Social media is here to stay! It has become essential to your business, and leveraging its power and influence to increase visibility, traffic and profitability is now a must for restaurant owners. As smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives, using social media to connect with customers through their devices enables you to develop loyal followers who will also spread the word and increase your business presence online.
Automation has also become a reality in the restaurant business. Customers are becoming accustomed to paying at their tables, checking menus with their phones, and interacting seamlessly with restaurants online. And there is a good opportunity to expand your interaction with these customers via social media.
The far-reaching impact of social media platforms has become a driving force in the restaurant industry. In 2019, The New York Times reported that 72% of consumers used Facebook to make restaurant and food-related decisions based on comments and images shared by others. And this trend is increasing. Below are 5 important reasons to adopt a social media-focused marketing strategy for your restaurant business:
1. No Startup Cost- Using the various online platforms come at no additional cost to you. Accounts can be created for free on all the most popular channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or TikTok.
2. Use Promotions to Increase Revenue- Social media platforms make it easier to offer promotions or discounts. You can also reward customers for liking and following you online, or find creative ways to engage your customers by offering contests or other incentives to promote sharing. Promotions and sharing increase traffic and create customer loyalty!
3. Promote Trust and Loyalty of your Brand- Consumers appreciate reviews of your brand — whether good or bad. Inviting guests to post reviews on social media platforms promotes and suggests transparency and encourages trust. With restaurant competition at an all-time high, credibility is key in building a solid following.
4. Decrease your Marketing and Advertising Budget- When utilizing social media networks, the cost of running paid ads on them is minimal in comparison to other marketing and advertising options such as mailed coupons, print advertising or sponsorships.
5. Increase your Inbound Website Traffic- Your website might be at the center of your marketing efforts, but using social media to increase traffic to your site is a good strategy. Adding call-to-action buttons and linking your website directly to your social media profiles make it even easier for guests to find your restaurant online and to keep up with your latest news.
Social media marketing offers restaurants an opportunity to interact with their customers directly and tell a compelling story to create loyalty and increase business. Embracing this power in a creative and engaging way represents a great opportunity for your restaurant’s continued success!