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Social Media 101: Part 2 – How Should Restaurants Use Social Media?

You’ve gotten your accounts set up, you’ve invited your friends and family to like your Facebook page, and you’ve even created a profile picture and cover photo. Now what?

Getting started on social media can seem like a daunting task. Not only do you have to create a Facebook page, you have to keep it frequently updated with new posts and pictures.

CC IMAGE COURTESY OF FIVERLOCKER ON FLICKR

CC IMAGE COURTESY OF FIVERLOCKER ON FLICKR

Have no fear! Restaurants all over the world have tapped into the success formula of social media, and we’re here to give you some tips on how you can make your online presence a success too!

First, let’s go over what each of these social media sites do, so you’ll know where to post what:

  • Facebook: This is your primary social media account; your restaurant’s Facebook should be kept updated with your specials and hours. It should be used for promotions, updates, and to communicate with your fans!

    Want an example to follow? Poquitos in Seattle is an example of a restaurant doing it right!
    https://www.facebook.com/VivaPoquitos

  • Twitter: This is for posting little tidbits of information. It can be the same information as Facebook, but it’s also ok to be more frequent updates, for example photos during an event. It can be linked to your Facebook feed as well!
  • Instagram: Foodstagramming! We told you it was a big deal. Instagram is where your restaurant can post delicious food photos.
  • Pinterest: Pinterest is an image board that your restaurant can use to inspire customers with your food and recipes!


Now that you know the purpose of each social media websites, let’s go over what to post!

  • Post your new menu items, or maybe your daily specials via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
  • Encourage customers to come into your restaurant by posting discount codes and secret passwords only on your social media sites (and to frequently come back to your Facebook page to check out new discounts).
  • Be relevant! Post breakfast pictures at around 7-10AM to encourage your followers to come in if you’re a pancake house. If you’re a bar, make posts before a game so followers think of you before they go out. We recommend the Buffer app that can post at whatever time you want.
  • Contests and giveaways are always a fun way to engage with your customers online. Have your customers check-in when they visit your restaurant, mention your restaurant or sign up on your email list for a chance at a free dinner!
  • Be sure to always update your customers on new openings, extended hours, or remodels via your social media accounts!
  • Handle complaints or negative publicity directly, but politely. The customer is always right online. (See: Handling Negative Yelp Reviews for advice)

Now that you know what to post – go ahead and try some posts yourselves! Remember to come back next week for more tips on smart social media promotions!