Restaurant owners spend a lot of their time contemplating a simple question: what gets people in the door? Well, in our current social media landscape, the answer is often online marketing. Whether you’re new to digital marketing or an Instagram wizard, you can’t deny the importance of using online outreach to reach new customers, especially in the early days of a new restaurant.
- Create social media accounts.
If you are wondering about the firsts steps to take when marketing your restaurant, making accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram is a logical, easy, and free way to spread awareness of your business. Social media accounts will show up in organic search results, giving users a taste of your restaurant before they even walk through the door.
- Claim your business on Yelp.
Yelp is an invaluable resource for restaurant owners because many customers use it to check out new dining options in their area. If you are having trouble drawing in customers from foot traffic alone, a Yelp listing can lead to a massive uptick in hungry diners.
- Emphasize what makes you unique.
Do you have the best wings in town? What about the most craft beers this side of a brewery tour? Make your unique specialties the central pillar of your branding efforts to leave a memorable impression. When creating menus or posting on social media, remind readers what you bring to the table. That way, the next time they’re looking for the food you specialize in, they’ll know where to go.
- Interact with customers.
Online engagement makes users feel like they have a personal stake in your restaurant’s success. One of the greatest advantages of online restaurant marketing is that it allows you to communicate directly with customers outside your restaurant. Want to know which menu items they like most? Do a Twitter poll. Looking for a new picture to hang on the wall? Hold a contest and crowdsource art from your social media followers.
- Start a blog.
If you are overflowing with ideas about your region’s food scene and passionate about reaching a new audience, a blog could be just the thing for you. It’s easy and free to use WordPress, and every post you make will have a positive impact on your search results. If you already have a website, you can easily add a blog section and get writing.
- Reach out to influencers.
Social media influencers hold a lot of sway in the online foodie sphere, so why not use that to your advantage? Influencer outreach is now a major part of online restaurant marketing, particularly via Instagram, and it only takes a minute to ask a local influencer if they’d like to collaborate. They get exposure, and you get in front of an enthusiastic audience—it’s a win-win.
- Have fun with it.
Online restaurant marketing is about sharing your passion for fine dining, so it should be a fun, enjoyable experience. If you find that tweeting and blogging are becoming chores, it could be time to reach out to a digital marketing professional to help you get your message out.