews. You need to make sure that you strategize on getting reviews, good reviews, bad reviews, it doesn’t matter. Just honest reviews, you can always work towards making sure your product satisfies your customer. Now on the same token, if your product sucks then it doesn’t matter if your reviews are not because you shouldn’t even be in the restaurant business. I’m saying this if you have a good product that you can actually improve upon, that you can actually serve to the customer, that customers actually enjoy it.

Now, some of the ways to get reviews are to actually incentivize your customers and incentivize them. For example, a drink for every time they come in and show that they have left a review or perhaps having a sign out your door that says, ‘Hey, please leave us a review‘, on Yelp or something like that. Because a lot of times if you don’t ask, you shall never receive, which is the reason why you should always ask.

Whenever you have it reviewed, make sure you respond to them and engage with your customers. Whether the review, it’d be a troll review where people are just complaining about you, ‘Hey, you know what? They have bad service’ because the guy looks like he’s always bored at work, but if you’re not that bored and it’s just how you looked and unfortunately that review is not warranted, then you can reply, ‘Hey, you know what? Make some put some character into it’.

Make it fun. For example, you can be like, ‘Hey, this is how I look’. ‘How dare you?’ Or something along the lines of that. Just make it fun with them. Show your character because people who are actually reading these reviews they’re human too.

They understand what is a true review and what are the reviews aren’t actually warranted. For example, it is a warranted review that is a negative one, then own up to it, and tell the people that unfortunately this happened to you.

Let me make it right to you and actually improve upon it. And people are much more forgiving if you’re honest and if you own up to it. So there you go review sites do not take this lightly because it would make or break your business.

3) influencer Marketing

The third way to market on social media for your restaurant is through influencer Marketing. And what that means is that influencers are basically the cool kids in the class. They’re the people that look up to the people that are outspoken and they’re the most popular people. They’re like prom Kings and the prom Queens.

So these are the people that you would want to bring into your restaurant. These are the people that you want to reach out to and actually find their profile and offer them to come into your restaurant to have a free meal, to actually, you know what? Not pressure them into writing a post, not pressure them to share, but more so just to come and experience what you have to offer.

And if you’re genuine about that and if you’re not an annoying person about this a lot of times these influencers would be more than happy to post on your behalf, more than happy to post their experience at your establishment and that says a lot about you versus food critics or versus anything else. influencers are the major players in town and a major influence for your restaurant because a lot of times you can actually leverage their customer base.

They’re the people that follow them and a lot of times these influencers, they have 10, 20 thousand, a hundred thousand subscribers and followers that actually watch what they have to post. So if they had a pleasant experience at your joint the majority of the time they can influence their following as well.

And when we first started 720 sweets, the first day that we opened there was a food blogger who came in and posted about us, and the next day, three more of her friends came in and tried our ice cream, our smoking ice cream, and find that this was a pleasant experience.

They actually asked us if they can post for us and at that time, this was five years ago. At that time I didn’t know what was influencer marketing, but I just said that, Hey know what? I just want to serve you. I just want to bring the best dessert to the market. And because of this attitude that we had, we were able to actually have them post for us and talk about their experience on social media.

And in turn, we became super busy the third day onwards and within the first year, we expanded to three shops, all because of influencer Marketing. So this is not something you want to take lightly nowadays, this whole industry has transformed, has evolved, and has matured, which makes influencer Marketing that much more important.

So at the end of the day, if you really want to be able to market and if you want to be able to bring your brand out to the world, do not oversee the importance of social media and do not oversee the importance of influencer Marketing. And a lot of times this is where they’re going to be able to share through word of mouth as well. When people see your post online, they’re going to be talking about it with their friends.

So if you deliver a positive experience, a good experience to your consumers, a good experience to your food bloggers and influencers, they’re going to talk about it even offline and that brings a lot of weight through marketing for your restaurants.

Now, I know we talked a lot about influencers, social media influencers, and stuff like that. However, you did not want to oversee the importance of catering to influencers that are offline as well. We’re talking about people that are not really on social media but has a lot of following and it has a lot of networks, so for example, people that are in the real estate game or people who are in the banking industry, they love your product, they come and try it out and they’re like, Hey, you know what? I can bring this back to my branch.

Or real estate agent, hey, know what? I really liked this. I want to buy a bunch of this stuff or buy a bunch of gift cards and gift it to my association. These are all things that you do not want to oversee as well. Even though they’re not on social media, they too have a lot of influence.

They too hold a lot of weight through word-of-mouth marketing. Nonetheless, if you can actually combine the effect of social media and influencer Marketing with word of mouth marketing, that becomes a really strong synergy and a big combo that can help your restaurant market in today’s age.

4) Build A Community

Fourth and final way to market on social media for your restaurant is to be able to build a community, this is something that I personally advocate of.

I do not run any ads, I do not run any paid promotions until I can build a solid base, a foundation of fans that love our product and love our service and loves us in general because it is super important.

You don’t for example there is no loyalty, there is no way you can demand a premium if people don’t view you as a brand. If they don’t love you, they only treat you like a commodity. And when you are treated as a commodity, how do people value you?

They value you by price. So if you’re not the cheapest in town, if not the cheapest, the most bang for the buck, then they’re not going to come to you because they view you as a commodity. However, if they view you as a brand that they love, then they’re willing to support your journey and then they’re willing to pay a premium, and then they have that loyalty for your brand.

So at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you have competitors that are open around the block, it doesn’t matter if you have competitors that open right beside you, they’ll still come to you because they want to support your journey and because they’re a loyal fan of yours and they’re willing to pay that little bit of a premium for your product because they’re a loyal fan. Now, having said that, how do you build a loyal fan base?

A lot of times this comes from personal engagement. These are things that are not scalable. These are things that require one on one interaction, that you need to care for them, that you need to show them that you appreciate them. Some simple gestures like that you addressing them by their first name, accumulating fans one by one, and knowing your first thousand fans is so, so important for the success of your restaurant.

Address them by their first name, treat them something small. So then that way they feel that, ‘Oh, I’m a VIP, Ooh, I kind of like this, Ooh, I’m special‘. And in turn, slowly but surely they become regulars and they become loyal fans of you, sharing along your story. Why is it that you’re building this brand?

Why is it that you’re building your restaurant and what are you working on, what you’re working towards? And if they know a lot more about you, understand your journey, understand your story, then they’re much more prone to want to support you on your journey for your restaurant.

And which is how you can build your loyal fan base one fan at a time. This is something that is not scalable but is essential for your restaurant’s success.

Number four is to be able to create that community of loyal fans. And that’s going to make a difference between a failing business and a thriving business.

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