A strong trend toward promoting restaurants, bars, and cafés on social media has grown exponentially over the last few years as online delivery exploded.
A recent study found that 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites, showing a significant increase in the last two years. This statistic shows that social media is key to reaching large numbers of people at once at a low cost to your bottom line. Social networks depend largely on photos for their impact, and are undoubtedly the best vehicle to advertise appealing food and welcoming premises.
Studies have shown that social media posts accompanied by photos are 10 times more likely to get engagement, so it’s important for restaurant owners to become social media photo-friendly. See our recent blog post, “The EYES Have It” - How to Take Mouthwatering Photos for Your Website and Social Media for details.
If you are already taking advantage of social media platforms, it’s time to step up your interactions. If you haven’t taken the social media leap, it’s time to take the plunge.
Creating a social media planning calendar, so it becomes an integrated daily task, is a great way to make sure your social media presence remains relevant and fresh.
While the task of developing content to post on social media should be at top-of-mind, it’s equally important to understand which platforms are the most relevant for promoting your restaurant.
There are many social media networks that work to increase awareness and traffic for restaurants, but the top five listed below are undoubtedly the ones you shouldn’t miss when creating your online marketing menu.
Top Five Social Networks for Restaurants
Create your Facebook business page carefully. You have 851×351 pixels to market your restaurant for free in your timeline image. Carry your brand identity through all of your social media so you are easily recognizable to users.
When posting on Facebook, include a high-quality image or video with your text. While it’s important to become familiar with the different options for posting on Facebook, the most important thing to remember about marketing on Facebook is consistency. Give potential customers useful information: share tips, offer discounts, and highlight special promotions. Listen to what your users want. Be careful with too much self-promotion. Try to limit self-promotion. Instead, listen to what your customers want, and give it to them.
Facebook is equipped with marketing tools that can effectively help build a strong internet presence for your restaurant.
Run Facebook advertising campaigns on your business account.
Use statistical analysis tools, allowing you to track the results of advertising campaigns.
Create and manage ads precisely tailored to a chosen target group (defined by age, location, gender, interests, etc.).
Keep personal contact with your customer base
By using products like the Sauce delivery platform, you can take customer orders directly on Facebook Messenger, and automate retargeting for repeat business.
Facebook image post size: 1200 x 630. Facebook highlighted image size: 1200 x 717. Facebook event image size: 1920 x 1005. Facebook group cover image size: 1640 x 856.
Instagram is the perfect place to share your menu and restaurant photos. It seamlessly integrates with Facebook so your images show on both platforms.
Instagram is all about sharing photos or short videos, and high-quality photos are a must. The platform offers various filters and tools that help you make the photo or video even more attractive. It is thus the perfect medium to promote restaurants using pictures of appetizing food.
Take your menu photos one step further by encouraging your customers to upload their favorite items. This helps build your menu of images while increasing engagement. Particularly popular among the younger segments of internet users – those aged between 15 and 24 years - Instagram’s special appeal for young people consists in its visual character, great for restaurant online marketing.
Recently, Instagram has been enhanced with a system of paid ads. Investing in Instagram ads allows you to reach a selected group of recipients who spend several hours every day scrolling the screens of their smartphones, making it an ideal social media choice for restaurants.
Try using trending hashtags. For example, use #chocolateday on National Chocolate Day or #bestfathersdayburger on Father’s Day. Use niche hashtags as well. if you are located in Atlanta, try #atlantaeats or #atlantatacos.
Try running photo contests on Instagram as well. They can generate customer loyalty as users take and submit photos and come back often to see if they’ve won.
Sauce allows you to transform posts and stories into actual shopping experiences and drive repeat business by connecting with your followers.
The ideal size for square posts on Instagram is 1080px by 1080px at a 1:1 aspect ratio. For landscape posts, use an image that is 1080px by 566px, with an aspect ratio of 1.91:1. Vertical images should be sized at 1080px by 1350px with a 4:5 aspect ratio.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter is focused on sharing brief, information-focused messages. It allows you to share short, 280-character-long posts online. You can also add interesting graphics or photos to your tweets.
This network allows you to tweet about new promotions or menu items at your restaurant, or share information about hours or grand opening events.
Hashtags are very useful in restaurant online marketing on Twitter. Users can tag restaurants online and create a link. Anyone who clicks on the hashtag will be automatically redirected to your restaurant’s Twitter account.
Twitter recommends a 3:1 aspect ratio, 1500px X px size and maximum file size of 5MB. Images can be in JPG, PNG, or GIFs (but not animated GIFS).
Where Facebook and Twitter complement your brand and following, LinkedIn for restaurants ups the ante, providing investment opportunities and partnerships you can take seriously. It’s also an ideal place to find your future employees.
LinkedIn’s news feed is more formal in tone. There’s a quiet respect for the platform in contrast to other social media platforms. Employers and businesses use it in the traditional sense of networking where valuable connections and partnerships are made between investors, talent, customers, and restaurant owners.
Linkedin Photo Size Recommendations:
1584 x 396 pixels.
Maximum size of 4MB.
Image types include JPG, PNG, or GIF.
Pinterest offers huge potential for the restaurant industry whose marketing is often based on visual messages. Use Pinterest to share photos of your best dishes, linked, for example, to recipes or articles about the ingredients.
Using the “pin” system, users can save their favorite photos on their own Pinterest boards and share them with others. The use of pin sharing will give your restaurant’s online marketing a boost.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Menu Item Board
Inspirational Quotes and Photos Board
Special Events Board
Pinterest’s interface is portrait-oriented so vertical pins with a 2:3 ratio are best. The optimal image dimension is 735 x 1102 px pixels, however, pins will be displayed with a width of 238 pixels with scaled height. This means Pinterest allows you to upload longer images since only the width is fixed.
Become Socially Aware
There’s a lot to get right when creating visual content for social media. One of the most critical steps is to get your social media images right. You’ve got to make sure any images you use don’t defy copyright laws, and if you don’t have original imagery, you’ve got to find high-quality stock photos.
Getting sizes right for your social media posts is important because:
It avoids pixelation and awkward image stretching and keeps your images looking professional.
Proper sizing allows for optimal optimization for each social channel’s feed which helps increase engagement.
It ensures that your audience will see the full photo. Incorrect sizing could cut off some of your restaurant’s messaging.
It can future-proof your content. Being in the know with social media image sizes now could mean less work for your brand in the future when networks change image display guidelines (this happens more often than you think.)
Tools like Canva can help you navigate the world of social media design, making this vast opportunity for marketing to your customer base a little less overwhelming.
By Eileen Strauss