Restaurants can benefit significantly from being active on social media. Social Media is a great vehicle to be discovered by new clients, to reach out to customers who would never have known about your restaurant, to build loyalty in current clients, and it is a fantastic customer service platform. It can also detract attention from review sites and allow you to control your brand. But before you start posting willy-nilly, you need to get yourself organized. Follow these steps and your restaurant can have a solid Social Media plan that will convert your social media audience into customers in seats. This is your sample social media plan to get you started.
Social Media Plan For Restaurants
Figure Out Your Digital Audience
You may think you know your clients, but creating a persona will be one of the most important things you can do. This will allow you to properly select the social networks you should be active in and how to market to them. In order to figure this out, get a piece of paper and ask yourself the following:
- Where are they located – city/ies, neighborhoods?
- Age – are your customers in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, etc
- Gender – are your customers men or women?
- Income – how much money does your customer make
- Education level – have they completed college?
- Work – what do they do?
- Lifestyle – what do they like, what are their values?
- Why would they come to your restaurant?
- Social networks – what social networks do they frequent?
- Verticals – what other brands and businesses do they like?
- Devices – Is your customer on their laptop, tablet, or smartphone?
You can end up with something like this.
Mary is a 35-year-old mom in Manhattan. Her household makes 150,000 per year. Mary went to college and works at a financial firm. She likes yoga, shopping, and massages. Mary checks Facebook on a daily basis but is becoming more active on Instagram and Pinterest. She is usually on her iPhone.
Clearly Define Your Goals
Same as your customer, you may think you know your goals (to get more customers to your restaurant), but you need more clearly defined goals to get to this point. Here are a few examples:
Get more visibility on Social media
Establish your restaurant to be seen as casual, healthy, and good for kids
Push out deals and events to customers
Bring in extra revenue via catering and special events
Drive more website traffic
Promote Seamless delivery
However, these are a bit broad. Once you have defined those broad goals, fine-tune them so they can be measured. For example:
Increase social media engagement by 25%
Increase clicks to reservations from social media by 15%
Increase Seamless orders from Facebook by 10% Month-over-Month
That means you need to measure your current stats, set those measurable goals, and keep track of your performance on a monthly basis so you can make changes if your strategy is not working.
Define Your Content Strategy
Before you start creating social media content, you need to figure out exactly the type of content you will push out on each Social Media network. This can include anything from
Ads & Contests
Press & Reviews
Develop a Social Media Schedule
Use a social media calendar platform like Socialdraft. This will allow you to schedule content ahead of time, and allow you time to manage your business. This is a sample Social Schedule to get you started. Again (and we will discuss this later) you will need to look at analytics to review what is/is not working and then edit your calendar, goals, etc…
Once a day – alternate between daily specials, team photos, memes, food pictures, chef videos.
Set aside a small budget to advertise your posts on Facebook.
Schedule 3 daily tweets, one each an hour before each service – all should include an image
Retweet supplier’s tweets to work off their audience (wine, coffee, produce, desserts)
Run weekly contests
Big emphasis on Food photos
Use geo-targeted hashtags (e.g. #neighborhood #city)
Playoff trending themes
Comment and like posts from 5 potential customers by searching people posting about your geo-location
Create boards: geo-location, recipes, staff, cocktails, customers. events.
Engage with suppliers on Pinterest
Engage with potential clients
Schedule posts once a day to come out 1 hour before your most popular service
Engage 10-100 people who like and comment on your competitor’s photos
Follow people who like businesses in your geo-location
Set up Google Analytics to track social traffic
Update your blog with local information
Update photo gallery monthly
How to Manage Your Restaurant’s Social Media
This basic plan should get you started. This will most likely change as you see which social network and the types of posts and content that get you the most traffic.