The complete guide to restaurant social media (Instagram & Facebook)

Published by
Geert Roete
Last update:
September 9, 2022

With 63% of restaurants using social media for restaurant marketing, it's an essential way to reach your customers and grow your brand in a cost-effective manner. Especially that 49% of consumers learn about restaurants through social networks. If you're wondering how to make the best out of social media for your restaurant business, we have got your back!

In this complete guide to social media marketing for restaurants, you’re going to maximise your knowledge about the followings:

  • How to set up your profiles and strategies of Instagram & Facebook
  • What practical tips you can implement on each social media platform [business profile, strategy and best practices]
  • Related examples and tips of successful restaurant social media

Instagram

Instagram is the number one social media app for engagement with restaurant brands. According to Social Media Today, 30% of millennial diners actively avoid restaurants with a weak Instagram presence. We will tell you what strategy to implement and what tips we suggest to get the maximum benefits of using Instagram for your food business.

This is how to set up an exceptional restaurant Instagram profile:

Let’s start with the basics;.

  1. Username - For your restaurant username, keep it simple, short, easy to spell, and has no additional special characters. Something like [@tacobell] or [@dominos] is best.
  2. Profile Picture - We DO NOT recommend setting your business logo as a profile picture. Profiles with delicious food pictures as their profile picture get 28% more profile visits. By doing so, you communicate about your primary value.
  3. Instagram bio - Make sure that it encourages visitors to stay longer on your account. Add essential contact details, opening hours, and location. You can also include a link to your website or delivery platform.
  4. Story Highlights - This is another must-to-have thing in your Insta profile. Story highlights essentially act as a menu on your Instagram, that users can navigate much like a website. Good examples are menu items, weekly specials, meet the team stories, or your happy customer.

The top strategies for a successful restaurant Instagram

Now that we have the grounds of your Instagram profile, now let’s setup your Instagram business strategy:

  1. Coherent feed - Most Instagram users are highly sensitive to aesthetics. So make your feed appealing and visually attractive. Maintain a similar posting style so that everything together forms a consistent whole.
  2. Stories and IGTV - Video is the king. It’s the best way to interest viewers. You can use IG Stories to share food related content, daily work, the kitchen, the new local supplier, or to show how you prepare your flagship dish. The more creative you are, the more rewards you will get ;)
  3. Hashtags and location tags - Choosing the right hashtags can be one of the most effective ways to increase your reach and drive organic impressions. Remember about location tags that people will be able to locate your restaurant by. Read more about Hashtags at the end of this article.
  4. Cross Promote - You should not rely on one social media source to promote your restaurant. Cross promotion is perfect if one of your social media channels gets more engagement and interaction than the other. For example, if your Instagram has a ton of followers you can create a post that will drive traffic to your other social media pages.

Our hot tips on Instagram campaign that works:

And to the next question in your mind “How do I do that?” We say, start with these easy tips and learn and grow as you go!

  1. Local influencers - The popularity of influencer marketing is continuing to grow, so inviting local opinion leaders is a good way to promote your business. In addition, local influencers can help spread the word about your restaurant within the local community, making them eager to visit your place.
  2. Restaurant Hashtag - Keep a hashtag in your bio which tells customers what to tag when they post Instagram photos at your restaurant! This will help you keep track of user-generated content.
  3. Contests & Giveaways - A valuable restaurant marketing tactic for Instagram is to run contests for your audience. This not only increases engagement — with your followers liking and commenting to enter — but also your reach — by making ‘tag a friend’ a requirement for entry. That increases brand awareness for your restaurant. Also Instagram algorithm is built to support this kind of activity, so make it work for you!

Pro tip: if you are running a contest or a giveaway campaign, it’s super beneficial to have a professional loyalty program or a rewarding system like Sayl so you turn every interaction into a business opportunity ;)

Facebook

49% of people search Facebook to find restaurants, making it one of the leading platforms to introduce your business to your target audience.

How to set up a killer Facebook page for your restaurant business

The starting point is creating a business page by clicking on Create Page and start filling in your restaurant profile. The about page is indexed by Google, so take the time to fill in your profile completely. Be very descriptive and keyword-rich (example: Italian restaurant in the centre, pizza place with fast delivery etc). Don’t forget to link your website and publish ordering button. As soon as your page starts to gain likes, Facebook allows you to change your URL to a custom one. This is perfect to make concise and shareable links that represent your restaurant.

How to setup an effective Facebook strategy for your restaurant business:

  1. Post shareable content - Posting shareable content on your restaurant’s Facebook page is an effective way to grow your online presence and promote your restaurant significantly. Avoid lengthy articles and seek to optimise your visual content to accommodate mobile users.
  2. Add menus - To add a Menu to your Facebook page, you have to upload a photo or PDF of it. So, as well as giving customers easy access to what you offer, Facebook gives you something more. It will automatically generate a QR code that you can download to share online or print and display in your store.

Pro tip: Adding a PDF or a static image menu is not the best thing to do. It will give your customers the impression that you are not active in the technology space. Because seasoned professionals use a digital menu like integrated with Sayl and also make use of giftcards like Sayl Resto

  1. Set up an action button - The blue button located on the right of your main fan page allows users to contact you through Messenger/email/phone/website, start food orders, or book a table. You can also connect that button with a delivery platform.
  2. Messenger orders - You can provide your customers with the option of placing orders through Messenger, which makes the process extremely simple. 75% of people would rather text than talk on the phone. So why not give this feature a try? A pop-up chat window when entering your Facebook page might encourage them to place an order.
  3. Schedule in advance - For catering companies, restaurants, and businesses in general the activity on Facebook should be regular and well organised. That can be achieved by automating publishing,planning in advance all of your content ideas in a calendar.

Pro tip: Use a free social media management tool like Hootsuite to automate your posting.

  1. Target Geographical Location - You need to prioritise your ads or posts reaching the right people by configuring targets by location. On Facebook Ads Manager platform, you can reduce marketing areas by kilometre and city areas. It is important to note when the area has an influx of tourist activity versus the average number of local guests your campaigns might have bigger reach.

Pro tip: Use your city hashtags to get noticed by your local audience. Learn all you need about hashtags for restaurants ;)

  1. Target Based on Tastes and Interests - It’s not only about location and demographic targeting. Identify tastes based on target audience and customer base. Success with Facebook Ads is all about your appropriate testing and tweaking of settings to reach the ideal customer. For example: meatlovers, vegans, Lebanese food…
  2. Not Only Dishes - Research shows that atmosphere is one of the most important factors of potential customers choosing where to dine. Diners always appreciate an atmosphere as much as the expertly crafted dishes that you prepare. If the environment gives a negative vibe, many clients will not recommend the restaurant to anyone else – even if the food was incredible. So make sure that you create your own vibe and make it visible on your social media.

Remember: You are not selling food, you are selling a whole experience!

  1. Events - Event marketing combined with Facebook Ads is a winning combination. The creation of an event often themed around holidays and special occasions, but you can be creative and create your own event idea. This can get easily promoted and shared on social media. It is an ideal way to generate some buzz about your business and encourage those who have not tried your food to give your restaurant a shot.

Best practices for restaurant Facebook marketing:

  1. Contests - Running contests on your Facebook page is a great way to increase your reach and heighten your engagement. Creating a post that offers a free meal for two to one lucky winner if they share and tag their friends will significantly improve your exposure. The more people that share your content, the more people will know about your restaurant. Push your followers to promote your posts and you’ll see great results!
  2. Special offers and coupons - Facebook is also an excellent place to inform people about discounts or special offers. For example, let’s say an advertiser creates an offer like “Buy one pizza and get another for free.” Customers can save it for later and use it when they visit the restaurant in person.

Did you know? Sayl Resto allows you to set up your online food ordering service fully integrated with loyalty programs including coupons and loyalty cards.

  1. Pin a post - Facebook allows you to pin posts to the top of your feed. Use this to pin recent blog posts, competitions, and special offers so it’s the first thing people see when they stumble across your Facebook page.
  2. Create cravings - The quickest and simplest way of attracting customers to your restaurant is by creating awareness about the products and services you offer using quality pictures and live videos. Be creative about it and you will get rewarded for it!

Hungry for more?

Read these articles about Restaurant TikTok and Twitter marketing ;)

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