We share 9 ideas for increasing sales from social media- Get behind the scenes, cross-promote, share menu pictures, and more.

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? Well, we compiled the best social media tips for restaurants!

While it’s absolutely essential to have a presence on social media, it’s not enough to just have a page on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. 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 full restaurant marketing strategy.

Sharing a meal at a restaurant while posting photos on social media

No matter what social network you’re on, the most important part is that you’re consistently engaging with your audience. Not sure where to start?

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

Examples of restaurant social media

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 for 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 restaurant 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:

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  • 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.

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 accounts 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.

Bonus! Learn From Your Restaurant Industry Peers

Figuring out what the heck to post is the hardest part about restaurant social media, right? The nine ideas above are certainly a great place to start, but now you’re thinking: wouldn’t it be nice if there was a list of specific examples?  Whether you’ve been at it for a while and are running out of ideas or are just getting started and trying to figure out which direction to head in, a little inspiration never hurt anyone.

For restaurants looking to get their creative juices flowing when it comes to their restaurant’s social media strategy, look no further. Some of the best restaurant social media posts are right here for you perusing pleasure.

Recipe Sharing Posts

No, you don’t have to let the cat out of the bag and share the ingredients for the secret sauce that sells your burgers, but you can keep it simple and share some of the more basic recipes on your menu. As Restaurant Den explains, people love sharing recipes with their friends and family. “Chances are when scrolling through Facebook, you’ve come across quite a few [recipes], most likely from Tasty. After all, they have over 85 million likes on their page.” All you have to do is whip up a quick video or blog posts and share it on your Facebook page. Plus its content that you can recycle again and again after enough time passes.

Highlight Positive Reviews

If you get a killer review from a customer or critic, share it and link back to the original review. Not only does it make you look really good, but it gives a platform to your customers and makes them feel special in the process. It looks really good on you if you offer the reviewer a free dessert or cocktail next time they drop by.

Capitalize on Restaurant Industry Trends

If there’s a meme that’s taking over the internet that day or a new hashtag that has stormed the scene, don’t be afraid to incorporate that into your social media postings. Even if the meme of the moment is a political one and you don’t want to be partisan, there’s a good chance that you can spin it some way that isn’t political at all and make it about your awesome food instead.  

gourmet drink

Go Weather-Themed

If it’s raining, post about the yummy soups you offer that are great for warming the soul after slogging through the rain all day. If it’s scorching outside, center your posts around thirst-quenching beers or your top-notch patio seating. It’s an easy way to not only stay current but to empathize with and reach your customers.

Offer Exclusives

Even if you’re about to start new happy hours across the board, think about announcing it on Facebook first and framing it as an exclusive offer for your followers. Note that they’re hearing about it first and that they’re being granted access that others are going to have to wait to hear about on other channels. Everyone loves to feel special and Facebook posts are a quick and easy way to do that.

Give these methods a try and there’s a good chance you’ll see a spike in your restaurant’s social media statistics in no time.

More Tips on Social Media for Restaurants

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.

Want to step up your restaurant’s social media presence? Check out our social media strategies guide!

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Morgan is a restaurant veteran based in Providence. For nearly a decade, she has worked in the restaurant industry in server and bartender roles. As a graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Morgan has pursued her passion of exploring the intersection of hospitality, technology and of course, delicious food. Her favorite travel buddies are meal sharers who enjoy being adventurous and trying something different.