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How to Optimize Social Media Strategies for Restaurants Looking to Expand

Learn how to boost your restaurant's growth and engagement through strategic social media optimization with expert tips from DYNE

Social media is an integral part of our lives in this digital age. It has a real impact on how we communicate, share experiences, and discover new foods. For restaurants, a social media presence is more than just an option—it’s a necessity!

Restaurants need social media because it represents many of their potential customers. It’s as simple as that for any restaurant business owner.

Businesses often hire firms to run their social media platforms, especially until they have a dedicated team for this purpose. DYNE is a worthy example of digitally battling challenging situations and complexities on your own terms.

Let’s explore different aspects of a business’s social media presence.

Importance of Social Media for Restaurant Growth

Businesses on social media platforms perform significantly better than those who don’t have any presence on social media. Your presence on social media helps in several ways, including:

Your potential customers can find you online: Your potential guests can find you online, which is one of the fundamental reasons behind your presence on social media. As per Social Media Today, 59% of millennials say they often review menus online, and 30% actively avoid restaurants with a weak Instagram presence. Your footprints on social media equate to hiring people for promotion because your potential customers promote your restaurant for free.

Promote relevant information: Creating a social media content calendar for your restaurant is not just about creating clickable, pretty pictures but also about creating a chance to promote relevant information. This information may include:

  • Special offers on holidays
  • Events
  • Location
  • Contact number for booking
  • New additions to the menu

Relevant information enhances your overall sense of professionalism and your ability to make your guests’ experience worthwhile. Your social media presence is a primary channel for promoting relevant restaurant information.

Gateway of Opening Two-Way Communication With Your Audience: Businesses build loyal customer bases by providing services inside and outside their businesses. You can start by directly engaging and amplifying your social media presence. Community management can play a clinical role in creating a relationship with your potential and new guests. Replying to comments and direct messages can initiate conversations. Conversations will lure more diners when they’ll find out directly about the food and beverages.

Target local people and tourists: TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are prominent examples of social media platforms. If your brand is not active on these platforms, a massive chunk of foodies may be unable to track you and visit your restaurant. Consider how you will tailor your digital presence to your local audience. Your brand should also have location information in the bio and social media posts, and you shouldn’t stop just here—launch Facebook ad campaigns that target tourists looking for new restaurant experiences.

Free promotion: Social media is significantly more affordable than other channels. In fact, many social media strategies are free. Social media quickly avoids any costs for billboard, radio, or TV ads and often has higher returns nowadays. Adding the location to your posts and stories plays a big part, and relevant hashtags can work wonders for your business.

How Restaurants Use Social Media

Restaurants use social media to expand their presence among their potential customers in fun, helpful, and creative ways. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter are popular examples of the ways restaurants are using social media sites, using the following methods:

  • Showcasing customer content
  • Sharing changes in hours or locations
  • Posting seasonal, daily, or weekly menus
  • Sharing high-quality pictures of food
  • Sharing exclusive events and pop-ups
  • Showing behind-the-scenes shots and videos

Tips for Social Media Presence to Expand

Below are tips to expand your social media presence.

Share the story behind your restaurant: What is unique about your restaurant? Please take a moment and think about it. It is important for you to share because social media users love human interest stories, and any simple or elaborate story can help you do that. Was the secret recipe from your family? What was the artwork inspired by? What’s your favorite item on the menu?

Highlight special holidays: Many restaurants offer specials for customers to enjoy special days. Most importantly, did you think of offering special promotions on lesser-known holidays? Being a little inventive with your social media posts can generate more engagement and customers. For instance, June 19th is National Garfield the Cat Day. You can create a lasagna offer and post a picture with a Garfield graphic.

Ask people to help design your menu: Customers are kings, and involving them in your restaurant menu optimization can help you build a more loyal customer base. You can hold a contest and ask people about their favorite option or make a random choice on the menu. Once it hits the menu, the winner will get a prize like a coupon for an entrée item. You may also take it to the next level by creating a bracket-style tournament to choose the winner or join DYNE to boost your restaurant efficiency.

Showcase local community: Your restaurant’s community relations are an incredibly important factor to consider. Showcasing causes dear to you provides a positive opportunity to position your restaurant. Community members love to get involved and know what goes on behind the scenes, so taking lots of photos of your customers can also motivate others to spread positivity in the community.

Feed local thought leaders and influencers: Organize new menu items for the local radio/TV station or host a dinner for the local heroes and document it on social media.

Share your positive reviews: Sharing reviews is a great way to show how you are performing in the industry, and it is often seen on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other platforms. Share reviews on Google and Yelp, and ensure that various materials are ready to download.

Monitor and share media mentions: Set up Google Alerts for your restaurant business, and never miss a beat when you or your restaurant appear in the news or anywhere else. Share anything that can positively impact your restaurant. Statistics show that 69% of millennials take photos of their food before eating, so keep tabs on your social media to see if you get featured!

Create videos: Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram all offer live videos and other features to help you thrive.

How to Make a Great Social Media Post:

For food marketing, the quality of your visual content must be top-notch, whether related to image size, graphics, or scenery.

Ensure all of your posts have the following:

  • Engaging writing
  • Clear branding
  • Relevant hashtags
  • A call to action

To see how to schedule your posts effectively in just five clicks, book a call here: DYNE.

Stats on Restaurant Social Media Marketing

Market data agency Gitnux has recently revealed a few statistics about the role of social media for restaurants and their diners. These stats show:

  • US restaurants with active social media witness an average of 5-10% higher sales annually.
  • 60% of restaurants with a presence on Instagram experience a significant increase in reservations.
  • 70% of customers have visited a restaurant because they saw recommendations on social media.
  • Response to comments has shown a 25% increase in customer satisfaction.

How Restaurants Work With Social Media Influencers

Food bloggers have a strong social media presence within the industry and can help you achieve your business goals. Share behind-the-scenes photos of them at your restaurant and try to coordinate a collaborative post on Instagram to share followers. Alternatively, you can share your post on that person’s page and share one’s post on your page. Be sure to ask for digital copies of their work, and don’t forget to scatter them throughout the year.

In 2024, incorporating food influencers into your social media marketing strategy can significantly improve your restaurant business. As explained above, they can be used as a marketing tool. For example, you can involve local food influencers to promote a seasonal special you are releasing at a future date.

Final Thoughts

Maintaining a strong social media presence is vital to your business success. In this article, we have provided top tips for expanding your restaurant business through the power of social media. Implementing these tips can take your business to the next level and amplify your social media.

DYNE can make it even easier for you with our excellent track record of providing digital marketing solutions to over 700 restaurant owners. DYNE is committed to revolutionizing the restaurant industry through AI. Our passion, innovation, and strive to make a real impact are driving factors in providing actionable insights that empower restaurant owners to optimize their operations. Take advantage of our innovative restaurant digital solutions to expand your business.

Written by
Vincent Kenn

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