Running a restaurant is an enormous task that comes with a never-ending to-do-list. Most operators probably don’t like the idea of adding another assignment but there is one that is very important – a website. According to a Constant Contact/Single Platform survey, “75% of consumers surveyed often choose a restaurant to dine at based on search results”.
If your restaurant doesn’t have a website, you’re missing out on a massive audience. Online visibility is huge for restaurants and can ultimately determine whether customers come to your restaurant. If you aren’t convinced, we have 7 reasons restaurants need a website.
Improves Trust and Loyalty
Customers want to know that they can trust that their service and food quality will be consistent. Social media pages are a great way to establish transparency. We should always encourage guests to leave reviews and post pictures about their experience at your restaurant.
If you aren’t familiar with Foodstagramming, you should get acquainted with it. SocialMediaToday stated that “food is the most photographed subject on Instagram”. There is no better way to build brand advocacy than to have customers post pictures of their entrees and generate buzz around your restaurant.
Billboards, commercials, and radio spots are pricey forms of advertising. Monthly fees can run from $250 in rural areas to more than 15K in bigger cities. Social media is free unless you choose to run paid ads, which are comparatively cheaper than other forms of advertising. Many social media planning tools offer feature-free options, so you can schedule posts to your preferred platform or platforms in advance, saving you on hourly wage costs.
Staying Connected with Guests
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. People spend about 153 minutes per day on social media, which is two and a half hours that you can try and reach them every day.
Provides Guests with Restaurant Updates
Social media is one of the fastest ways to keep guests in the know about your restaurant. Keep your social media pages up-to-date with information on new menu items, specials, holiday hours, events, etc.
If your restaurant is new to social media, it might be best to start slowly. Choose one or two social media platforms and focus on building those. Once you have those established, you can move on to creating other accounts. We put together a few post ideas for specific social media platforms:
Out of every social media platform, Facebook has the most users worldwide. Facebook will probably be the number one social media platform customers will use to find out information about your restaurant. This kind of popularity means you need to create a reliable, up-to-date Facebook profile for your restaurant. Your address, phone number, hours of operation, etc. all need to be accurate. Make sure to frequently post pictures of menu items and even consider going behind the scenes with Facebook live videos.
If you’re concerned about posting or creating content regularly, you can consult the web for social media calendar ideas. By creating a well of content upfront which you schedule out regularly, you can maintain an active and consistent presence on social media, without having to stop what you’re doing.
If you create a Twitter account, stay very active. Research recommends tweeting and retweeting at least ten times per day. Make sure to connect with people and tweet with them, use campaign-specific hashtags, and tweet about trending topics.
Instagram is all about the images, so stay visual. Run photo challenge contests, use hashtags, and location tags. Note that Instagram doesn’t let you hyperlink, so you won’t be able to drive CTA traffic to your website. Still, regularly posting on Instagram keeps you on customers’ radars and allows them to see behind the scenes.
Like Twitter, Pinterest is another social media platform on which you’ll want to be very active. Anywhere from three to eleven pins a day is acceptable. Show your restaurant’s personality by creating boards that include pictures of dishes, restaurant photos, staff, and special events.
For All Social Media Platforms
Join in on trending topics, celebrate food holidays, run contests and giveaways, make posting on social a daily task, share your menu, post specials of the day, and go behind the scenes.
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