Restaurants and bars and social media are practically a perfect match. With 88% of modern consumers describing social reviews and comments as influential on their purchasing decisions and a vast social culture of sharing food and beverage pictures on the web, it’s easy to develop an effective social strategy that turns customers into ambassadors for your business. Bar and restaurant social media marketing can be as simple as setting up a Facebook page for guest interaction or as complex as managing multiple sites that include pictures, videos, and customer communication.
Creating Effective Local Customer Interactions
When it comes to social media in the bar and restaurant industry, going local is key. A Toronto bar might post updates on a Maple Leafs game on Twitter to draw customers in to come watch while they drink, while a Vancouver fast food restaurant might create a hyper-local online photo gallery for guests to share pictures of themselves eating their specialty burgers in Stanley Park. In French-speaking Quebec, tailoring your social media to address the local audience means posting menus, responding to comments and publicizing promotions in French as well as English, while Richmond, restaurants may have a joint Chinese-English social media team. Customizing your social message to your audience boosts your bar or restaurant’s visibility in the community and gives you an edge over less community-aware competitors.
Building Food and Beverage Brand Advocates
Going social online is a great way to turn customers into fans who can spread the word about your bar and restaurant to people that traditional advertising doesn’t reach. Engagement makes the heart grow fonder, so every direct interaction gets people more excited about your restaurant or bar and makes them want to bring their friends for a fun dining or drinking experience. Communicate regularly via online posts and pictures, and offer special deals or coupons for social media users who follow your page to keep customers thinking about your latest drink specials or limited-time menu items. Don’t ignore less-than-positive posts made by customers, either. Negative reviews and comments are a chance to communicate directly with dissatisfied customers, and your responsiveness can turn a potential bad interaction into a good one. Try to balance promotional posts with genuine interaction so that guests feel invested in your brand.
Taking Advantage of Tags
Tags are the secret weapon of restaurant and bar social media managers. Simply adding hashtags to photographs of menu items on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook can bring you to the attention of people searching for those tagged terms. Tag your city or province to boost your relevance in local searches, and add tags referencing specific happenings in your neighborhood to tie your brand to current events. Use tags and references to call out frequent guests by name or to promote a chef or bartender at your establishment and those people are likely to share the post with others. Creating a social media campaign asking users to submit their own comments, photos, videos, or other content tagged with your restaurant’s name is another way to utilize tags for greater exposure. When you need to market your bar or restaurant in a snap, leverage social media channels for the easiest and most cost effective solution.