If the use of social media platforms isn’t a part of your marketing strategy already, you really should get on it. Now. Because chances are that your competitors are already there benefitting from all the free advertisement. Yes, free advertisement!

Just a few years back, restaurant owners spent a huge chunk of their budget on promotion – but that’s not necessary anymore, as most of it can be done online via likes, shares and comments. If done right, that is, because if you do it wrong, you risk ending up falling behind and losing a potential future customer base.

So, to help you get inspired to start putting your restaurant’s social marketing media strategy together, we have gathered the best tips from the article, “How to Rock Social Media.” The article presents 10 restaurants in the US, which have found the right social media strategy. And even though they use the platforms differently, they have one crucial thing in common… Engagement!

Engagement tactics

Remember that you don’t have to choose only one of these engagement tactics. It is actually a good idea to try different approaches to keep your customers interested in following you.

Sweetgreen – Recognition

A general idea is that we like reading things that we can relate to. That way of thinking is what Sweetgreen is using in their social media strategy. Posting things like “our #wednesdaywisdom – what’s yours?” quoting the Canadian singer Drake, sharing a picture where the vegetables are arranged as the Olympic Games’ symbol or posting a photo of a salad with the caption “Winter is coming #gameofgreens” referring to one of the most popular TV-shows right now “Game of Thrones”, they relate to what people in their segment care about or what’s popular at the moment. And it’s working…

 

Larkburger – Competition

Larkburger is based in Colorado, US, and they know how to take advantages of their local fans, encouraging and rewarding the ones who tag photos of themselves engaging in activities such as skiing or snowboarding while using the hashtag #bestofcolorado. And what do they win? Free burgers, of course.

(Source: Larkburger Twitter Profile)

Darden Restaurants – Votings

Darden Restaurants is a restaurant chain with many different brands and each has its own social media marketing strategy. One of them is Olive Garden. Olive Garden often encourages their fans to vote on their “favorite dish” either by posting a question like “Appetizers kick off the meal and the conversation. Do you start with Bruschetta or our Calamari?” or having a so-called photo face-off where they ask their fans to vote on their favorite meal based on pictures. They are simply getting to know their customers by asking them “What would you prefer?”

 

PSSSST: Don’t forget to download your free Facebook manual. It will turn your page into a success in no time!

 

Potbelly Sandwich Shop – Humor

Many of Potbelly’s Facebook posts are tied to silly events or holidays. For example, the annual Wear Brown Shoes Day made fans put on their brown shoes and posted that they were to “head to Potbelly and pick up a bag to match!” Also, for Barbershop Quartet Appreciation Day, Potbelly posted “Did you know the Wreck has the best quartet EVER? Salami, Roast Beef, Turkey and Ham. Mmmm… they’re singing to me now…” And of course they were present on National Sandwich Day with the post “A day all about sandwiches? Count us in! #NationalSandwichDay” (that post got 349 likes!) Humor is the way to many people’s hearts… and likes!

(Source: Potbelly Facebook page)

ZOËs Kitchen – Sharing

Zoës Kitchen uses the social media channels to advertise for its Mediterranean-inspired comfort food. They often offer fans healthy recipes promoting their take-away sides by posting: “Need a quick and easy recipe this week before all the Thanksgiving cooking begins? Try our make-at-home Pita Pizzas with our Fresh Takes Hummus to go. The kids can assemble their own!” Posts like this appeal to customers who want home-cooked meals, but just don’t have the time to cook completely from scratch.

(Source: Zoës Kitchen Twitter profile)

After going through these tips, we here at Planday have a pretty good idea of in which direction we want to take our social media strategy. We can’t reveal any of our thoughts just yet, but we can say that it’s going to be legen – wait for it – dary!

What are your thoughts on social media strategies for restaurants – what works and what doesn’t?

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Lisa Andersen
Lisa Andersen Content Editor
Part of Planday’s content team in Copenhagen, Lisa is into yoga and loves good writing. Her experience includes working with communication and PR for international grassroots organizations in Argentina and Bolivia.