Social Media Marketing ideas for Restaurants

In this blog we are going to look at the best ideas for social media posts for restaurants. By the end of this blog you will learn the best ideas to apply for marketing restaurants on social media, and be aware of the common problems and solutions every social media marketer faces while working with restaurants.

FAQ on social media marketing for restaurants

How much should you charge? The exact amount depends on your experience and the value you bring to the restaurant - but ideally you should offer multiple packages. A basic no-frills social media package - where you post 3 to 4 times a week on their socials, but they provide the content. The second package is where you post 7-10 times per week on their socials but you come up with the content - the images/videos etc. The third package is where you work with local influencers to try to get the word out about their restaurant. You do the hard work - partnering with people, getting PR, involving influencers etc — with this plan, you go all in and come up with creative ideas to draw more people to the restaurant. Do remember that you if you have to physically go to the restaurant locations to get photos or video - do price that in your proposals.

What is the best schedule to follow for restaurants? How do you get content organised? If you are responsible the content - the images, videos of people and food from the restaurant - I would suggest doing a photo shoot once a month so you always have a good collection of beautiful photos to use throughout the month. While speaking with social media managers, they always recommend that you get the content yourself - else you will have to depend on the restaurant sending you content on time - which normally never happens, and the fault will be yours for not seeing this earlier. If you’re handling their socials without them providing content, they need to be paying you to handle the shoots to create the content. If not - the client may not be worth it.

What is the problem in depending on the restaurant to send you the content every week? Usually the restaurant isn’t going to send any images or content of their weekly dinner or cocktail specials until 3pm on Wednesdays. The availability of items and pricing may change, some specials will be added at the last minute etc. The hospitality industry is a beast that runs around the clock, and the restaurant likely won’t have anyone to spare just to shoot raw footage for you and send it to you - so you will always be playing catch up, and missing important events. These problems can be solved if you handle production of the content - and charge them additional for the services. If however you choose to not be responsible for production of the images and videos, you should communicate your concerns about last-minute requests as plainly as possible. Explain to them why last minute requests put you in a tough spot. Either way you should be organised enough to know what their menu will be for at least a week, and then set an auto-schedule to post the content automatically.

How do I deal with 2 star reviews? Make sure you detail in writing their expectations for moderation and replying to comments and messages. It's helpful to have a some common Q&A’s so you’re on the same page with how to deal with things like complaints and low reviews, and don't need to keep getting in touch with them repeatedly. 

What is the best way to promote events happening at the restaurant? It makes the most sense to post the schedule for that week's Thursday to Sunday on Wednesday, so that it give's people enough time to plan for the week. Then you should also do a 7:30 AM story about the day's event each day, and one post in a story/reel format shortly before the event is about to begin. Even if your restaurant client is in a different time zone - it doesn't matter as you can use a scheduling software to schedule these posts in advance. If you have someone from the restaurant who can send you a pic of the event as they are starting - it will again make for a good story on Facebook and Instagram. You absolutely should post stories and multiple posts about the event repeatedly, as it’s a great reminder to your followers. You should have regular meetings with them so that if there’s a big event coming up or some thing, you are aware of it and can prepare the social media posts accordingly.

How to deal with bad restaurant clients? Usually it is great to work with restaurants, but sometimes you will come across someone who is hard to work with. For example, if the restaurant expects you to increase their revenue, you need to make it clear to your restaurant clients that you social media marketing will absolutely increase their potential to make more money, but in the end, having a great word of mouth and returning customers (with friends) always rests on the restaurants itself. As in you will increase their awareness and foot traffic to an extent, but factors like the quality of the food, the service, the ambience are much more important factors to consider if someone will re-visit the restaurant, or tell their friends about it. These are outside your control - so make sure to manage expectations right in the beginning.

Things you need to be careful about: It is impossible for you as a social media manager to be present in the restaurant at all times, so it hugely helps if you can get someone in the staff to actively create content. This way they can share live videos of events - e.g. a band that is playing etc. Since you wont be visiting the restaurants too often, you should take a lot of pictures and videos, and spread them out throughout on different days for all types content and platforms. If you are not responsible for producing photos and videos, ask for a gallery from clients with an image of every single item for sale. They can break it up into quarters or they can do it all at once. Every time they add a dish to the menu, it needs to have a photo with it - so that you can share it on social media when you choose.

Can you share some content ideas for restaurants? Below are a list of things that you can post to social media for restaurants. Go thru the list, and pick out ones that are do-able for you.

Social media post ideas for restaurants:

    • Posts sharing regular food shots should be your staple. The idea is make the reader crave for food and make them visit/order from the restaurant.
    • Posts focusing on testimonials and people enjoying themselves
    • Posts featuring other businesses. Partnering with other local businesses for events in the area is a great way to increase the following.
    • Posts featuring a wait staff person and their story.
    • Posts asking fans for their favourites and to tag a friend. 
    • User generated content posts - if your followers share something about you, amplify and encourage that, so that more people do it.
    • Post or video showing how something is made. E.g. showing how the ingredients are put together in slow motion.
    • Posts showing the behind the scenes of the restaurant
    • Celebratory posts - e.g. employee of the month.
    • Posts, short reels of people enjoying their food and the restaurant
    • Posts sharing customer reviews from social media or other review platforms
    • Post from employees - e.g. if the chef has an Instagram account, and she shares something about the food, can you repost them?
    • Posts with nutritional information - example - "Steaks are high in protein and low in..." 

There are more articles in our social media idea series:

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