According to Modern Restaurant Management, 80 percent of people will look at a restaurant online before trying it, and 88 percent of that group will visit the same day. With these statistics in mind, it's easy to see how crucial social media marketing for restaurants is. Your online presence can either bring diners right to your door or drive them to the competition.
Here are three things you can do right now to attract diners on social media.
1. Make Social Media Directory Listings Accurate
Though restaurants may keep their Google directory listings updated, it's important to not forget about social media directory listings, either. When customers are browsing Facebook looking for local restaurants, they need accurate information about hours, reservations, menu items and more. If your restaurant offers reservations, it's also important that your social media accounts have easy-to-find links for reservation services and an up-to-date phone number.
2. Build Up a Social Media Review Cache
Yelp may have revolutionized online reviews back in the mid-2000s, but social media networks are becoming increasingly important for reviews. A survey of 2,000 U.S adults conducted by branding and marketing strategy firm Corra found that 88% of respondents said they have avoided a company because of bad reviews on social media. With this in mind, it has never been more important for restaurants to cultivate a base of reviews on social networks, especially Facebook.
Although you never want to incentivize reviews, asking customers to share their experience on your Facebook page will help you build your online review cache. Printing your Facebook URL on receipts or embedding the URL in post-visit emails with a request for feedback are two easy ways to begin generating reviews.
3. Tell the Story of Your Business Through Social Media
There are many ways to tell the story of your business, but it is important that the content on your social profiles reflects your restaurant. Some great ways to do this include highlighting your employees, showcasing the atmosphere and what people can expect when they walk in, and attracting customers by featuring a special event. Also, be sure to tell the story behind the story, like why you offer specific dishes on the menu, how your business got started or special stories in your restaurant's history. A little back story can go a long way.
Social media marketing for restaurants can be tricky, but by using some new ideas to entice diners and ensuring that local browsers can find directory and review information easily, you can boost your walk-in traffic and hopefully gain some repeat visitors. And while it can seem a little daunting, partnering with a social media professional can help get you on the right track.