Complete guide to Social Media for Restaurants & Bars

Can Restaurants, Bars Or Pubs Afford To Not Be On Social Media? When 89% of people are influenced by...

Posted
February 28, 2020
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Hannah
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With more than 400 million posts tagged #food and 45 million with #drinks, food and beverage photos are easily some of the most popular types of content on Instagram. It’s very likely that your customers are posting with or without your interaction.

When 89% of people are influenced by online comments and reviews, having a solid digital strategy is important to your restaurant, bar or pub.

In this guide to social media for restaurants, bars and pubs, we’ll discuss:

  • What you’re missing out on if you don’t harness the power of social media
  • Setting up your restaurant, bar and pub profiles for success
  • Creating relevant posts
  • Using location-based advertising to reach audiences
  • Marketing strategies which take your restaurant, bar and pub to the next level

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Can Restaurants, Bars or pubs afford to not be on Social Media?

According to a recent study, about 75% of people purchased a product solely because they saw it on social media. Of that percentage, 60.7% need to see a post 2-4 times from the company before making the purchase.

If you’re not visibility active on social media, then you’re missing out on a large customer base.

Fill out all your profiles

If you’re just getting started on your restaurant, bar or pubs social media accounts, make sure pertinent information like your hours and contact information can be easy accessed from your profile. The less clicks it takes to find out information about your bar, restaurant or pub, the better.

Multi-location uses the limited Instagram bio space to speak directly to their customer telling the customer what they’re all about and it makes sense to have this featured prominently in the bio and in photos. 

Facebook Pages offer an easy way to input your information, including opening hours, address, messaging options and popular times to visit. Pizza Pilgrims’ Facebook Page showcases its busiest hours. This can be incredibly helpful for those who are unfamiliar with the place.

There are many other attributes which are useful that through Facebook Pages you can take advantage of:

  1. Add a Book Now button if you accept reservations, allowing customers to book directly from Facebook.
  2. Upload your menu straight into the Social Network and Google. Allowing customers to easily access your menu.
  3. Add cuisine type so people can find you through a search “example: Italian in Wimbledon”.
  4. Add services like “Good for Kids”, “Good for Groups”, “Romantic”, and “Take Out”.
  5. Allow Reviews (and remember to respond to them)

If you need more information on how to setup your Facebook Business Page, check out our guide and walkthrough.

Set up Multiple Locations on Facebook

If you have multiple locations of your restaurant, bar or pub chain; Facebook makes it easy for you to add all the locations under one Facebook Page. While it may be a pain to set up in the beginning, the benefit is that the closest location will pop up for your customers. If you have numerous locations, you can upload a spreadsheet to Facebook instead. You can use this to your advantage when using location-based Paid ads through Facebook and Instagram.

Think of the main Page as an umbrella Page, as demonstrated below:

Each location is able to have its own subpage linked to the main one like this Wimbledon location. Depending on your social media strategy, you can have the individual locations handle their own posting.

This can benefit you as:

  1. You can reshare from location pages to the main page. This means less time is needed to curate branded content.
  2. It’s easier to promote location-specific menu specials
  3. Customers can post location-specific reviews. It can be a pain to navigate negative customer feedback. If locations are readily available for the customer, then you won’t need to decipher which restaurant had slower service than normal.

Create Relevant Posts

Engagement vs Promotional Posts

Research has discovered the most annoying action brands make on social media is too many promotional posts. What do promotional posts look like? They’re the in-your-face marketing that you can encounter on a daily basis.

Most promotional posts talk about discounts or a specific product. It’s the equivalent of the party guest who only talks about themselves. But, if that person began conversation with questions, listened to other guests and made new connections, then you wouldn’t mind a bit of boasting every now and then.

Promotional posts don’t have to be blatant marketing. Incorporate action shots or product placement in a way that is visually attractive to your customers. The best photos or videos can get your customer momentarily imagining themselves at your business.

Approach social media like you would a group of strangers at a party. Sprinkle bits about yourself while mostly engaging with other people. Enggement posts focus the conversation on your customers. 

Here are a few ideas to begin a conversation:

  1. Ask a question
  2. Solicit customer opinions on new products
  3. Incorporate user-generated content into your strategy

Post at Optimal times for your restaurant, bar or pub.

It’s important to know the best times to post on social media, but make sure you understand your core audience first. Take time to analyse your current stores’ traffic to know when to best reach your customers. 

For example, if your bar doesn’t open until 8pm, then posting about your cocktail offers at 9am won’t work very well. This is why it’s important to work with time ranges instead one specific set time. See our data on consumer goods brands best times to post on Instagram. 

Alternatively, you can post content that’s easy digested at any point of the day. Examples of this type of content include staff features, interior and exterior shots, general food items (excluding alcoholic drinks) and behind-the-scenes at the company.

Because social network timelines are more algorithmic, we highly recommend a paid social strategy that pairs with your posted content. You can promote posts at a designated hour to ensure that your customers see the burger special before dinnertime.

 What’s the point of posting a mouth-watering dinner photo if your customers don’t see it until the next morning?

Take advantage of Location-Based Advertising

Location-based advertising allows you to control when people see your ads, often with a certain radius. On Facebook, you have the ability to target from specific business locations. When a customer walks by one of your locations and happens to be browsing Facebook, they’ll be served up a Facebook Ad.

According to a Mobile Audience Insight Report,

  • Retail Mobile ads performed best when served within 2-5 miles of a store – 24% better than the average CTR
  • Store visits increased 80% within the 1st day a mobile ad was served compared to average store visits.

Take your Social Media Pages to the next level

If you feel like you’ve got your digital strategy down but still need a little magic in your posts, consider one of those advanced marketing strategies:

  1. Pair up with another chef or bartender for a collaborative meal

Collaborations work well in person and in digital form. Begin by picking a restaurant or bar that would enjoy working with.

  1. Feature a Social Media Influencer

Take advantage of social media influencers by offering exclusive meals or curated experiences. One way to feature a takeover is to invite an influencer to showcase nearby experiences they enjoy. For example, if your restaurant is based in Kirdford, they can post about your food and other local attractions they enjoy. 

            Another way to work with influencers is to create a collaborative menu item or event. This can be especially useful for ingredient-orientated brands. For example, a gin brand could work with someone to create a special selection of cocktails that become published on a influencer’s Instagram.

  1. Go Live

Stream parties, game-day events and talk about new promotions on live video. This is also a great way to go behind the scenes on your bar. Set up a live Q&A with your chef or feature a mixologist who can show you how to make cocktails at home.

Useful Information, but would prefer our team to help you build your online strategy? We provide Social Media Management for Restaurants, Bars and Pubs specialising in everything above. Learn More here.

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