Don't just advertise; build loyalty

You need to take a strong hold of your restaurant’s online presence. The goal is not simply to collect followers; your goal is to attract new customers and keep your current customers engaged. Social media is like Las Vegas gone digital—it never sleeps, and its viewers are looking for new excitement and engagement every second. It’s your responsibility to give your followers what they want, and sprinkle in what you need them to absorb.

Here are five types of content your restaurant needs to be sharing with your social media followers:

  1. Pictures of Your Food

Raise your hand if you're using stock pictures of food items to represent your dishes on your website. This is not what I’m referring to! Your food is your signature product. If customers come in expecting a dish to appear a certain way and it doesn't, you've just broken their trust. Your actual dishes should be displayed so all can see what mouthwatering, delectable selections you have to offer.

  1. Community Events

A tremendous way to gain local exposure is to get involved with community events. Whether a paid endeavor, or a volunteer one, you need to be getting in front of your potential customers and giving them a sample of the great food they can enjoy at your restaurant. Beyond just attending these events, you need to publicize the event on social media. How did you contribute? How much did everyone love your food? Don’t forget to include some pictures and video of your involvement, as well as testimonials from those who enjoyed your food.

  1. Links to Interesting Articles

The internet is drenched in content. You can find articles ranging from very great to very poor. It would take many lifetimes to read all the available content out there. Because there are so many options, it’s difficult to find the best and most influential articles without having to sift through many uninspired, poorly written articles. We prefer to have the sifting process done for us. You can perform a service for your customers by finding and posting great articles. They will remember you for it.

  1. How-To” Cooking Videos

Video is becoming a mandatory medium within the social media space. You can enrich the video experience with instructional “how-to” clips. Attract customers to your web presence by teaching them how to cook some great dishes. Perhaps your chef could demonstrate a simple dish he or she likes to make at home. Your website, and for that matter, every one of your social media channels, can’t just run on advertising alone. Your web presence needs to be engaging to your followers, offering them an added value. Cooking videos are a great way to do that.

  1. Highlighting Special Customers

As with all customer interactions, both online and off—if you can make people feel special, you will instantly build loyalty. This will take some customer tracking and a little bit of creativity, but finding ways to highlight special customers on your website or social media sites will go a long way. You will ultimately need to define what constitutes “special.” For example, you could recognize milestone events in the lives of your regulars, such as anniversaries, engagements, birthdays, graduations, and so on. Discover what is important to your customers and feature that!

The opinions of contributors are their own. Publication of their writing does not imply endorsement by FSR magazine or Journalistic Inc.

Expert Takes, Feature