Your restaurant is amazing. It has some of the best food, amazing staff, and let’s face it the owners are the sweetest in the world. But, are you using the top social media for small business platforms?
That could all be true, but none of it matters if no one can find you. None of it matters if you are not advertising how amazing your team is and how delicious your restaurant’s food is as well! Funny enough, there are tools that you probably use everyday that can help with that. Those tools are commonly know as Social Media.
While most owners will shirk away from putting real effort into these platforms, there is obviously a benefit to leveraging any platform for additional exposure, revenue, and influence.
What is the Point of Social Media
Let me start this with a few words to help you understand what I am talking about:
More than likely, you have seen the man that carves stakes at guest’s tables with grace, elegance, and precision. Although, this dark haired 8th wonder of the world does one additional thing to make the experience special, he sprinkles salt down his arm in a trademark stance.
This sounds ridiculous except for the fact that, it worked. This man and the restaurant he maintains has gone viral several times making the move an iconic representation of the power of Social Media.
Silly as it may be, I can guarantee you that the restaurant where this man works, is making more money now than they ever had before in the entire history of the establishment. Not only that, they could probably raise prices even more than what they already probably were and no one would bat an eye. On top of that, there is probably slews of media channels reaching out for coverage constantly, famous people looking to dine there for the trademark experience, and I bet the other restaurants around are more than friendly to the owners now.
I am not saying your restaurant will become the next internet sensation, but Social Media is a viable and highly recommended means of marketing. Take it seriously, and it will pay off in new customers, and new opportunities for your business. Now that your see the possibilities, lets dive into the platforms.
What Platforms Should You Be Using
There are some specific platforms that I recommend every independent restaurant gets in order to maximize your exposure and chances for success!
You went into business to be successful, so why wouldn’t you use every tool available to do so? It really is a no brainer that Social Media should be at the top of your to-do list daily. Even it if is just a status update, your customers and the people that know you will love it and support you! For the platforms you should be using, here is a quick list of the most popular:
Each of these platforms has a unique twist it and allows you to leverage different tools on it. On some you can create additional business pages, and others you can get free exposure and growth by simply being involved and posting! Starting off the list for discussion is the most common and popular Social Media platform, Facebook.
Facebook For Businesses
While you may think,
No one uses Facebook anymore.
You would be wrong. Constantly millions of people use Facebook and they use it to discuss things like local restaurant availability, updates to menus, their favorite local spot, a good experience they had recently somewhere and more! Of course there are bad posts that come with the good, but that is all apart of being a business owner and you know that.
Specifically, there are three things you need to be doing on Facebook:
- Managing a Business Page
- Pushing Facebook Ads
- Interacting on local pages and with customers
Facebook Strategy for Independent Restaurants
For Facebook, you are able to create your own business page. This is a great place to draw in likes from your personal page, friends or family, and organically though people searching for your restaurant. The business page is an amazing place to post updates to the menu for special events, specials for holidays, change of business hours, or simply reach out to your customers and let them know you care! Really the possibilities are endless with a business page, and you will be amazed at how fast it grows with likes and follows.
The second thing you should be doing is running Facebook ads. This is situational, but if you are trying to grow and gain likes and follows on those social pages, this is the perfect way. Even just a few dollars a day can help your posts reach hundreds of people daily! I suggest doing this in the beginning to grow your following and then letting the rest come in organically. Think of it as a way to get the word out fast to your already loyal customers!
Last on the list, but just as important as the other two, is interacting on local pages and with customers. More than likely there is a Facebook group for restaurants in your town or city. There could even be one just for your county. Join these groups! It offers a perfect opportunity for you to get in front of potentially thousands of people instantly! Don’t go in there marketing yourself, but jump into conversations, comment on posts, or if the opportunity presents itself, discuss your restaurant!
Other than that, make sure to comment and respond to people that post on your page or leave reviews. This is the best way to be involved with your community and it will go a long way over time.
Instagram For Restaurants
Next in the list of social giants is the photo centric platform of Instagram.
It is pretty easy to see the utility of this platform for a restaurants that serve beautiful food every single day to people. I will go ahead and spell it out, this is your free opportunity to show beautiful photos of your amazing dishes you make everyday!
Seriously, I can not tell you how many independent restaurants misuse this platform. It is simple to capitalize on this platform and get thousands of followers while promoting your business like never before. Here is what you are going to do:
- Find a local photograph, someone who is professional
- Ask them to come in and take photos of your dishes
- Ask them to bring a lightbox if they have it or set up a good area with proper lighting to do this
- Take professional photos of all your most popular dishes
- Post them daily on your Instagram mixed in with other fun content like special events, employees, and the restaurant itself.
This should only cost you a few hundred dollars at most, but what you have just done is get content that you can then use for more exposure. One thing I highly suggest is make sure the food looks good for the photos! Take the extra amount of time to prepare the dishes perfectly because chances are you will use those photos over and over for the next few years advertising on other social platforms as well. Do it right the first time.
Other than that make sure to respond to comments, daily update your story with a quick food pic or the restaurant filled with people, and make sure to leave a link to your website in your bio for people to follow to find you or place online orders.
Get Professional On Linkedin
Next on the list of Social platforms for you to daily check and update is non other than Linkedin.
While you could not consider this platform to be useful or what you need, you might be wrong. You see Linkedin is actually growing extremely fast, and on top of that you can create another business page for your restaurant. This is just another opportunity for people to find your location and follow the things you post!
For this platform, I would stick to posting more business friendly content, but don’t be afraid to get creative. This platform is really great to reach out to more professionals in the business world if your restaurant is located in the city! More often than not, they might see you and follow you and be reminded to stop by for lunch sometimes!
It never hurts to get free exposure, and this is just another platform that gives you that opportunity in front of a different type of crowd. In addition, if you are passionate about writing some business tips for other small restaurants or independent spots to learn from, this is the opportunity to do it! That kind of content goes a long way on this platform, so I highly suggest doing it.
Start Tweeting On Twitter
A common platform for people that follow specific niches is Twitter, the world of tweets.
Twitter is a tricky platform to get the hang of, but you can easily go viral on this platform. The reason is the people on Twitter are typically extremely active and always looking to chime into something they find interesting. Therefore, you can really get into some fun conversations or discussions on this platform with people you never thought you could talk to! Yes, I am talking celebrities, CEO’s, and any type of big business is easily accessible on Twitter.
Not saying you should target them, but the opportunity is there to get recognized. For producing content on this platform, I would stick to Tweeting restaurant updates, things you find funny or interesting, or simply retweet something you like! All of these are acceptable things to do, and when you get the opportunity to respond or join in a tweet storm, do it!
People will normally like, retweet, and follow people who comment on other tweets. The idea on Twitter is not to be shy!
Time to Dance on TikTok
The new kid on the block in terms of social media platforms is TikTok.
While this was a platform for kids, it has since grown into the fastest growing platform in the world. Everyone and their mom pretty much has a TikTok now, but there is still HUGE opportunity to go viral on this platform. Seriously, people will go from 10 followers to thousands after a single post if done properly and it pertains to a tend. You see the secret on TikTok is sticking to the trends and making engaging original content.
TikTok trends are something you have to understand and learn if you are to be successful on this platform. A TikTok trend is typically a type of video or sound that people will do a certain dance or action to. It really sounds simple, but you will be surprised how creative people can be.
The funny thing is viewers love it. They love being able to expect something to happen on a certain trend (like every other post), but being surprised when it is even slightly different or has their favorite celeb. You will really just have to download the app, create an account and watch some video for a few days to fully understand it. With little effort, you should be able to quickly pick up on some of the newer trends from the constant videos repeating them with the same sound or dance.
You could easily learn some of the trends and preform them in the kitchen or even with guests! People on TikTok love this kind of stuff, and it shows your business’ fun and spontaneous side. Really give it a try and you might just enjoy it a little too much.
Social Media For Small Business
Thanks for reading our post on the 5 social media platforms small businesses should be using right now! Make sure not to wait any longer to begin your journey to viral fame! Go ahead and get one or two of them and start getting use to posting. I have a feeling you will be more successful than you think, and even if the followers do not come streaming in, keep pushing to tell more people about your awesome and wonderful business!