Social media is a great tool for restaurants looking to increase their brand awareness & exposure. With lockdown, it has never been more important for restaurants to fully utilise digital marketing. Social media remains the best place for restaurants (who are open for takeaway or just looking to build hype for their grand re-opening in May) to reach out to new customers. Thankfully, there are so many ways for your restaurant to increase exposure on social media! Here, we discuss our top 5 ways.
1. Post the Right Content
It’s all about the content! To increase exposure, your posts need to be engaging. Whilst you may think that a quick snap of a dish looks good to go, it may not be the content that your audience desire.
So, what do users want? They want honesty, authenticity & video content! More than anything, consumers want to see the story behind your business/brand. They want to see the chef who makes their food, the sustainability of their dish & the ethics that you follow. By producing a ‘meet the team’ post or an ‘about us’ story, your brand provides an element of transparency that is often absent.
There’s no better way to highlight these stories than through some video content. In a recent survey, it was revealed that 53% of foodies regarded video as their favourite type of food content, compared to 35% who selected pictures. In a recent trend, F&B brands have taken to recipe videos, providing free clips of how consumers can re-produce their favourite dishes at home. Consumers want more than just a sales-pitch from your brand, they want to be educated & inspired. By providing content that is authentic, engaging & inspiring, your content will be shared and loved!
Finally, be sure to highlight your most popular products. You might think that instead of focusing on popular dishes, you want to push under-selling items. Actually, you should be posting most about your popular items to get potential customers interested. This way, they will soon discover the other dishes on your menu. Just think, you don’t see McDonalds posting about the Fillet o’ Fish burger!
2. Post at the right time
So, you have some amazing content ready to go out. Make sure that you are posting it at the best time! Otherwise, you may be posting great content that isn’t being seen or isn’t being seen at the right time (so it doesn’t convert & doesn’t increase exposure). Here, Instagram Business Tools will come in handy. Utilise the analytics to identify when your followers are most active and try posting in correlation to the data you are presented. Rather than just posting when it is most convenient for you, it is important to post during the lunchtime & dinner rush. Want more lunch orders? Try posting between 12-1pm when workers are scrolling on their phones before lunch. Need more dinner deliveries? Post at 5pm, when workers are starting to think about their dinner plans. This way, your great content will not go to waste.
If you’re looking to reach new audiences, running a social competition on Facebook & Instagram is a great idea. Not only do competitions reward your current followers, but they also allow you to reach new followers/customers. Indeed, social media giveaways can speed up growth by up to 70%!
You are going to want to word your competition so it can increase exposure. We recommend holding a giveaway that encourages your current followers to tag their friends. The more friends the tag, the higher their chances of winning. This way, more and more users are being introduced to your business. When they realise that you are running a competition, they usually tag people too!
4. Influencer Marketing
The role that social influencers can occupy in encouraging their followers to try a new product or service should not be underestimated. In fact, one survey claims that 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations on social media when deciding to buy a product or service. A simple snap or video from a social influencer enjoying and recommending one of your items will catapult your brand awareness and enhance the excellent reputation and social credibility of your business. As mentioned, consumers want authenticity & transparency. Consumers trust the word and opinion of local influencers. One survey reported that 77% of people value user-generated Instagram photos over commercial photos when making a purchasing decision. This includes UGC provided by social influencers!
For some industries, recruiting a social media influencer can prove expensive. However, as a small restaurant or food company, you can generally offer free food or discounts to a more localised micro-influencer who has less than 50,000 followers. Influencers enjoy an important and trusted role in their community, so their endorsement of your company will expose you to their loyal and local audiences. These are the exact people who you want hearing about your restaurant!
Social media platforms have become more a “pay-to-play” arena. This does not mean you cannot succeed organically, but in order to obtain your full potential, we recommend including social media advertisements to your marketing strategy to boost exposure.
If you want your content to perform well & to reach new audiences, you should consider investing a small amount on some basic ads. Paid ads are highly cost-effective & reach further than more traditional forms of marketing. You can begin running these advertisements for as little as £1. This allows you to test the water, using a small budget at no-risk, no sign-up fees and minimal ad expenditure.
One of the fundamental differences between your organic material and social media ads is the ability to target your potential customers. With ads, you can target specific locations, people & hobbies. This way, you are guaranteed to increase your exposure to the right audience who live locally & enjoy your cuisine. If you’re a local independently run Mexican restaurant – you are able to target those with an interest in fajitas, burritos or nachos for example. Otherwise, why not select an audience which is more inclined to ordering from locally run operations, rather than one of the big chains out there. This way, you will ensure that your ads are reaching the right people, which will likely increase your return on ad spend (ROAS) and your exposure.
Users are very receptive to ads. 92% of Instagram users say they’ve followed a brand/ made a purchase after seeing a product on the platform. A further 27% of internet users say they find new products through paid social ads. Evidently, ads increase exposure for brands & businesses who use them, and they often convert!
There are so many ways to utilise social media to increase brand awareness & exposure. Here, we have just listed our top 5 ways. Used together, you are guaranteed some great results! Even with a small budget that maybe doesn’t allow for ads, your restaurant can still benefit from small competitions, influencer marketing & posting great content at the right time.
If you need any further advice, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!