Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. While the most popular sites may come and go, Americans love social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, and TikTok. In fact, according to one study from the Pew Research Center, 70% of adults in the U.S. use social media to connect with each other, get news, share information and for entertainment. TikTok has even surpassed Google in website traffic to become the world’s most popular web domain.
For restaurants, an effective social media strategy is crucial. 89% of diners have a social media account – and 45% have tried a restaurant specifically because of a social media post. However, social media marketing can be tricky, with pressure to strike the right tone, encourage engagement, and be consistent across multiple platforms.
At Budget Branders, we understand the challenges of entrepreneurship. That is why we have created a list of 50+ social media post ideas for your restaurant. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you expand your branding through custom-printed disposables, reach out today for a quote.
Why Do You Need a Social Media Presence for Your Restaurant?
Most businesses – including restaurants – can benefit from a comprehensive marketing plan. In the current era, this plan should include some type of social media.
Social media may be responsible for a lot of ills in our society – but it has also changed the way that companies interact with customers and conduct business. Many customers check social media when deciding where to eat or to engage with a restaurant. For this reason, having a social media presence is necessary.
Social media allows you to talk directly to the very people who will patronize your business. Not only can you post specials, important information, and deals, but your customers can also communicate with you through comments, reviews, posts, and tags. While this can present some issues – such as situations where a disgruntled customer can tank your social media presence – it is also a great way to build brand awareness and trust. This is especially true if you give customers a peek behind the curtain to get to know the people behind the business.
Having a social media presence can also help to boost visits to your website, which may then drive people to order food or dine in at your restaurant. Social media platforms can build your search engine optimization (SEO), which helps you get a higher ranking in google results. This may not seem that important – but think about the impact of appearing at the top of the search page when someone looks for restaurants in their area.
While you can pay for advertising, having a social media account is free. This means that you can post content, engage with customers, and more without spending a single dime. You may even be able to reach a whole new audience without added expense.
Restaurant Social Media Best Practices
Understanding that you need a social media presence is one thing – knowing how to execute a marketing strategy on social media is something else entirely. For many restaurants, the best way to handle this is by hiring a marketing professional. If that isn’t in your budget or you want to do it yourself, here are some tips to get you started.
First, you will need to choose your preferred platforms. There are advantages and disadvantages to each platform, and different demographics tend to prefer certain social media sites (for example, Facebook is used more by older people, while Gen Z is into platforms like TikTok and SnapChat). Once you have decided which platforms you want to use, create business profiles on each site for your restaurant.
In creating these profiles, be sure to use your restaurant logo, slogan and colors so that it is easily identifiable. Make sure to include a link to your restaurant’s website, location, hours, and menu. You should also include a way to contact you – while being aware that customers will almost certainly send you direct messages through social media.
Finally, start posting content to engage with customers across various platforms. You can use scheduling tools to plan out a strategy in advance. When developing your strategy, be sure to do the following:
- Create a consistent voice, in both the words you use and the graphics or photographs that you share.
- Respond to online reviews – calmly and rationally.
- Consider posting “behind the scenes” pics and videos so that viewers can see how your food is made (and be inspired to pay your restaurant a visit).
- Use social media to drive email sign ups so that you can communicate directly with customers regardless of what happens on the platform.
- Repost user-generated content, such as pictures of your food, giving credit to your customers
- Take advantage of trending topics
- Spotlight your employees to bring in a human touch.
- Drive engagement by asking users questions or making polls.
- Host social media contests to increase engagement and views of your profiles
- Highlight your vendors to take advantage of business synergy
- Consider using different platforms to reach new audiences, such as TikTok
50+ Restaurant Social Media Post Ideas
Restaurants use social media in a number of ways to increase sales. Here are some great ideas for social media posts that may inspire your own strategy.
- Show off sustainable business practices.
- Partner with a local nonprofit and post about it (such as a percentage of all sales going to a local charity for a day).
- Share pictures of patio dining options.
- Post a link to your current menu.
- Highlight menu items that fit into certain diets, such as keto, low calorie, or low fat.
- Post seasonal menu items.
- Talk about allergen-friendly dining options, such as gluten-free, nut-free, or dairy-free menu items.
- Share behind the scenes footage of your staff prepping meals.
- Post specials that are only available via social media.
- Promote loyalty programs.
- Share promotions for times that you are often slow.
- Post about specials for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special events.
- Share information about catering.
- Introduce your team.
- Talk about your story as a restaurateur.
- Share news updates.
- If your restaurant is pet-friendly, share pics of dogs dining on your patio
- Post pictures of a full dining area.
- Share pictures of unique features of your restaurant, such as a wood-fired pizza oven.
- Avoiding sensitive topics, post about relevant current events (example: restaurants offering special menus featuring Ukrainian food).
- Talk about your recycling or composting programs.
- Incentivize customers sharing your content, such as by offering a discount for sharing or doing a gift card giveaway.
- Post current specials.
- Share food and drink pairings.
- Take pictures of specialty drinks and post them.
- Do a series on staff favorite menu items as a way to create a connection and highlight certain foods and drinks.
- Talk about where certain ingredients are sourced.
- Post a poll asking for menu item suggestions.
- Share special events happening at your restaurant.
- Promote local events that you may be involved in, such as festivals or fairs
- Share user-generated content, like meals posted to customers’ social media. Be sure to tag the photographer!
- Promote your website and/or blog.
- If you have an app, share the benefits of downloading it.
- Post short cooking videos.
- Share photos of a staff dinner.
- Post videos of food prep – such as a close up shot of a chef perfectly chopping a pile of vegetables.
- Talk about the history of your location or your restaurant.
- Launch a promotion where people can get a discount or something for free based on something random – like “everyone whose first name starts with J gets a complimentary non-alcoholic beverage this week.”
- Host a GIF drop, where users comment with their favorite food-related GIF (and may be eligible to win a gift card).
- Showcase a local cause, perhaps by your employees giving back or you donating meals or money to the cause.
- Cross promote local businesses.
- Promote your business with local “celebrities,” such as dropping off a meal to radio station hosts and posting pictures and videos of their meal.
- If you participate in restaurant week, share content about this special event
- Getting lots of great reviews? Re-post them and ask for more reviews from customers.
- Share milestones and special occasions on your social media (such as the 5 year anniversary of your restaurant or reaching 2,000 likes).
- With their permission, post about your staff. For example, if your hostess just graduated from college, post about it!
- Tie posts into pop culture, such as the Oscars or a sporting event, with pictures of special menu items for the occasion.
- Post any merchandise that you have for sale.
- Do you use third party delivery services? Share them in a post to let customers know how to get your food.
- If you are doing a pop-up restaurant at an event, share it!
- Invite a local food blogger to eat at your restaurant and ask them to tag you in pictures, videos, and/or blog posts.
- Share the story behind a favorite recipe.
- Highlight lesser known holidays with special promotions. For example, May 14 is National Dance Like a Chicken Day – so you could offer customers a discount if they do a chicken dance!
- Ask questions. Post a picture of a dish and ask users to decide what side or drink should be served with it.
- Go live! If something cool is happening at your restaurant, start filming and post it on your stories.
- Ask your staff to share their expertise, such as picking the best fruit or proper ways to cut a particular food item.
- Post trivia questions about your restaurant.
- Blur out images of dishes and have followers guess what the dish is based on the blurry image.
How Budget Branders Can Help Your Restaurant Soar
No one opens up a restaurant with the expectation that they’ll have to learn social media marketing, too. Yet having a strong social media presence can really help to boost business – along with other marketing techniques, such as using custom branded disposable products.
Budget Branders works collaboratively with restaurant owners to help them achieve their goals. We offer a full range of high quality cups, bags, bowls, and more. All of our products are sold in qualities that make sense for independently-owned businesses – and at prices that fit your budget.
To learn more or request a quote, reach out today by filling out our online contact form or hitting the live chat button on the bottom right of your screen.