Guide to Restaurant Social Media Marketing in 2021 - AppInstitute (2022)

Guide to Restaurant Social Media Marketing in 2021 - AppInstitute (1)

A good restaurant social media marketing strategy can help bring customers to your venue. This is because social media is an important tool people use to make purchasing decisions.

This is especially true when it comes to choosing where to eat⁠—people love sharing and searching for photos of food. In fact, according to TouchBistro, 41% of people have decided to eat at a specific restaurant based entirely on positive social media feedback.

This means it’s crucial for restaurants to have a strategy for how to use these platforms to attract customers. Even if you aren’t a social media expert, taking small steps such as setting up your profiles can make a big difference to how much exposure you gain in the online world.

In this article, we’ll look at what you need to do to nail your restaurant’s social media marketing.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Step One: Build Your Restaurant’s Social Media Marketing Presence
    • 1.1 How to Set Up Your Restaurant’s Facebook Profile
    • 1.2 How to Set Up Your Restaurant’s Instagram Profile
  • 2 Step Two: Create Great Posts
    • 2.1 Images of Menu Items
    • 2.2 Special Offers
    • 2.3 User-Generated Content
    • 2.4 Competitions
    • 2.5 Jokes and Memes
    • 2.6 Behind the Scenes Content
    • 2.7 What Makes a Great Restaurant Social Media Post?
  • 3 Step Three: Use Social Media Influencers
  • 4 Step Four: Focus on the Food
  • 5 Social Media Is a Key Part of Your Mobile Strategy

Step One: Build Your Restaurant’s Social Media Marketing Presence

First, set up your restaurant’s social media accounts on the platforms most used by your customers or the people you want to attract.

Facebook and Instagram are the core social media platforms for most restaurants. If you think it will help reach your audience, consider making a Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, or YouTube account.

How to Set Up Your Restaurant’s Facebook Profile

With over 2.4 billion users worldwide, Facebook is the most widely used social platform. It’s a key part of any social media strategy. What’s more, reports suggest that over half of consumers have used the social network to discover new businesses.

Guide to Restaurant Social Media Marketing in 2021 - AppInstitute (2)

The good news is that Facebook makes it easy for restaurants to set up a business page. It’s also completely free to get set up.

You just need to click on “Create a Page” and then fill out the profile with all the information your customers might need.

The above image is of Manchester-based restaurant Gusto. It’s an example of a great restaurant Facebook page.

On its profile, Gusto includes:

  • Opening hours
  • Address
  • Website URL
  • Phone number and other contact details
  • Menu and information about the food—including images
  • When it’s likely to be busy
  • Customer reviews

Even if you rarely post to your page, having one with up-to-date information will ensure you show up when people search for your restaurant on Facebook. If you optimize your page well you may also show up for more general terms like “[your location] restaurant.”

In this article, we go into greater detail on Facebook marketing strategies you can use at your restaurant.

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How to Set Up Your Restaurant’s Instagram Profile

Instagram is another hugely popular platform for restaurant social media marketing. It’s also a great social platform for restaurants, as people love to share beautiful photos of food and social events.

Like Facebook, Instagram can have a strong influence on purchasing decisions. A study run by UK-based Italian food chain Zizzi found that 30% of 18 to 35 year-olds would avoid a restaurant if its Instagram presence was weak.

An Instagram business page looks almost the same as a regular profile on the platform. However, business profiles have access to advanced statistics about posts.

Guide to Restaurant Social Media Marketing in 2021 - AppInstitute (3)

The burger restaurant ShakeShack has an excellent Instagram profile. It features a short bio that tells the customer more about the restaurant, and there is also a link to the website so customers can find out more about the company and order food online

ShakeShack also makes good use of Instagram stories. It has nine stories pinned to the profile, each one containing more information about different products and initiatives.

The downside to Instagram as a social media marketing tool is that you can only add a link to your profile in the biography section, not on individual posts.

Rather than directing users to your homepage, consider pointing them towards the most important part of your website. For example, your page for online reservations, online food ordering, or downloading your app.

Check out this post for more Instagram marketing ideas for your restaurant.

Step Two: Create Great Posts

Once you have your profiles up and running, you need to start posting. This is a crucial step to building your social media presence.Here is some social media post inspiration.

Images of Menu Items

Guide to Restaurant Social Media Marketing in 2021 - AppInstitute (4)
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The most common type of restaurant social media post is images of food. These appetizing photos are what will encourage people to visit your restaurant. Add a description of the image and some relevant hashtags and watch the likes come flooding in. You can always buy some likes to boost engagement.

You could use these posts to introduce new menu items, or simply encourage people to visit your restaurant. Or you might want to combine images of your food with some of the post types mentioned below.

Special Offers

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Promoting offers on your social media profile can be a good way to get people through the door.

According to TouchBistro, 80% of restaurant-goers have visited a restaurant based entirely on receiving a promotion. And if they have a great experience, they’re likely to keep coming back.

Consider using these social media promotions to increase footfall at times when you are otherwise quiet or use them to encourage visitors to try new menu items.

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This article has a whole section about how to use offers to attract customers to your restaurant.

User-Generated Content

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Resharing user-generated content shows you engage with your customers and can encourage people to post about your restaurant.

It’s also a good way to get high-quality content for your social media accounts for free. Just make sure you get permission from the person who posted the image before you share it.

Many restaurants share user-generated stories while leaving the main profile for the content they create. If the person who made the post tagged the restaurant or made the story public, it’s easy for restaurants to reshare the content.

Competitions

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Competitions are a great way to spread the word about your business. Make sure you choose an appealing prize—for example, a free meal at your restaurant—and a way of entering the competition that will increase the reach of your social media profiles.

Here are some examples of how to do that:

  • Ask people to comment on an Instagram photo and tag someone they want to go to your restaurant with. Choose one of the answers and give the winner a free meal.
  • Ask people to share a Facebook or Twitter post and then choose a winner.
  • Ask customers to share images of your restaurant using a specified hashtag and then choose the best one from the shared images.
  • Gain more followers by asking customers to like a post and follow your account to be in with a chance of winning.

Jokes and Memes

Guide to Restaurant Social Media Marketing in 2021 - AppInstitute (9)
Source

If it fits in with your brand voice and target audience, consider posting jokes and memes. This is an effective way to connect with your audience in a way that seems less promotional.

The above post from Nando’s works because it’s funny, light-hearted and isn’t overly promotional. By sharing jokes with its audience, the company connects with them on a deeper level.

Behind the Scenes Content

Guide to Restaurant Social Media Marketing in 2021 - AppInstitute (10)
Source

Posting behind the scenes content can help make your business seem more personable.

Images of a chef preparing food for the evening with a description of what they are doing gives the audience an exclusive look ‘backstage’ and adds a human element they can relate to.

Use this type of content to tell your restaurant’s story, such as how you choose fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

What Makes a Great Restaurant Social Media Post?

High-Quality Images

Images are by far the most important part of your post as they are the first thing people will see.

If you aren’t confident in your photography skills, consider hiring a professional to take photos of your food for you. This is a good investment as you can use these photos throughout your marketing.

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Engaging Text

Your post’s text is where you get your message across. Make sure it is clear, grammatically correct, and error-free. When writing your social media posts, consider your target audience and write in a voice that will appeal to them.

Be creative—think about including information about the menu items in the picture to make them even more appealing. Explain the cooking process or talk about how you source ingredients.

Asking questions is a good way to drive customer interaction. Speaking directly to your customers will encourage them to comment on your post, which can increase visibility.

Well-Researched Hashtags

Hashtags are an effective way to get your post in front of more people as they help your post show up when someone searches for the topic.

Before publishing, research trending hashtags people use in your area when searching for places to eat out. An easy way to do this is to look at the hashtags your competitors are using.

Alternatively, search for terms and see which ones are popular. Useful hashtags include those based on the name of your area plus “restaurant,” or the name of your area plus the type of food you sell.

Depending on the area and the competition, you may want to be quite specific when using hashtags. Instead of #londonrestaurant, which has almost half a million posts, use #hackneyrestaurant to gain greater visibility.

Guide to Restaurant Social Media Marketing in 2021 - AppInstitute (11)

Source

You can use up to 30 hashtags on a single post. While some people think lots of hashtags looks like spam, you can hide them further down your description so that people only see them if they click on your post.

Ultimately, the best way to decide on the optimum number of hashtags is to experiment with your posts to see what works.

Step Three: Use Social Media Influencers

Social media influencers can be a good way to get your restaurant in front of many people.

There are several ways to use influencers.

Paying for a post is the easiest way. If you decide to pay an influencer to post about your restaurant, be sure to choose one with an audience similar to the one you are targeting. This includes the demographic you want to target as well as the location.

You’ll also want to check how an influencer’s audience interacts with them. An influencer with a smaller number of engaged followers can be better than one with a large following that doesn’t interact with their posts.

Another option is to use your customers as micro-influencers. This can be an effective way to market your restaurant, as studies have found that people trust recommendations from friends and family.

Here are some ideas about how to encourage customers to create social media posts about your restaurant.

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  • Offer freebies or discounts to people who post about your restaurant. This strategy can result in more social media posts while requiring very little work.
  • Put on an event and invite people. Search for people who have either already posted about your restaurant, or who have posted about other restaurants in the local area. You could include a mix of micro-influencers and people with larger followings.

Step Four: Focus on the Food

The food you serve, and more specifically the way you present it, is arguably the biggest influencing factor on whether people share your food on social media.

When creating dishes, consider if there are any ways you can make the presentation more social-media friendly. This doesn’t require gimmicks or a revamp of your menu; it’s more about making subtle touches to the dishes that make them appear more attractive.

And don’t stop at the food. Take advantage of your interior to attract social media coverage.

Interesting lighting or interior design features can create unofficial photo areas that people seek out to take and share pictures.

Below is a screenshot of #paesanopizza, the hashtag for a restaurant in Glasgow. It’s clear that people love to share photos of the restaurant’s interior.

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This is great for branding as people are sharing not only the restaurant’s food but also images of its name.

Social Media Is a Key Part of Your Mobile Strategy

People are spending more and more time on their phones, which is why it’s critical to have an effective mobile strategy.

Social media is a key part of this, and doing it well can help make customers aware of your restaurant.

However, it’s not the only part of a mobile marketing strategy. Combining your efforts with a mobile app can keep your restaurant full by attracting and keeping customers.

Mobile apps benefit restaurants by enabling them to create a loyalty program for customers and providing booking services and special offers.

Click here to find out more about how a mobile app can benefit your restaurant.

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FAQs

Which social media platform is best for Advertising 2021? ›

Want to know the best social media platforms to help you grow your small business?
...
The 8 Best Social Media Platforms to Market Your Business in 2021 [Infographic]
  • Facebook.
  • Instagram.
  • TikTok.
  • Pinterest.
  • Reddit.
  • Twitter.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Snapchat.
Feb 28, 2021

How effective is social media Marketing 2021? ›

Almost three-quarters of marketers surveyed for the report ranked “increased acquisition of new customers” as their top outcome for social media in 2021, a 58% year-over-year increase. However, transactions alone don't create memorable brands or ensure long-term growth.

Which social media is best for restaurants? ›

Top 6 Popular Social Media Platforms for Restaurants
  • Meta (Facebook) - Best for Building Engagement & Reach Target Audience.
  • Instagram - Best for Food Photo Promotion.
  • Pinterest - Best for Restaurant's Visual Communication.
  • Twitter - Best for Promoting Restaurant's Event.
  • YouTube - Best for Publishing Video Content.
Apr 18, 2022

What are the 10 steps to a successful social media strategy? ›

A 10-Step Checklist for Social Media Strategy Success
  1. Define Clear Goals. This is the foundation of your social media management or campaign strategy. ...
  2. Get To Know Your Audience. ...
  3. Choose the Right Platforms. ...
  4. Create a Content Bank. ...
  5. Identify Keywords and Hashtags. ...
  6. Create a Content Schedule. ...
  7. Set Up Social Tools. ...
  8. Set Your Analytics.
Feb 15, 2018

What are the five most effective social media marketing strategies? ›

The five most effective social media marketing strategies are:
  • Always educate and give value to your audience.
  • Create varied content.
  • Leverage customer loyalty, reviews, and user-generated content.
  • Focus on the best social media channel that works for your strategy.
  • Connect with other influencers in your niche.
Aug 24, 2022

What's trending on social media in 2022? ›

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are current social media trends in 2022, as brands try to offer an exciting user experience. Many e-commerce companies have adapted to AR-powered shopping, allowing users to try-on products before purchasing them.

What will the biggest social media trends be in 2022? ›

The biggest anticipated changes are the rise of TikTok and short-form video content. While Instagram and Twitter will continue to be important (especially to B2B businesses), 2022 might just be the year for smaller networks like Pinterest and Snapchat. Oh, and social commerce is a must for eCommerce businesses.

What are the social media trends in 2021? ›

From Social Networking to Social Marketplace

Online selling is becoming more streamlined through social commerce with Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest, now offering in-app purchases. Other apps you might want to leverage as a social marketplace for your brand are WhatsApp and Snapchat.

What are 6 types of social media? ›

What Are the 6 Types of Social Media? The six types of social media, though this can be broken down in many ways, include social networking, bookmarking, social news, media sharing, microblogging, and online forum sites.

What is the fastest growing social media platform 2021? ›

TikTok. TikTok has quickly become a major player with its detailed algorithms and unique content creation capabilities. In 2020 and 2021, TikTok was the fastest growing social media app in the U.S.

How important is social media marketing to restaurants? ›

Restaurants, cafés, takeaways and other food businesses can no longer afford to ignore social media as a marketing tool: it's where your customers are. People spend about 144 minutes per day on social media. That's over two and a half hours when they could be connecting with your brand.

How often should a restaurant post on Facebook? ›

Most studies agree that once per day is optimal, with a maximum of two posts per day. Hubspot found that pages under 10,000 fans experienced a 50% drop in engagement per post if they posted more than once per day. At a minimum, you should post to your Facebook Pages 3 times per week.

How many times should a restaurant post on Instagram? ›

Post often.

The more you post, the more likely people are to see your content, and therefore, your restaurant. As a rule of thumb, I aim for one post a day. You can always post more or less often than that, but avoid posting photos too close together (space out photos by at least 4 hours).

For what three things do restaurants typically use social media? ›

How Restaurants Use Social Media Marketing
  • To provide information and communicate with customers (and potential customers).
  • To help people find them when they search for restaurants online.
  • To share food and recipes in a mouth-wateringly visual way.

What are content pillars in social media? ›

In social media marketing, a content pillar refers to a predetermined theme, topic, or core value that the content you post revolves around. These “themes” (also known as “buckets”) capture the essence of your brand and indirectly evoke your mission and values.

What's in a social media strategy? ›

A social media strategy is an outline of the content that your business will post, the responsibilities of your social media team, and the social media channels you will use to promote your business. A social media strategy includes social media goals that complement your business' overall digital marketing strategy.

How long should a social media strategy be? ›

Once you have inputted all the information, you will see where your time is being spent. Basically, if you are going to spend 7 hours a week on your social media saturday, every monday you need to revisit your social media strategy to keep you focused and on the right track. This should take one hour.

How do you develop a social media growth strategy? ›

11 Ways to Grow Your Social Media Audience
  1. Hold contests. ...
  2. Include a visual with every post. ...
  3. Share more video. ...
  4. Be proactive in listening to and responding to your online community. ...
  5. Change your Page profile photos and cover photos. ...
  6. Give people a reason to follow you. ...
  7. Encourage tagging. ...
  8. Use hashtags to get found.
Jan 24, 2020

What are the tips for social media marketing success? ›

5 Tips to Successful Social Media Marketing
  • Create a Strategy. Each platform needs its strategy. ...
  • Be Consistent. While posting consistency depends on the platform, posting content regularly is always a good rule of thumb to follow. ...
  • Create Engaging & Interesting Content. ...
  • Engagement. ...
  • Track and Analyze Metrics.
Mar 1, 2022

How do you write a social media content plan? ›

How to Create a Social Media Content Plan in 10 Easy Steps
  1. Revisit your target audience profile and social media goals.
  2. Polish your social media content categories for each social channel.
  3. Decide the formats you'll use.
  4. Create an engagement plan.
  5. Have a plan to share others' content.
  6. Repurpose and curate content.
May 18, 2021

Which marketing platform is best? ›

Top All-in-one Marketing Platforms
  • HubSpot.
  • Marketo Engage.
  • MailChimp.
  • SharpSpring.
  • Keap.
  • SendinBlue.
  • Zoho.
  • Pardot.
Oct 20, 2021

Which social media platform is best for advertising? ›

Which social networks should you advertise on?
  1. 1. Facebook. Facebook has almost 2 billion daily active users, making it one of the most popular social media platforms today. ...
  2. Instagram. Instagram has around 500 million daily active users, and 62.7% of its global users are between 18-34 years old. ...
  3. YouTube. HubSpot Marketing.
Jan 19, 2022

What is the biggest trend right now 2022? ›

Top 10 Hottest Fashion Trends of 2022
  • Color Clashing.
  • Tractor Trek-Sole Boots.
  • Chunky Loafers.
  • Academia Style.
  • Hot Goth.
  • Y2K Fashion.
  • Wide Leg Pants.
  • Loud Logos.
Oct 13, 2022

What is the fastest growing social media platform 2022? ›

All channels have seen an increase, however, unsurprisingly it is TikTok that takes the crown of the fastest growing social media channel in 2022. Of the 3,000 participants, 40% state that they plan to use TikTok in 2022 as part of their social media strategy.

What is the hottest social media right now? ›

What is the most popular social media platform worldwide? Market leader Facebook was the first social network to surpass one billion registered accounts and currently sits at more than 2.89 billion monthly active users.

What is the fastest growing social media platform? ›

This begs the question: What are the fastest-growing social media platforms? The latest data shows that the fastest-growing social network is TikTok.

What are top three social media trends that brands should be keeping up with in 2022? ›

Social Media Trends in 2022

Augmented Reality will become consumers' preferred way to try-on products and interact with brands. Businesses in the B2B space will increase their investments in Instagram and Twitter. Influencer marketing will mature in 2022. Social advertising will become more sophisticated.

What are the current trending topics? ›

This is a list of the top 100 trending topics in the US right now.
...
Top Trending Topics In The US Right Now.
#Topic
1Tiktok ads
2Oura ring
3Prime gaming
4Bokksu
96 more rows
Aug 22, 2022

How do you start a social media trend? ›

8 Tips for Finding New and Emerging Trends on Social Media
  1. 1 1. Use TikTok Creative Center.
  2. 2 2. Follow Influencers in Your Industry.
  3. 3 3. Check Out What's Trending on Twitter.
  4. 4 4. Check out Google Trends.
  5. 5 5. Use Exploding Topics.
  6. 6 6. Join Social Media Groups on Facebook.
  7. 7 7. See What's Trending on YouTube.
  8. 8 8.
Jun 5, 2022

How can I promote my restaurant business? ›

Restaurant marketing strategies
  1. Ask for reviews. The power of online reviews is undeniable, and customers are almost always happy to leave them. ...
  2. Respond to reviews. ...
  3. Send out an email newsletter. ...
  4. Turn your Facebook business page into a community. ...
  5. Loyalty programs. ...
  6. Local SEO. ...
  7. Invest in paid ads. ...
  8. Start a blog.
Jan 14, 2015

Why should restaurants be on social media? ›

One of the most important reasons a restaurant should have social media accounts is communicating with customers. Social media allows you to keep in touch and build a personal connection with your customers.

How do I advertise my restaurant on Instagram? ›

How To Master Restaurant Marketing On Instagram
  1. Create a Restaurant Hashtag #️⃣
  2. Use Food & Drink Social Media Holidays 🗓
  3. Stick to a Feed Colour Palette 🎨
  4. Create Story Highlights 📱
  5. Create a Memorable and Unique Brand Symbol 💡
  6. Partner With Influencers & Food Bloggers 🤳
  7. Run Competitions & Giveaways 🎁
Oct 13, 2022

What is restaurant marketing strategy? ›

Marketing a restaurant is the act of showcasing your restaurant or foodservice concept and offering your services to the general public to win their business. It's a large part of what builds up a restaurant brand. Broken down, marketing is the strategy behind how you engage with your customer base.

What are the 4 types of promotion? ›

The four main tools of promotion are advertising, sales promotion, public relation and direct marketing.
  • Advertising.
  • Sales Promotion.
  • Public Relations.
  • Direct Marketing.

How important is social media marketing to restaurants? ›

Restaurants, cafés, takeaways and other food businesses can no longer afford to ignore social media as a marketing tool: it's where your customers are. People spend about 144 minutes per day on social media. That's over two and a half hours when they could be connecting with your brand.

How often should a restaurant post on Facebook? ›

Most studies agree that once per day is optimal, with a maximum of two posts per day. Hubspot found that pages under 10,000 fans experienced a 50% drop in engagement per post if they posted more than once per day. At a minimum, you should post to your Facebook Pages 3 times per week.

What percentage of restaurants use social media? ›

Eighty-two percent of restaurants in the United States devote at least part of their marketing budgets today to social media, making it the most popular channel, according to new research from TripAdvisor, the online travel guide.

How much should a restaurant post on Instagram? ›

Post often.

The more you post, the more likely people are to see your content, and therefore, your restaurant. As a rule of thumb, I aim for one post a day. You can always post more or less often than that, but avoid posting photos too close together (space out photos by at least 4 hours).

How do I promote my restaurant on Facebook? ›

From your Facebook Business Page screen, click “Promote.” You'll be asked to select what type of ad campaign you'd like to run. There are three campaign types: Promote Your Website - If you have a high-functioning website or if you're promoting registrations for a specific event, this is likely a good option for you.

How do I get my restaurant featured? ›

Let's go through the steps of how to get reviewed by a food blogger, food writer, or food critic at your restaurant.
...
When reaching out:
  1. address every writer by name.
  2. introduce yourself.
  3. explain your interest in working with each of them specifically.
  4. give them incentive.
  5. ask them to visit!

What are the 5 methods of promotion? ›

What are the 5 methods of promotion?
  • Direct selling.
  • Advertising.
  • Public relations.
  • Personal selling.
  • Sales promotion.

What are the best strategies for social media marketing? ›

10 Social-Media Marketing Strategies for Companies
  • Start using chatbots. ...
  • Create a personalized experience for your customers. ...
  • Create an efficient content marketing strategy. ...
  • Create a community for your audience. ...
  • Jazz up your profiles with a diverse content strategy. ...
  • Use brand advocates.
May 1, 2017

Which marketing platform is best? ›

Top All-in-one Marketing Platforms
  • HubSpot.
  • Marketo Engage.
  • MailChimp.
  • SharpSpring.
  • Keap.
  • SendinBlue.
  • Zoho.
  • Pardot.
Oct 20, 2021

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