F ood is extremely visual and makes a statement easily. Good perspective, quality, and color synergy can send the right message to your customers. Instagram is a great tool for setting up restaurants' social media strategy right. The restaurant industry should be based mostly on visuals, along with a good story and tasty experience to win a user's heart. They say love goes through the stomach.

Our energy and desire to find out great social media marketing strategies for restaurants got us into building up this article. What better way to succeed than learning from other success stories? Boost your restaurant marketing plan using the next tips and best case studies:

  1. Use Great Visuals to Grant an Appealing Taste
  2. Make Ordering Possible on Facebook to Generate More Conversions
  3. Take Advantage of National Food Days - Real-Time Marketing
  4. Promote the Product in an Innovative and Fresh Way
  5. Show What’s Behind the Scene (Pull Back the Curtain)

1. Use Great Visuals to Grant an Appealing Taste

 

Making food look tasty can be fairly easy. Great visuals are one of the first tips for restaurant management and marketing. It doesn’t require so much work, but rather a lot of dedication. Besides promoting the food and showing how delicious it is, you should also transfer emotion and tell a story.

Take Harmony Cafe for example. By judging their Instagram account you can see they promote a cozy and vivid “green” atmosphere, full of life and kindness. One of their social campaigns is named “A slice of love” - desired to give food to people in need every Monday.

Harmony Cafe Instagram Account

Making the world a better place is kindly appreciated, as an addition to their sleek and beautifully organized social media platforms (including Facebook posts). Beside the cozy atmosphere and tasty looks showed online, people appreciate the location very much, as confirmed by TripAdvisor reviews.

2. Make Ordering Possible on Facebook to Generate More Conversions

 

Another great social media strategy for restaurants is making it easier for clients to order food online. Pizza Hut had rapid expansion right from the beginning. It was the first company to deliver a product in space. It was the first to deliver food to the White House. Basically the king of pizza. But this is not a story about Pizza Hut; it’s a story about one of their top competitors: Domino’s Pizza, which has now a high competitive advantage.

Being first doesn’t always matter anymore. Now you have to be everywhere.

After being the underdog of the industry for a long time, it overtook the place of Pizza Hut. It is titled the “largest pizza company in the world” after generating a cool $12.3 billion in global revenue. And all of that is thanks to digital marketing.

They passed through a rough time:

“Customers looked at us for fast food, and they looked at us for cheap food. Unfortunately, they didn’t really look at the brand in the context of good food or even good food for the value“
— Dennis Maloney, Domino’s CDO

60% of Domino’s Pizza’s deliveries are made online, which shows how effective the pizza chain’s web is, as weel as their overall digital marketing strategy. The delivering service is focusing on a mobile strategy, not only on desktop, using mobile platforms such as iOS and Android. Plus integration with lots of other platforms, including SMS, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Facebook Messenger using ‘Dom the Pizza Bot’, Twitter, Slack, Ford Sync, Apple Watch, Android Wear, Pebble and Samsung Smart TV.

Domino's Pizza smartwatch

Their social media presence is very visible and follows a simple strategy: they make it easier for everybody to order pizza anywhere, anytime with as little friction as possible.

Technology and evolution are the factors that differentiate them. With a constant desire to use new technology for deliveries, they built a prototype delivery car and afterward collaborated with Ford and launched a pizza delivery test using a self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle.

Domino's Pizza and Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle

3. Take Advantage of National Food Days - Real-Time Marketing

 

Using social media for restaurants can very very effective and you don’t need to rely on online advertising to attract customers. A simple and effective marketing idea can be to use national food days to your advantage and create all sorts of marketing campaigns, contests or gratuities. Make the most of the moment and create simple messages that attract the audience.

There are moments when you can be right there in the spotlight, whenever something big happens and it is all over the news through real-time marketing. If you can’t find an idea for those sorts of moments, you can create something when there’s National Spaghetti Day or International Waffle Day or National Cheese Day and so on. You can find a whole list by doing a simple search on the internet.

As an example, Chef Adrianne Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar from Miami posted a simple and visually attractive picture on Facebook on National Spaghetti Day and it gathered lots of likes and traction. Below you can see their post shared on Facebook:

National Spaghetti Day

Another example is Smashburger,a  fast food restaurant in US, which collaborated with food bloggers, influencer marketing and fans to promote the National Hamburger Day on Instagram using the Instagram hashtag #NationalHamburgerDay:

SMASHBURGER - National Burger Day

Follow trending hashtag and add them to your post on Instagram to get even more traction.

Just like the example below, you can combine multiple restaurants social media marketing ideas and use influencer marketing and national food days or hashtags campaigns and so on. It’s your own secret sauce.

Use BrandMentions to track specific competitors of national food days and see a list of online mentions. The Brand Mentions' Quick Research crawls the web and gets you fast some results:

Quick Research for NationalBurgerDay of BrandMentions

You can use it to spy on your competitors and get new ideas and for all the social marketing strategies elaborated.

4. Promote the Product in an Innovative and Fresh Way

 

You don’t need influencers, famous people, social media advertising, big budgets to create something interesting and innovative. You need an idea and the right people in your team.

Everybody knows about McDonald’s, one of the world’s most famous fast-food franchise restaurants. You might think it can be underrated to promote it, but the restaurant from Singapore found a unique way to present it online by using doodles. When fast food meets doodles, Instagram marketing can be a fun way to play into.

Check out some of their Instagram posts:

mcdonalds singapore Instagram post mcdonalds singapore Instagram post

Their liability combines product photography with hand-drawn illustrations and results in social charm.

Their Instagram feed got festive during Christmas when they organized creative doodles regarding the holidays. Below you have some beautiful photos as an example:

mcdonalds singapore Instagram post for Christmas mcdonalds singapore Instagram post for Christmas

5. Show What’s Behind the Scene (Pull Back the Curtain)

 

The food industry is highly competitive and the foodies are harder and harder to attract and make them loyal. A good social media strategy to win their heart is honesty and trust. That’s why showing what’s behind the scene can be an effective way to convert them.

A&J King Artisan Bakers in Salem, MA take their followers behind-the-scenes to the kitchen to show how their signature loaves come out of the oven.

On their Facebook page, you can find lots of similar videos.

Following this strategy, you can connect with your potential customers and tell them your brand story. Moreover, video marketing is trending right now and you can have a lot of success with that type of content. Take your visitors where they can’t come: in your kitchen and introduce your chefs and staff.

Telling the stories behind the food using photo and video will grant user love. Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are some of the platforms where you can create a social media account to promote your restaurant and have a competitive business.

Conclusion

 

Cooking up effective social media strategies need the right ingredients. Experimenting with new technology, using a consistent theme, building social media contests or loyalty programs, creating user-generated content, using great visuals in your food content marketing plan, making ordering possible on the go from lots of platforms are some of those ingredients that you will be a success for your restaurant social strategy.

Andreea is an enthusiastic Copywriter @BrandMentions who has a love for creativity and writing. When she is not watching for the 10th time the TV series Friends, she enjoys a good book and a glass of rose wine. She likes to see life from different angles (and cities). Motto: Eat, think and travel often.