You don’t need a full-time employee to manage your social media marketing. Here are some simple tips that with very little effort will boost your restaurant brand online in no time – including one social platform that is actually very important but tends to be forgotten.

Social platforms for customer service

Social media platforms are direct links between you and your customers, which is why it’s a really good idea to reply to comments and feedback (both good and bad) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The American restaurant chain, Olive Garden, is really good at using their Facebook page for customer service. The team replies to 95% of all comments and questions, they thank their customers for interacting and they encourage unhappy visitors to send them a private messages to fix any problems.

Read more: Your restaurant’s social media strategy – this is how it’s done

It does require you and your team to check your social media pages regularly, however, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to write a reply. And it’s worth it as it will strengthen your customers’ perception of you and your brand.

Show off your happy staff

Don’t underestimate the power of people in pictures. We like to look at pictures that we can relate to, and it’s an excellent way of connecting with your target and boosting your brand identity. Showing off your happy employees will not just give you a lot of clicks and likes, but it will also score you some good reputation points. It’s an easy way to engage and pictures work well on all channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – so one simple snap can spice up all of your platforms.

Link to your menu

Your menu is the best marketing tool you have at your disposal, so why not use it on social media?

It’s a good idea to post updates about your menu. For instance, you could write “We’ve added a new main course to the menu – what do you think?” or “There’s a new drink in town. When will you come by and have a taste?” In addition to that, you can post a link to your menu on your website, making it very easy for your customers to find out what they will have for dinner tonight. You could write: “It’s Friday, let’s celebrate – which one of the starters will you be having tonight?” or “Hamburger Wednesday? Check out our selection” and then simply add the link. A simple and quick way to engage with your customers.

Read more: 4 things you need to know to optimize your menu + 1 reminder

Set up your Google+ account

Google+ is a social media platform that never really caught on among the general public, at least not like all the other major networking and content sharing platforms. However, not having a Google+ account can actually hurt your business and should be regarded as just as important as having a Yelp profile.

When someone searches for your restaurant on Google, it will take the information from your Google+ account and put it in the sidebar to the right. Here, your address will pop up with directions from Google Maps, it will have opening hours, link to your website, rating and reviews and much more. It’s so easy for the person Googling to find out if he/she should go to your place tonight. So, if you haven’t set up a Google account yet, you should definitely do it. You don’t have to post and keep your profile updated – it’s enough just to have it.

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