Restaurant or Bar Social Media Marketing – Getting Started During COVID

Restaurant or Bar Social Media Marketing – Getting Started During COVID

After so long indoors, people are beginning to venture out to restaurants and bars again. Marketing your restaurant or bar on social media can and capture the attention and taste buds of those craving some dining therapy.

Now is the perfect time to tap social media for getting butts in seats. Nearly 60% of the world’s population is on social media, and it’s become a popular tool for finding restaurants and bars to try. An effective social media strategy helps break through the noise and set your business apart in the crowded restaurant industry. 

Social media is one of the first stops for the most up-to-date info in the COVID era. Customers are trying to find out if you’re open, how your menu has changed and what safety procedures you’re following. So how do you become the go-to destination for people who are ready to resume some activities? Read on to learn how you can make sure all eyes are on your business!

4 Social Media Promotional and Marketing Ideas

1. User-generated Content

It can be a balancing act to create an authentic brand while also producing quality and engaging content. Social feeds filled with only professional photos create a disconnect between your brand and the community. 

Mixing user-generated content into your social media plan will go a long in establishing authenticity. Nothing is more fun or exciting for customers than to be mentioned by their favorite restaurant or bar. 

Don’t just go out and choose any photo of any dish that your customers post. Some images really shouldn’t be shared. Use high-quality UGC photos that are consistent with the other content on your feed.

The left photo is an excellent example of one that will hook your customers and have them drooling. The camera angle is on point, the color is vibrant and the lighting is just right. The photo on the right is too dark and dull. It doesn’t reflect the deliciousness of what’s on the plate. 

Tracking down solid, user-generated content can be difficult, especially if your restaurant or bar is in its early years. You can garner more user-generated content with a fun and catchy hashtag campaign. 

This strategy is proven effective by popular brands like Pieology, whose #MyPieology campaign had consumers around the US snapping photos for a chance to be featured on their social media pages. 

All your customers have to do is take a picture of your food and use the hashtag. It’s that easy! Having a distinct hashtag also makes it easy to sift through photos all in one place and is essentially free marketing.

2. Simple and Engaging Graphic Design

What’s going to make your followers stop or click? Simple, eye-catching and creative graphics.

Graphics are great tools for marketing your restaurant or bar on social media. You can promote specials, hours and operational changes and steps to ensure your customer’s safety. 

Don’t worry if you’re on a budget and can’t hire a designer. There are several simple graphic design programs at your fingertips, such as Canva and Stencil, where you can create simple and engaging graphics that excite customers. 

These programs have an abundance of templates and design elements (images, icons, shapes, text styles) readily available. All you need to do is imagine and create! 

Canva comes with a lifetime free trial and access to over 8000+ templates, 1GB of storage, and up to 10 of your team members can use the account. 

Keep in mind Canva has over 30 million users, so make sure you’re taking the time to customize your designs. You don’t want to look like everyone else. Use your brand color scheme and pop in your logo to reflect your brand’s identity in your creations.

3. Paid Social Media Marketing

Advertising isn’t as expensive as you think. Even on a budget, social media ads can result in tremendous exposure for your restaurant or bar.

With Facebook Ads Manager, you can create ads for both Facebook and Instagram. It’s super simple to use. Whether you’re looking to point your Instagram audience to a seasonal special or draw traffic to an event page, you can do it all from one place. 

As a visually pleasing and endlessly engaging platform, Instagram can be one of the best platforms for advertising for restaurants and bars. You can create ads that appear in your audience’s feed and ads that appear between stories, capturing your audience’s attention as they tap from story to story. 

Your ad should have a clear objective. For example, if your restaurant is only offering takeout and delivery options, you’ll want to target customers interested in delivery/take-out. 

Remember these elements when crafting your ad:

  • Set a budget (it does not have to be large)
  • Know your target audience for the post
  • Include a captivating image/set of images or video
  • Write a killer caption

Pro Tip: Don’t stand out. Blend in! You want your advertisement to blend in with your audience’s feed so they don’t notice it as inorganic content, which causes it to be less effective. 

4. Food Influencers

Working with food influencers can drive some serious eyeballs to your business. Local food influencers can help promote a new special or menu item and provide reassurance that safety is a top priority at business. 

You can get started diving into the influencer world by searching through hashtags to identify the accounts that matter to you. Start by using local hashtags such as #MiamiFoodFinds or #MiamiFoodie to find the accounts most relevant to your location.

Don’t jump the gun and immediately go for the most popular account, as they can be hard to contact and expensive to work with. With how tightly connected the food influencer community is, we suggest starting with some of the smaller accounts and working your way up the ranks. Some of them like to work together and will recommend you to other influencers. Working with the smaller influencers first will establish a bench of advocates that will help you land one of the big fish!

The quickest way to hook an influencer is by offering them a free meal. Depending on the influencer and their clout, they may ask to bring a “plus one” or for monetary payment.

Set them up at a table with ample lighting and plenty of space. When we say “plenty of space,” we mean it. Food influencers love to get up, move around and take pictures of food from all different angles. It’s how they capture the perfect, drool-worthy shot. 

Give your correct social media handles to influencers in advance so they correctly tag you in posts. Show appreciation by engaging (liking, commenting) with their posts and re-sharing the photos as user-generated content.

Marketing your restaurant or bar on social media doesn’t have to be a heavy lift. Use the simple tips above to help market and promote your business while creating content that engages your audience. Smart, compelling and engaging content can go a long way and set your business up for post-pandemic life. 

Does this seem too complicated or too much for you to handle? Contact us today. We would love to chat about how we can help!

1 Comment
  • Elizyshah2124
    | 15 June 2021

    Marketing your restaurant or bar on social media doesn’t have to be a heavy lift. Use the simple tips above to help market and promote your business while creating content that engages your audience. Smart, compelling and engaging content can go a long way and set your business up for post-pandemic life.

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