How to Use Social Media for Your Restaurant?

Love it or hate it, social media is an integral part of our everyday lives. And, over the last few years, it has influenced the way businesses interact with their customers. A social media presence is now a must for every restaurant. A majority of 21st century diners use social media platforms to look for places to eat, drink and hang out. So, having a social media presence makes your restaurant more easily discoverable online. Beyond getting noticed, it facilitates customer engagement, which in turn brings in greater patronage and a higher revenue.

However, simply having a social media account is not going to miraculously increase profits. You must make sure you use it appropriately and effectively. Staying active on social media by posting regularly is just the start.

5 tips on how to make the most of your social media accounts

01. Use relevant hashtags

Hashtags are like magnets on social media – they attract potential customers to you. When you use popular and trending hashtags, your posts will be boosted. What’s more, social media users can follow hashtags, making your restaurant that much more discoverable to new customers. You could also create your own hashtags and then encourage your diners to use these in their posts. While the general rule of thumb is to use food-related hashtags, you should also incorporate hashtags that are relevant to your identity and ethos.

02. Post about your staff and behind-the-scenes action

One way social media users like to connect with restaurants is to learn about the staff and the work they do. Introduce your staff to your followers by highlighting them individually and in their respective teams. Post ‘action’ videos – the chefs cooking a signature dish or your front house staff decorating and setting up for opening. These glimpses into the day-to-day goings on creates an intimacy that is appealing to viewers.

03. Encourage your customers to leave a review


Research has shown that 93% of diners check out reviews before deciding where to eat. This makes reviews crucial to clinching business. Encourage your customers to review your restaurant. If there is space to do this on your social media page, so much the better. If not, tell them to tag you so you can repost. Always acknowledge your customer’s comments, thanking them for their feedback. In the case of negative reviews, offer an apology, promise to rectify the situation and, where possible, specify what action will be taken.

Must Read: 5 Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Restaurants

04. Share User-generated content


User-generated content (UGC) refers to the posts that your diners create. You are able to repost these, as long as you credit the original creator. Positive and enthusiastic UGC are fantastic reviews and act as affirmation for your restaurant. UGC is a form of ‘show and not tell’, authentic proof that you really do deliver on your promises. Be selective about the UGC that you post, ensuring that they are in line with your social media aesthetic and identity. And, of course, they should say nice things about your restaurant!

05. Interact with your followers

Social media is a wonderful platform for two-way communication. Engage your customers regularly by using different strategies. There are many things you could do, the most popular being to run polls and quizzes, ask questions, and have competitions. Select the activity based on context, audience and time of year. A community of followers that is involved in your social media is bound to patronize your restaurant a lot more often. Throw in a prize of some sort and you’re guaranteed a visit or a takeout order.

Make your menu accessible

Once you’ve tantalized your customers with mouth-watering pictures of your dishes, give them access to your full menu so you can convince them to dine at your restaurant. The link should be somewhere prominent and easily noticeable. If you can also provide a link to make reservations, so much the better. This way there will be no room for second thoughts and you will have a confirmed booking.

Social media can become one of your best marketing tools if you use it creatively and purposefully. Whatever you choose to do on your social media platform, keep in mind three things: your clientele, your restaurant’s identity and your goals.

Must Read: Try Email Marketing If You Want More Orders to the Kitchen