Social media is a constantly evolving landscape and keeping up with changes and current trends should be a regular part of your restaurant marketing strategy.
As you look ahead to 2018 and start to plan your restaurant’s social media, keep in mind these 5 big trends.
As social media algorithms get more and more developed, they are getting better at targeting people with what they want to see. Despite thinking we humans are open-minded and willing to change, most prefer seeing what we like and what reinforces our beliefs. Social media platforms, especially Facebook, is helping accomplish that with more and more precision.
If you don’t currently have money in your budget for digital ads, you should allocate some for 2018.
2- More video
Video continues to make big strides across platforms. In 2017, research shows that users retain information in video more than in text, and also that video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined. If you haven’t embraced video yet, now is the time. Considering how you can add it to your restaurant social media plan, Instagram Stories, as well as Facebook Live are some ways to consider. Live broadcasting is available across platforms and is a fun way to connect in real time with your audience.
3- Paid Advertising
In the early days of social media, platforms like Facebook felt like free advertising in itself. You grew your audience organically and your best Facebook posts drove business. As the social media landscape has grown, free organic reach has been pushed aside for paid advertising. If you don’t currently have money in your budget for digital ads, you should allocate some for 2018.
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4- Influencer Marketing
Social media users look at their circles for recommendations on what to wear, what to do and where to dine. This type of marketing may not work well for every restaurant, but establishing the right relationship with a local influencer could help make this work for you.
5- Direct messaging
Facebook has been making a big push to monetize their Messaging platform, and though it’s gotten off to a slow start, they are introducing peer-to-peer payment processes to move this forward. Look for ways that you can work with Messenger to communicate with your diners or take online orders for delivery or pick up. Whether users will embrace Messenger for commerce is one question, but they already use it for messaging and making them able to communicate with you directly to answer questions, can be useful.
January can be a slower month for restaurants, and this lull can be the perfect time to assess your restaurant social media efforts and make adjustments as needed.