an iphone on a table with a restaurant menu beside it

Are you stuck when it comes to restaurant marketing strategies for social media? Struggling to come up with ideas that your audience will find interesting? Have no fear, we’re here.

While it’s absolutely essential to have a presence on social media, it’s not enough to just have a page. To truly connect with your audience in a meaningful way, you need to be posting engaging content on a consistent basis, that is in line with your restaurant marketing strategy.

Business People Lunch Dinner Meeting Restaurant Concept

No matter what social network you’re on, the most important part is that you’re consistently engaging with your audience.

Here are nine fresh ideas that can help you not only build deeper relationships your current customers but catch the eye of someone new on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and beyond.

1- Get to know your staff

Your staff is a huge asset to your business. Leverage their distinct talents, expertise, personalities, passions and personal networks! By sharing posts about you give your customers a better glimpse into who they are, therefore who the restaurant is. This also makes for a post that your employees want to engage back with, likely sharing it with their networks. Not only does this boost the reach of your post, it’s a great way to provide well-deserved recognition.

Here’s how:

  • Share your pastry chef’s favorite dish with a great photo
  • Showcase school pride: How many staff members that attended a local college?
  • Announce Jeff’s big intramural volleyball championship win last week

2 – Cross-promote

Do you have a ton of Facebook likes, but just a few followers on Instagram? Use your most popular social channels to promote the other channels. The more touch points you can build with a customer outside your restaurant the better and social media is the perfect way to do it.

3 – Get behind the scenes

Give customers a sneak peek into the inner-workings of your restaurant. The behind the scenes photos you post should paint a bigger picture of how you do what you do.

More examples:

  • Share a photo of connecting with a local farmer or vendor.
  • Post your favorite staff tradition.
  • Show the preparation that goes into a popular dish with a photo showing the ingredients like this one by North.

chef preparing food in restaurant in a line

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4 – Re-share user-generated content

Don’t underestimate your customers. A little digging can reveal beautiful photos they take and stories shared on social media. With their permission, simply ask via a comment if they would allow you to share, retweet or repost their content from your page.

Here are a few places to look for this content:

  • Look up your location on Instagram to find photos taken at your restaurant.
  • Conduct a hashtag search with your restaurant name.
  • Conduct a Facebook or Twitter search with the name of your restaurant to see if people mentioned it without using a hashtag.
  • If you have accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram check out the photos and posts you’ve been tagged in.

5 – Share top menu recommendations

Showcase recommendations of your top restaurant menu ideas. You can do this in a variety of ways whether that’s sharing a video, like in this one or a collage of photos including related dishes. This is a great way to encourage your current fans to something new or expand their experience. Want to find out more about which menu items are performing the best? You’ll definitely want to check this out.

group of friends eating at a table with food

6 – Post Announcements in a Creative Way

While posting announcements is typically a majority of what restaurants share on social media, try to switch it up in a creative way to stand out from the crowd. Here are some ideas on ways to do just that:

  • Drive awareness to your menu by highlighting seasonal menu items
  • Recently get an award? Give yourself a pat on the back! Your most loyal fans will love to join you.
  • Congratulate the newest employee you brought on board, sharing their background and what they’ll be doing at your restaurant
  • Opening a new location? Build the buzz by announcing you’ll be sharing big news soon.

7 – New menu items

Each season brings in new waves of ingredients and customers. Showcase the latest restaurant menu ideas with bright, beautiful photos of your new menu items. Your delicious looking photos will leave customers hungry for more! Super tip: Include hashtags so your photo can reach new people.

8 – Promote community activities

Share local events you think your customers would care about. Is there a great play going on next door? A first-annual holiday lights parade happening this month? Making the announcement come from your restaurant not only helps these local events boost attendance, it will get your guests thinking about the occasion with your restaurant in mind.

Top view of group of friends raising a toast post lunch. High angle view of happy men and women celebrating at home with red wine. Close up shot of friends toasting glasses of red wine in a party.

9 – Have someone new take over your account

While we’ve given you eight great ideas so far as to how you can add some exciting new content to your social media feed, you may want to take it a step further. Think about trying this – give access to one of your social media account to one of your most loyal customers or employees to do an account “takeover”.

This allows your audience to see your restaurant through the eyes of someone new. The fresh perspective is always interesting to hear. Quick note- make sure you outline specific instructions for running the accounts, basic dos and don’ts while allowing that person to have enough creative freedom to showcase their individuality.

More Social Media Tips For You

Next time when you’re thinking about what to post on social media, check back at these ideas to get your creative juices flowing. It’s also important to use a tool like Upserve to track your reputation on social media.  For even more ideas on how you can take your restaurant marketing to the next level, check out this guide on restaurant marketing strategies.