Before you can get started with restaurant social media marketing, you’ll need to set up accounts if you don’t have them. For restaurants, Facebook and Instagram are the two platforms you definitely need to be on.
If you already have these accounts set up, go through the restaurant social media checklist below to make sure your profiles are set up for success.
- Display names. Keep your restaurant’s name consistent across all social media platforms so that when guests look for you, they’ll know they’ve come to the right place.
- Social media handles. Again, be consistent and identifiable with your handle. If your restaurant name is already taken, try adding your city name or abbreviation to the end. (ie: if @burgerbar is taken, try @burgerbar.nyc)
- Profile photos. Just like the two points above, keep this consistent across all platforms. Your restaurant’s logo is the best bet to make sure your guests know it’s you.
- Your restaurant’s location. You guessed it—be consistent. If your restaurant has multiple locations, some social media sites only allow for one address, so use the address of your flagship location or most popular restaurant on those platforms.
- Your restaurant’s website URL. Each social media platform has a website field, allowing you to direct your guests anywhere online. This space should go to your restaurant website so new followers can learn more about your business.
- The “About Me” or “Bio” sections. This should include a brief description of your restaurant that will entice potential customers into visiting your restaurant.
Run a contest to boost engagement and gain followers
Instagram is the platform where restaurants see the most engagement, so try running a contest there to boost your reach. The Instagram algorithm loves it when people share, comment on, and like your photo, and contests give your followers a reason to do just that.
In addition to gaining a following, an Instagram contest is a low-budget method to get the word out, whether you are trying to drive more people to your online ordering page or announce the opening of a new location.
To run a successful Instagram contest, keep the rules simple and clear. The most common criteria for entering are:
- Like the contest photo and follow your account
- Tag friends in the comments. You can offer people a higher chance of winning if they tag multiple people, but let them note that tags should be left in separate comments (this boosts your post up in the algorithm).
- Offer an even higher chance of winning if folks share your post in their story and tag your account for visibility
- You can run a contest on your own or in partnership with another business. For example, pair up with a local theater for a “dinner and a show” package; the contest rules remain the same, but it is mutually beneficial because entrants must like and follow both accounts, giving you some cross-promotion perks.
Post as often as possible
You don’t have to post every day, but you should be posting consistently to keep your restaurant’s name on top of your customer’s minds. At least three times a week is a good starting point when getting started with restaurant social media marketing.