an iphone on a table with a restaurant menu beside it

Everything in a restaurant is a balancing act. If you add something, you have to take something else away. When it comes to marketing your restaurant, the same holds true to being on social media. You can’t do it all.

Now that’s no reason to do nothing at all, but with limited time and resources, you have decisions to make. It’s important to find the social media channels that will connect best with your audience, this guide will help you navigate the ever-changing social media landscape.

Facebook

Pros

  • From people ages 14-75, audiences of all ages are on Facebook.
  • It’s an easy social media platform to get started with.
  • It has live-streaming video capabilities.
  • Facebook Ad targeting capabilities allow you to target people very specifically so you can reach people geographically and more.
  • People naturally use it as a search engine to look up businesses, therefore it’s easy to get discovered.

Cons

  • Younger audiences are using other social media channels far more.
  • Due to Facebook’s algorithm, it is difficult for businesses to get organic reach, therefore you will get very few people viewing your posts without paying for ads.
  • Facebook can be a go-to spot for complaints, so you’ll have to actively monitor reviews and feedback.

Twitter

Pros

  • You can post several times throughout the day.
  • It’s a platform that uses humor, so posts that are funny/relatable have the potential to go viral.
  • It’s a great platform to discover your voice and the tone you use when you want to connect with your guests.
  • Easy to share links to articles.
  • The algorithm is not as aggressive as Facebook so if your account is followed, your audience will see your content as they scroll through their feeds.
  • Hashtags originated on Twitter, it’s a great platform for connecting to hashtags related to local events to drive awareness of your restaurant.

Cons

  • You’re limited to 140 characters, so you have to get creative with the limit.
  • It’s easy to get lost in the scrolling, so each tweet only has a shelf life of a few hours.
  • As a restaurant, one of your greatest assets is the visual appeal of food, with Twitter being mostly word-based and less so photo based, it’s not the best platform to post solely photos.

Instagram

Pros

  • Instagram is one of the most used social media platforms- 59% of users use Instagram every single day and 35% of users visit several times a day.
  • It’s completely photo based, let the mouth watering food photos begin…
  • People naturally use Instagram alot to post food photos. If they’re posting photos of your restaurant, they can tag your account or include your location, making your business easier to be found by others.
  • You have the ability to add unlimited hashtags to photos, making them more likely to be discovered (#bostoneats, #chocolatecake, #chocolatelovers, #chocolateallday).
  • Instagrammers take their curation seriously, so instead of posting 20 photos, users will pick the best one and post it, making the images posted more high quality than other platforms.
  • Instagram stories let you share live moments (these posts last for 24 hours, then disappear).

Cons

Aesthetics and lighting is important to the instagram community, therefore Instagram requires more time to take quality photos.
If you’re looking to reach an older audience, you’ll likely miss them here. Only 4% of people 65+ use Instagram. But the sweet spot of users are 18-29.

Pinterest

Pros

  • Pinterest is very visually appealing and also photo driven.
  • Clicking on an image will drive people to look at things on your website, creating more website traffic.
  • Pinterest is arranged with boards, so you can create boards about menu inspiration or cultures you’re interested in.

Cons

  • People typically go to Pinterest for ideas about cooking for themselves, not necessarily about going out to eat.

Snapchat

Pros

  • Snapchat is the go-to platform for sharing things in the moment (live).
  • Users spend the most time on Snapchat than any other social media app, consuming content for 25-30 minutes per day on average.
  • People follow less companies on Snapchat than other social media channels, making it easier to cut through the clutter.
  • 60% of users post content daily, that means if they’re at your restaurant, they’re likely posting Snapchats about being there.

Cons

  • It’s a newer platform so it may take a bit longer to figure out the best way to connect with your audience. If you need help, ask one of your servers or a college student to show you the ropes.
  • People often don’t search businesses out on Snapchat, therefore you’ll only gain followers by promoting that you have an account.
Need more social media help? Check out 5 Steps to Simplify your Social Media for more tips and tricks.
restaurant social media checklists for ebooks

All restaurant marketing strategies need social media. With these checklists, you can set up and master the major networks in no time at all.

Download The Checklist
Written by   |  
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.