How Restaurants Are Using Social Media Effectively (And What You Can Learn)

When all businesses are using social media, why should restaurants be left behind? However, due to very nature of their business, the social strategies across industries need to be customized. For restaurants- similar to many brick and mortar businesses, the key interest is using social to increase physical footfalls. Let us have a look at how restaurants are using social media effectively and what you can learn from them (you could tailor them to your industries too!). If you are a local business, these tips will especially come in handy!

How Restaurants Are Using Social Media Effectively (And What You Can Learn) BRANDANEW

Restaurants are using social media effectively- This is what your local business can learn from them!

It’s all about the Location

Restaurants are location based services. And it is important to keep that in mind. It is not just enough to start with social profiles but also to mention the physical addresses clearly and wherever possible, geo-tag the stores. Even when opting for paid promotions, local businesses like these need to target the promotions specifically to people who live in nearby areas.As an example, Seabirds Food Trucks in California routinely posts its location on its social channels to keep its fans informed and waiting at the right place. It also helps if a mobile service is present. Using mobile location based services, customers who have opted for it, get messages of new offers and promotions going on in nearby businesses.

Reward Check Ins

Not just Facebook or Twitter but tools like Foursquare that allow people to socially “check-in” or share where they are is key. So, encouraging visitors to check-in using their smartphones to let their friends and family get exposed to the brand works in favor of the local business. Businesses can offer small rewards or discounts for these too! Starbucks once ran a Charity campaign where it donated a dollar every time someone checked in to any of its outlets using Foursquare. They earned the goodwill, people felt the satisfaction of helping a cause and in the process they also hugely publicized Starbucks in their personal network. Win-win for all!

Run contests

If you are new and need to promote your eatery, there is no better way than to run a small contest or sweepstake using your social media channels. Offer a free meal or discount as a reward but make sure that the participants share your brand offer religiously in their own networks. Taco Bell conducted a contest where users uploaded photos of themselves holding tacos even with along with activities such as skydiving. The idea was to push its revamped brand identity themed around exploration. It worked!

Accept Orders and Deliver

With tech applications, it is possible to implement e-commerce facilities on the social or online pages directly. Using technology implementations, you can accept orders or allow the customers to book tables. Some others like Pizza Hut have gone a step further to create their own smartphone apps, so that people can place orders and track it even as they are reaching home after a hard days work. Dominos is currently running an ad where a pizza emoji on any platform is all you need to send to order you pizzas!

Have a Youtube Channel

Videos are great for engagement. You can share some recipe or talk about any other food related aspect through short videos. These will be eagerly shared by many people and in the process you will also receive publicity and word of mouth. For instance The Mermaid Inn, NYC runs a YouTube channel with recipes and cooking tips. By educating the audience, this also establishes it as an expert in the business of food.

What are some of the cool things you see restaurants OR local businesses in your area doing? Do share your faves with us!

Should your local business need any help in content planning or implementation, do not hesitate to contact us!

Enakshi Sharma

Digital Storyteller at Brandanew
Enakshi is a storyteller, curator (India Art Fair, 2015), anchor (May Queen, 2015), research associate (Centre for Civil Society, India), a travel writer and a blogger. She's a Digital Storyteller for Brandanew.