Leveraging Social Media Marketing for Restaurants and Bars

Updated on January 2, 2022

7 min to read

Content Writer

Published January 2, 2022

Leveraging Social Media Marketing for Restaurants and Bars
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Before visiting a restaurant, a person surfs Google or social networks to view the menu, interior, location, and reviews. Today, your customers are talking online and deciding where to go for food and drinks with the help of popular social networks. With 91% of 18-34-year-olds trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, having a social media strategy for your restaurant or bar is a must. Neglecting this driving force, you lose most potential customers since the brand’s success depends on advertising and marketing in the restaurant business. 

Creating a profile on social media is half the battle – you need to leverage your social media presence to show the advantages of your business, retain your existing audience, and attract new guests.

In this post, we will guide you through setting up your profiles for success and creating relevant content to boost your sales and brand awareness. Let’s go.

Table of contents

How to Know Who Your Guest Is?

Before creating a social media profile, you need to know your specific target audience and decide on the portrait of your guest.

To create a portrait of a target audience, you need to know everything about the clients. Their gender, age, and area of residence: they come to you because you are a restaurant near their office or a cafe near their home. You can create your work schedule and menu and think through promotions or special offers based on this data. For example, a morning filter as a gift for hot pastries or a special lunch offer for delivery within a radius of 1-3 km for everyone who works nearby.

In addition to analytics in social networks and site data, you can find out who your target audience is through surveys in messages and Stories, and Google Forms that you can send after placing an order.

After analyzing the audience, you can find a connection with guests:

  • Create attractive captions in social networks.
  • Come up with rewards for a review.
  • Create a bonus system to encourage guests.

Setting Up a Social Media Profile 

Make sure that your social media profile contains all the comprehensive information. For example, it is necessary to specify the location, working hours, phone number, and website. Facebook pages offer an easy way to add this information that might be very helpful for those who are just getting to know your place.

Add your menu, cuisine type, and Book Now button if you accept reservations. Ensure the information in social networks correlates with information on other resources, such as Google and TripAdvisor. If the information is as complete as possible, Google Maps will better index your restaurant.

Except for general information such as a physical address, contact number, open hours, Raglan Road Irish Bar also directs customers to the restaurant’s delivery and pickup services in the About section. Also, it is worth paying attention that the chatbox opens as soon as the user lands on the bar’s Facebook profile.

In the case of multiple locations, Facebook makes it easy enough to add a few addresses. One of the benefits is that your clients will get the closest locations. In addition, each location can have its own Facebook subpage linked to the main one. It is an excellent solution for re-sharing location-specific content on the main page and promoting location-specific specials.

Crafting Social Media Posts

Visual presentation in social networks plays a significant role. Photos and videos are the first things the client sees when they get to your page. Therefore, photos and videos should be shot beautifully and in good quality. A photo of the perfect cocktail or juicy burger can cause a mouth-watering reaction for your customer. So, look at your restaurant or bar for your content.

Ensure including a caption under the photo. It is good to write an informative message about the menu, team, or special offers and restaurant news. Let’s analyze popular categories that should be highlighted in your posts.

  • “About us” — Tell your guests about the format, cuisine, and special features of your place. Think about what makes you stand out from your competitors and ensure your followers know about that.
  • “Menu” — The menu is the primary weapon of any restaurant, and food is among the five most popular types of content on Instagram. Show the product, tell us the prices, create highlights with information about the order and delivery, tell us about the delivery format, portion size, and more.
  • “Interior” — Describe the restaurant’s atmosphere, tell us who your guests are and what music is playing in the restaurant. All this will clarify what kind of atmosphere the guest will get into.
  • “Team and work process” — Introduce your guest to the restaurant more closely: who your employees are, what they look like, and what they love about their work. Show the fundamental processes that the staff performs in the hall and shoot behind the scenes of the kitchen.
  • “Restaurant events and news” — Do not forget to report on holidays and events in your restaurant or bar. Shoot live videos to broadcast from your events to convey the atmosphere.
  • “Discounts and special offers” — Inform your followers about the upcoming discounts and special offers. It is essential to make sure your promotional posts do not sound like blatant marketing. Try to keep the balance and not turn it into a free advertising newspaper. 
  • “Contests” — Contests on social networks are still one of the best ways to interact with the audience. Thanks to them, the restaurant can increase the number of followers, increase subscriber engagement, and create publications with an excellent viral reach.
  • “Your guests” — You can easily find photos or stories they managed to share on social networks. Stimulate the appearance of user-generated content, focus on your loyal return visitors.

Ideally, it is better to combine all types of content, but the main bet in posts should be on advertising and engaging, and in Stories – informational and entertaining. Of course, you should experiment and check what exactly works for your brand and your target audience. 

8 Best Social Media Tips for Restaurant Industry

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1. Publish content for your restaurant at the right time. 

Timing is an essential criterion, and it is worth paying attention to the best time to post on social media when preparing a post. If your restaurant specializes in brunches, photos will work better if posted at 10 pm, for example, when most people plan weekend breakfasts. Track when your audience is most active and plan publications accordingly.

2. Respond to comments and reviews.

Reputation is essential for a restaurant. One bad review that you did not respond to in time will cause many questions from other guests who read it. In addition, social media users will always recommend a restaurant that quickly responds to their comments on social networks. So if a guest has left a positive or negative review, you should react to it as soon as possible. Your reaction speed can quickly and painlessly correct a problem in some situations. In addition, by tracking comments, you will always know your strengths and weaknesses to work on.

3. Promote your restaurant through influencers.

We are talking about collaboration with opinion leaders, who significantly influence social networks, their audience, and authority on specific issues. For example, the publication of photos of your dishes by an influencer will increase guests’ engagement. You increase brand awareness and conversions through the audience of the opinion leader, and all this can lead to a traffic increase to your restaurant.

4. Use location-based advertising on Facebook.

Location-based targeting is a tool that allows you to find a target audience in a specific geographical region or location. By limiting the display area of your ads, you can target those who are close to your restaurant’s location.

5. Share user-generated content.

It is great if your guests take photos or shoot videos in your place. By sharing such a publication, you will increase brand awareness and save time creating your content. To make it easier to track user-generated content, specify the recommended unique hashtag of your restaurant in the description of your profile.

6. Create an “Instagrammable” spot in your business.

Instagrammable is a new approach to the definition of “photogenicity,” which, like our cameras, has become much more voluminous and interactive. Restaurants of a specific segment turn into some amusement park. This is achieved through a design anticipating the desire to visit a cafe for dessert and a social network photo. Create an attractive or unique area of your establishment where your guests can take many aesthetic and stylish pictures. Such content will undoubtedly collect many likes and comments and increase your business’s popularity.

7. Use video format for your publications.

Video in social networks generates much more shares than text and photos combined, so it is essential to implement it in your marketing strategy. Using the video, you can promote new dishes, show guests your team, the backstage of the restaurant, or even allow the chef to answer the guests’ questions. One of the ways to use video marketing for your restaurant is to go live, where you can announce the winners of the competition, broadcast events, or promote special offers.

8. Arrange contests.

By organizing contests on social networks, you increase the loyalty and involvement of guests and your subscribers. For example, it can be free dinner throughout the year, gift certificates, and even free admission to concerts or sporting events.

Analyze Your Social Media Strategy 

With social media being constantly evolving, it is essential to keep track of your performance and understand what is working and what is not. As a modern social media management tool, Vista Social will help you easily schedule and optimize every post you publish and create intuitive and fully automated reports for the most popular social networks. Eliminate manual processes in favor of automated, presentation-ready reports with Vista Social’s analytics.


If there are no guests in your restaurant, it does not matter if your food is delicious or not. Your potential guests spend most of their time on social media, so being active and influential in social networks has long been vital. The more effectively you use social resources, the faster your brand awareness will grow. Follow the tips suggested above to increase engagement in all your social media accounts, raise brand awareness, and attract traffic to your restaurant.

Looking to take your marketing game to the next level with the best in class social media management platform? Checkout Vista Social! From publishing and analytics to social media monitoring and review management. Free version available!

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