You’ve set up a Facebook page for your restaurant, but sales are not increasing.
Newsflash: It’s 2019.
Just having a Facebook page alone is no longer enough to bring in the moolah.
But first, let’s take a step back and review the situation:
The food and beverage industry is thriving. With hipster cafes and boutique restaurants mushrooming everywhere, millennials and busy worker bees are eating out more than before whether it be in Europe or in Asia Pacific.
You want to cash in on this so you set up a Facebook page. Unfortunately, nothing good came out of it.
You had the right intention.
What you didn’t have was a social strategy.
Very quickly: what’s a social strategy? In short, it’s a plan for what you want to say, how you’re saying it and where you’re saying it – all in order to achieve your goals.
It sounds like a mammoth task, but it really isn’t so bad.
To help you, we’ve taken a leaf (or two) from top restaurants which have some of the best social strategies. These restaurants cover the basics and use limited budgets, yet still achieve amazing results.
Ready to start cooking up a storm?
Steps to creating the perfect social strategy for your restaurant
Step 1: Set goals
First thing’s first – your marketing goals are not separate from your business goals.
Identify what your business goals are. Think numbers, your company’s vision, the brand’s personality. List everything down.
The next step is to plan marketing goals that’ll help achieve the business goals you just listed. When doing so, play SMART.
Ask yourself if what you’re planning meets the five characteristics of a goal as seen in the image below when jotting down your ideas.
Take this scenario:
If your business goal is to earn $12,000 per month, how much marketing do you need to do to get there?
Say each person spends $100, that’s 120 customers per month.
You know that 10% of those you reach on social end up becoming a customer. So, you need to reach 1,200 new people every month to hit your goal.
Breaking your goals down to actions makes them infinitely more achievable and manageable.
The idea here is to brainstorm solutions that follow best-practices without overwhelming your current resources.
After all, when setting out goals, you must be precise and realistic.
It would be amazing if hundreds of people visited your restaurant for lunch every single day.
But if you only have twenty tables and two delivery riders – how are you going to fulfill so many orders?
Another thing to remember: goals are useless if you can’t measure them.
You can identify if you’re achieving your goals by measuring:
- Audience size (likes, followers, etc)
- Website traffic (unique hits, etc)
- Engagement (comments, shares, user-generated content, reviews etc)
- Sales (per month, per head, per promotion etc)
Did you know? The top three most important metrics for social media success include engagement (80%), audience size (61%) and website traffic (56%).
When it comes to engagement, there are some benchmarks out there that you can use to monitor how well your social media platforms are working for you.
Here’s an example of how you can use the information you have to track goals:
Business goal: Increase sales via Facebook
Marketing goal: Average 0.5% engagement from 30 posts per month on Facebook
Measuring tool: Analysing and tracking how engagements turn into sales via
Communicate these goals to your team. Keep everyone aligned and working towards the goal of increasing your sales.
Step 2: Know your audience
The number of digitally active users globally continues to increase.
This is all good news: your audience size is growing, plus it’s much easier to reach and sell to them through social commerce solutions.
Before you start talking to them though, you need to understand who you are targeting.
- What kind of people do you see dining at your establishment?
- Do they differ from the people who prefer taking out or staying at home with a delivery?
To know more about your audience, you need to first gather data on them by:
- Conducting a survey of existing users by asking questions such as preferred opening hours, preferred delivery options, feedback on your menu, service and location etc. You can collect these information via:
- Running a short survey on your website
- Having a poll on your Facebook page or Instagram profile
- Getting your team to interact with diners and ask casual questions
- Finding out their habits via online research:
- How do they interact with your competitors?
- Are they actively talking about specific food trends?
- Which platform are they using to communicate with you?
Pro tip: If you already have existing social media accounts, conduct an audit. Find out what got your audience members engaged with most to get an idea of their likes and dislikes.
Got the needed information? Great, now it’s time to take action.
Step 3: Build your presence
The first question to ask is which platforms do you need to be on?
Yes – need. Not want.
As a business owner, you’d think it’ll be great to be on all the leading social networks on the internet.
Realistically though, is that possible?
Do you have the time or the budget to manage all that?
It’ll be great if you do, but even then, that might not be the right way to go.
After all, your focus is to reach your customers where they are. Zoom in and prepare your multi-channel strategy by using only the most relevant platforms for your restaurant.
Not sure which one to start with? Here are some must-haves channels you can consider. Test them out and stick with channels that give you the best return on your time and monetary investment.
With affordable tools like WordPress, Weebly, or Wix, a website is just a few clicks away.
Basic things you should have on your website:
- Name of restaurant
- Location of restaurant
- Opening hours
- Contact details
- Restaurant menu
- A messaging tool – a contact form or a chatbot
Pro tip: No time to build a website? Buy a domain name and reroute it to your most prominent and active social media account.
Which is why it’s the first social media platform we’re recommending. Create a business page if you haven’t already done so.
Things to remember:
- Your page name should match your restaurant’s name
- Fill in your “About” page with as much info as possible
- Display your menu on your page
- Have a relevant profile picture and cover photo
- If you have an Instagram profile, link it to your Facebook page
Did you know? You can use jumper to take orders for your food and beverages via your Facebook page.
Last checked, there were more than 310 million posts on Instagram with the hashtag #food.
Needless to say, Instagram’s game is very strong when it comes to food.
And you want to get in on that!
Set up your Instagram profile, and pay attention to these details:
- Have a good bio, include hashtags or even emojis
- Fill up all your contact information
- Change your profile from a personal to a business profile to view insights
Other profiles to consider
- For reviews: Yelp, TripAdvisor, Burpple
- To take reservations: Chope, HungryGoWhere
- To make your business more prominent: Google My Business
- Others: Pinterest, Quora, Foursquare, Twitter
Step 4: Roll out your content
Now that you’ve set up your social presence, start filling it with engaging content.
For starters, as mentioned above, you should have your full menu on display on your website and even via a tab on Facebook.
You can then start preparing pictures of dishes and talking about them.
From there, analyze what your competitors are doing and pay attention to posts which get the most engagement. Try to follow what works with them and build awareness and a following for your own pages.
Once you have a substantial amount of likes and follows on your platforms, track engagements on your posts to see what your audience likes most.
You can also break down posts according to the social media rule of thirds.
- Business post: Talk about your restaurant’s history, location and your team. Add photos of your storefront, or behind-the-scenes visuals of your staff at work.
- Promotional posts: Have a discount for a new item on the menu? Talk about it! Better yet, run an Instagram contest for, say, a free drink on every order.
- Curated posts: The F&B industry procures a lot of user-generated content. Diners may snap photos of their orders and tag you on social media. If they tag you on Instagram, share the post on Facebook and thank them!
Add information that customers are looking for. Pay attention to the questions they frequently ask and write a post on it.
Whenever you posts, inject the feel-good factor through creative visuals and storytelling.
Did you know? 41% of social media users have unfollowed a brand due to posting irrelevant information.
When to post on social media? Although there are specific timings recommended by experts, the reality is that every social media platform and industry you belong to has different levels of engagement.
The only way to know for sure is to diligently track your posts and campaigns to study the times that your audience is most responsive.
But where do you even start, you ask? We suggest that you post when people think about food the most – before lunch, before dinner and during the weekends.
See if this works for your time zone and audience demographics. Build a separate strategy for each network if you must.
Pro tip: Don’t want to write long-winded posts to help increase your organic rankings on search engines? Reach out to influencers and bloggers. Let them review your food and always update them on new outlets or menu items.
Step 5: Have conversations
Posted pictures? Shared articles?
That’s great, but it’s still not enough.
What a lot of business owners forget is that engagement is a key aspect of their social strategy.
The idea is to get the people talking to you, and about you.
Restaurants that make their social strategy work always ensure that communication is a two-way street.
Get your page visitors and followers talking. Ask questions and get their opinions on how you can improve.
If they’ve already visited your restaurant or ordered from you online, send them a personal message and request them to leave a review for your business.
If someone else is considering your restaurant and sees great feedback and positive reviews, ka-ching, ka-ching.
Other way of getting the communication rolling:
- Whenever you post something, ensure that your post has a call-to-action
- Always follow-up on comments and chat messages
- If someone leaves a review, thank them for their feedback, even if it’s negative
- Run an email campaign to provide more exclusivity to your customer base
Whatever you do, don’t get complacent.
Meet the expectations you set for customer service. Find at least two time slots in a day where you can reply to comments and queries on your social networks.
Pro tip: Still not getting enough engagement? Consider running Facebook ads that will either lead to people commenting or messaging you directly.
Bonus: Don’t stop there
You have to remember that we’re not discussing a social media strategy, it’s a social strategy.
Which means your messages and efforts have to go beyond the online realm.
Imagine this – a customer, impressed with your online profile, visits your restaurant only to realize that their reservation was not recorded, the menu you displayed online was not updated, and the promo code they were excited to use is not valid in that particular outlet.
Wouldn’t that disappoint them? Do you think they would recommend you to their social circle?
Always make sure your social messages and real-life offers are the same.
To get customers to come back, here are some incentives you can consider:
- Return voucher ($20 off your next visit)
- Rewards for mobile payments (e.g. GrabPay)
- Loyalty cards
So how does the social strategy help increase sales?
The idea behind your social strategy is to engage with and provide customers a positive social experience so they would, in turn, order from your restaurant.
Good marketing results in good sales, they say. As it is with the generation today (old or young), we’re always on our phones. And if the experience a potential customer gets from your social platforms isn’t positive, you can wave your sales goodbye.
So jump on the social strategy bandwagon and start seeing your numbers grow.
Once you’ve set your goals and built your website and social accounts, create your free jumper account to start taking orders directly through your social posts.#