How can restaurants use social media to increase footfalls?

Posted on Jul 15, 2019 By Krunal Soni

People are affirming smartphones as a part of their lives along with emerging technologies. In today’s world, no one has the time and patience to check out the newspapers and yellow pages. So, it is time to change the long-established ideas, join the bandwagon and get digital. When it comes to the restaurant business and hotel industry, there is a huge competition around. If you want to increase your sales amidst the crazy competition, social media presence is the key. You need a digital marketing strategy that can help you to increase your social media presence.

Social media marketing is a mighty weapon to ramp up your marketing efforts. On social media, you can reach out to customers as they are most active on these channels. Do not consider this to be your online popularity contest where you only need to get more likes, fans, and followers. There is a lot more to social media marketing that this. Keep in mind, if you are not on these channels, your competitors have an upper hand.

Here is an image showing social media marketing usage:

By now you must have understood the importance of social media for your restaurant. You have apparently created various social media accounts and have ventured to create a strategy around them. But is it successful? What does it really mean to be victorious on social media?

Concentrate on what is important to your restaurant. Know the ROI of your social demeanour. The bottom line is to get more orders and traffic into your business.

Let’s take a look at how to use social media to increase sales for your restaurant.

Social Media Marketing Usage

Building Foundation

Before starting any endeavor, you must have a firm platform to build upon. There are numerous social networks to choose from and very scarce resources to maintain them all. The most essential point is, to begin the accounts that you can manage. It is not good for your reputation when you create an account and fail to update it. It is better to have a prominent brand presence on a single network than bad visibility on too many of them.

Facebook is a requirement these days. This is a guaranteed way to put your restaurant in front of customer’s vision with more than 1.13 billion daily active users. There is no other network with the same user base as Facebook. According to Facebook, each user is joined to others by an average of 3.57 degrees of distance. This is where the strongest form of advertising, the word-of-mouth comes into play.

Instagram is another one of the speediest growing networks. It’s a visual network, excellent for restaurants. The three things of which people click pictures are themselves, a magnificent ambiance, and food. After Facebook took over Instagram, the network has sprung to more than 700 million monthly users. These days, social media is more perceptible than ever. If you want to make an impression, you must use Instagram.

Engagement of customers and influencers

When the foundation is built, you can buck up to find your customers and influencers. An influencer is the one who can make the customer base trust and listen. Influencers are excellent for growing your restaurant’s perceptibility and finally bringing customers through the door.

There are several ways to find yourselves these influencers. There are fair chances that they may already be following you. You can use the social media management systems like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, or Buffer in order to monitor accounts for such influencers. Another possible way to look for them is research. You can check out specific hashtags on Instagram and find out who surfaces. When you find them, you can reach out to them directly.

You can create loyalty and community through customer engagement. Care for the existing customers, engage with the people who already love your food, and spread their reliable word. This is again the word-of-mouth which has the capability to spread far and wide. This is a great organic way to drive foot traffic.

Contests are a good way too. The crowdsourced content that we always hear about is got in this way. Crowdsourced content is content produced and published by someone outside of your business. Your customers post pictures and tag themselves at your location. Secure this trend and even grow it with a contest that produces more surpassing posts about your restaurant.

Drive Market with Location-Based Advertising

Businesses used to thrive even without advertising on Facebook and Instagram. But these days, the trend has changed. Business pages on Facebook must pay to perform. This does not mean that you need to pay for your account. However, if you want to gain ROI on social media advertising is a must. Luckily, the prices are not too much. Facebook and Instagram are affordable. But the question is how should you spend your money?

Facebook uses a treasure of user data to present the most sturdy digital advertising platform for social media. But don’t worry if the information is too much to take in.

Following is a step-by-step example of what your Facebook ad targeting should look like for your restaurant to influence new customers:

  • Brand Awareness should be your aim.
  • Bring down the location to your zip code and/or nearby zip codes.
  • If you have data to notify a customer’s age, revise the “Age” category.
  • Scan Detailed Targeting to define demographics, curiosities, or behaviors of your perfect customer.
  • Click on Edit Placements and select “Mobile Only” for the device type category. This will help to keep the cost per click low. And at the same time, it still delivers your advertisement to the people most likely to see it. According to Ninth Decimal, on the first day when a mobile ad is viewed, advertisers notice an 80 percent rise in-store visits.
  • Lastly, set the budget.

If you want to save time for the social media marketing process and instead concentrate on your business, you might as well consider hiring an excellent digital marketing agency to do the same for you.

How to set your budget?

The most common question that the restaurant owners are concerned about regarding the social media advertisements is “How much money should be spent?” The answer to that is pretty simple. You can just set aside a small amount for the initial test campaign. Spend a few dollars and check out what the results are. If you feel it could work, you might as well increase the spendings based on the results.

Let us check out an example to make you understand how the existing customers should see the targeting. By using this method, you can promote rewards, loyalty programs, contests, and drive reservations also.

  • Select “Traffic” or “Conversions” according to your goal.
    Traffic optimizes the advertisements for link clicks back to your website.
    Conversions need extra moves like adding a Pixel to your site to follow visitor activity.
  • Add your “Custom Audience.” This way you can upload an email list or retarget former website visitors.

If Facebook describes your potential reach to be too low, you can think to create a Lookalike Audience. This Lookalike Audience actually uses the data from the current list and finds you some other Facebook users that meet the same criteria.

  • Once you set your budget, it is time to have the creatives in pace.

As compared to images, videos have a much higher engagement rate. GIFs can also be a good choice. You can always go for some A/B testing to understand what words and visuals work the best. A/B tests enable you to run identical advertisements that have one difference between them. This can help you to find out which one of them works better.

For example, you can use a video in one of the advertisements and an image in another. You can even find a trick which you can use repetitively to bring more audience in.

With the passage of time, these methods have the potential to win you huge sales. The restaurants have a peculiar hold over social media. Eating at amazing restaurants is never out of fashion for foodies. People keep searching for great places to try out. You can use your menu for the creative content to lure in the audience with your tasty visuals.

It is essential for your restaurant to have an intelligent social media strategy tied straight to ROI. And finally, you can reach out for help from the marketing partners who wish you success.

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