Stuart Felkner, in this article, explains a social media marketing strategy for bars and restaurants. I couldn’t agree more that the hospitality industry should use social media in a very different way than consumer products, celebrities, or services. The point of purchase for restaurants and bars are at their physical location, as opposed to products or services you can buy over the phone or online, and therefore their social media marketing strategy should be focused around actively sharing information that will get customers to come to their venue.
Here are 10 basic social media marketing tips & tricks I put together for restaurants:
1) Make sure your twitter/facebook account information is on every marketing material you send out.
2) Post an update the moment your happy hour starts. Pair this information with a specific item from your happy hour menu and the price. This way you can notify people of your happy hour every day without sending the same message out every day.
3) Post any events or specials you have going on, multiple times leading up to the event. Make sure you don’t post information about the event twice in a row. Make sure each post is slightly different such as by referencing different menu items each time.
4) Post a featured drink or menu item every few days around lunch or dinner. A mouthwatering description of these items, sent at the opportune moment could be just the right nudge to get people to come and eat.
5) Post links to articles and videos that mention your restaurant or chef. On twitter, make sure you mention (use @ mark) the magazine or publication on twitter. Many publications will retweet mentions of themselves, which is a great way to get them to promote your twitter account.
6) If anybody notable person or group is planning on being at your venue, make sure to mention them. This could be a business throwing a company party or the band that’s playing on a weekend night. The idea is that you promote them, and they will in return promote you.
7) Keep an eye out for people who @ mention you. They could simply be telling their friends that they are at your venue, or asking you a specific question. Either way, recognizing their mention and mentioning them back is a great way to convert casual fans to loyal followers.
8) Post a promo code for free/cheap drinks or appetizers. This is a great way to provide an incentive for people to follow/friend you.
9) You can go a step further by creating and linking to a promotional coupon your customers can print out and bring in. People have an incentive to share coupons because they want to be helpful to their friends.
10) Post links to articles or news that have relevant content to your restaurant. Have a large tequila collection? Post articles to great tequila cocktail recipes. Are you a fusion restaurant? Post articles about how fusion food is “hot” right now.