How to Use Social Media for Your Restaurant Business

  • Date: 28 Jan 2020
  • reading time: 4 Minutes
  • Blogger: Francisca Zimmermann

Every business is different. An online store can’t be compared to an offline event organizer or a restaurant. And therefore, every business needs a specific marketing and social media strategy. 

In this blog, we look at specific social media practices that work well for restaurants or bars. Are you running a restaurant, and would you like to use social media to grow popularity and reach more customers? Then the tips below will definitely help you out. 

restaurant business

The power of social media 

Almost everyone is using social media nowadays. We use it to contact our friends, to share our adventures, to search for jobs, and to find recommendations. And this last thing is a great opportunity for restaurants and bars. 

Many customers quickly look for reviews before they book a table for their breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And those who don’t book, often check out social media for an address or opening hours. Does your business not provide these details? Then you might miss out on many customers. 

Did you know that 93% of customers admits that online reviews impact their purchase decisions? And that 84% trusts online reviews as much as personal recommendations?

Let’s be honest; a restaurant without a complete social media strategy is missing out. 

Luckily, setting up your social media channels, and doing the right thing to attract your customers is not hard. We promise you that after following the tips below, you will notice an increase in activity at your business. 

Tip 1: Add all your info 

Are you setting up a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other type of social media page? Make sure to complete every possible field you can find. Add all the information you can, including address (or addresses), opening hours, a menu (if you have one), additional services and characteristics (dogs allowed, kid-friendly, etc.), and a ‘book now’ button, if you accept online bookings. 

Which information you can add, differs per channel, of course. 

Facebook offers the special feature to add multiple locations. When someone searches for your restaurant or bar, the closest location to this person will pop up. This is a great way to direct people to the right place.

google my business


Tip 2: Allow reviews 

As mentioned earlier, most people try to find online reviews before they buy a product or book a restaurant table. 

Allowing reviews on your social media channels is, therefore, a great way to present social proof and show potential guests that you are worth a visit. 

Reviews also allow you to respond to them. Taking time to react to criticism shows potential visitors that you work on improving your service and that you care about the experience of your guests. And this is usually highly appreciated. 


Tip 3: Local hashtags

Remember, when adding hashtags to your social media posts, to choose hashtags that attract a local audience. Always include the city, town, street, or neighborhood you are in. Are you involved in local communities or events? Then make sure to add those hashtags too. 

Simply place yourself in the shoes of your potential customer. What hashtags would they follow or look at? How would they try to find a restaurant on social media? Any hashtag they might search for, you should add.

Tip 4: Keep variety in your content 

As a restaurant, it’s easy to get monotonous in the content you share. Many restaurants overload their social media channels with special offers, happy hours, and discounts. This is useful once in a while but might get boring for your followers. 

Try to be creative in the content you share. A mix of food, people, events, interior, and specials often works well. And within these categories, try to be as original as possible. 

A few excellent ideas are, for instance, short interviews with your staff, your prettiest dishes, a ‘behind the scenes’ video (what happens in the kitchen?), and content created by your customers. We will come back to this in tip 5. 


Tip 5: Involve your guests 

Have you heard of ‘user-generated content’ before? User-generated content is content created by customers. Think of, or instance, reviews or pictures taken in your restaurant. 

Because of the active role of restaurant guests (they physically go to a restaurant and spend time there), restaurants are the perfect business type for user-generated content. As a restaurant, you can easily ask people to share a picture of your food with a branded hashtag. You can then find the picture and repost it on your channel. 

You can choose to run fun contests or giveaways with this concept. For instance: ‘Share a picture of your favorite dessert at (restaurant name) to win a free meal.’ Or: ‘Leave your review and win a free coffee.’ 

User-generated content brings excellent variety on your social channels and shows potential visitors that others enjoy your place too.


Tip 6: Use local advertising 

Consider setting up a local ad on social media. Facebook offers Local Awareness Ads, that help you reach people who are located very close to your business. The aim of the ads is only to reach people at walking distance of a certain location. This is ideal for restaurants or bars, and therefore definitely worth a try.  



Tip 7: Make your space Instagrammable 

Last but not least: Make your space Instagrammable. This means, make sure your space has a specific feature that people want to take pictures of. 

Think of, for instance, a colorful wall that makes a great background for a photoshoot. Do you have other notable features in your restaurant? A big tree, a statue, or maybe a swing? This will most probably mean lots of pictures taken by your customers. And pictures mean online shares, tags, and huge growth in reach.

model IG

Need help? 

Do you need help promoting your restaurant business? We would love to help you. Feel free to contact us for a FREE strategy call so we can get to know each other and discuss what we can do for you. 

Would you like to learn more about marketing and social media? Then our Social Media Gids Community can be a great place for you to check out. Here we share many excellent resources and work together with an inspirational group of business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers. Our FREE e-books and our Social Marketing class, for instance, are very popular among our community members. 

Want to post a comment? Join the conversation in our community.

  • Blogger: Francisca Zimmermann
  • E-mail: [email protected]
  • Social media manager & content creator at Social Media Gids
  • Francisca Zimmermann is a social media expert with a background in research and a love for learning new things. She travels the world looking for beautiful places and interesting cultures, while she dives into the world of her clients to be able to write about them and their interests as a real 'insider'.
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