Social media is changing the way consumers interact with businesses and can provide an excellent way of exposing your business for quite a low cost (when done right). Lately I’ve noticed that so many restaurants could do small, time efficient things to improve their presence online and I’ve shared my thoughts below. Best of all, it can be quite fun once you get stuck into it! Working as a digital marketing manager in the food industry, this is something I feel quite passionate about so I’ve decided to share some simple tips below!
1. Include your location in your bio/profile
I can’t believe how I often I see a new restaurant on Twitter/Facebook and they don’t have their location included in their profile. Having ‘Ireland’ as your location just won’t cut it- have the street you are on or at the very least the town you are located in. If you don’t do this, you are simply losing business.
2. BE on social media
In this day and age, it is crucial to be seen where your customers spend a lot of their time. You absolutely NEED to have an Instagram, Twitter and Facebook page and keep them updated. I recently visited a local restaurant and the owner asked me to leave a review on Tripadvisor as they were struggling (he didn’t know I was a food blogger). I advised him that I thought his focus might be better spent on Instagram or Facebook. His response was that he was “too old” for that. HE might think he is too old for it but are his potential customers? The answer is simply, no.
3. You need a website
Your website should contain the following basic information; 1) an up to date menu, 2) you phone number 3) your address. There is absolute no point in having a website that does not contain this information. DO NOT use a Facebook page instead of a website, it is essential that you have both.
4. Don’t use stock photography
There is nothing that infuriates me more than visiting a website/Facebook page that is full of purchased photography and not food that has been made by the restaurant. Are they doing this because their food looks horrible? That is what people will think. It doesn’t cost a huge amount to get a budding photographer in for a day to get you started with some nice imagery. From then on a simple iphone can do the job for social media photos.
There is no point in doing the above if you do not engage. Welcome the fact that people are taking photos of your food and posting it on Instagram/Twitter. This is great for your brand and creates a buzz online and exposure for you. Thank them and let them know you appreciate their business and they will come back again. Don’t leave it more than 2 days (at the absolute latest) before you respond.
Working in the world of digital marketing myself, I know it is incredibly difficult for small restaurants to do all of the above without a dedicated member of staff to do so. But the fact of the matter is, you need to invest in your online presence to let people know you exist. You need to showcase the wonderful food you produce and passion your restaurant has!
I am offering a FREE social media healthcheck for (a limited number) of small Irish restaurants who are struggling. If you would like to avail of this, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know a little bit about yourself and what your objective of the health check would be.
The health check will include topics such as:
- Is your website mobile optimised?
- SEO overview
- How to create a better social media profile
- Recommendations on improving your social media content
- Identifying social media priorities
- Getting started with your social media strategy
- Food photography basics