There are hundreds of thousands of restaurants on social media, and every single one of them are competing for the same customers. If you want to use social media to keep seats filled on a nightly basis, there are certain approaches that are proven to work. Here’s a few ideas on how to keep customers coming back by using social media.
There are two things (almost) all people love: winning and free stuff! Why not combine both? Contests are a great way to reach new customers AND keep customers coming back! One of the best examples is Calandra’s Bakery and Restaurants. Calandra’s holds multiple contests on their Facebook page that entice customers to visit their restaurants. One such contest is the “Ask & You Shall Receive” Giveaway. Fans are asked to follow a few simple instructions to be entered in the contest. The winner gets to choose from multiple prizes, such as a dinner for four, cooking dinner with a chef of their choosing, or having one of Calandra’s chefs go to their home and cook dinner!
(It also helps to have a fun graphic for your contest!)
Post Engaging Content!
While your followers will always love contests or discounts, they don’t want you to be selling all of the time. Stay away from posting every single menu item for two months in a row. Mix it up and have some fun! Post content that is engaging and people want to see. What types of ingredients do you use in your famous burrito? Highlight employees that customers will see around the restaurant. Share photos from catering events or company milestones. Create a connection between your offline and online presence. Your customers want to feel like they are part of your restaurant. This is how your restaurant becomes the “Regular Saturday Night” for some customers.
Respond to Your Customers!
Responding to comments or questions is an easy way to establish a relationship with your customers. It is also one of the most important things you can do for your business. Your customers want to be heard loud and clear! Even a simple retweet or “Thank You” can make your customers smile! Most comments are not responded to by companies on social media. Would you want the host or waitress in your restaurant to ignore customers there? Probably not. (Hopefully.) It’s the same for social media. Your customers want to be acknowledged and know that there is someone on the other side of that Twitter handle who is listening to them. If you would like to learn more about responding and some best practices, click here.
Show Off Your Food!
Has your mouth ever salivated while scrolling through your Instagram feed? Of course it has. Show your followers what your food actually looks like! Your fans want to see the meals they might be ordering and most importantly, tasting. Take advantage by posting some lesser known menu items or daily specials. When your followers can almost taste the melted cheese, smell the French fries, or hear that cannoli crunching, they will be running to you for their next meal. Grilled cheese anyone?
The above practices are just a few tips for how to connect with your customers through social media and keep them coming back for more, both in your restaurant and online. How has your restaurant connected with fans on social media? Share in the comments below!