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How to Build a Restaurant Social Media Marketing Plan

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It’s no secret to business owners, and especially restaurant owners, that marketing on social media is one of the most effective ways to increase business through attracting and keeping customers.

The ease, the flexibility, and the variety afforded by social media marketing make it a low-risk, high-reward investment of time and money. When you market your restaurant on social media, you get out what you put in. The best way to ensure that your efforts lead to a definite increase in profit is to plan. As they say, “Prior planning prevents poor performance.”

So, you’re ready to really take the online marketing bull by the horns and are wondering how to build a restaurant social media marketing plan? Let’s get started.

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Step 1: A Solid Foundation

Because social media is so easy to use, it can be tempting for business owners to just post content, statuses, photos and articles willy nilly, whenever they amuse you. Save that kind of activity for your personal account.

Your social media accounts for your restaurant need to be well thought out and curated.

Before you need to ask yourself:

  • Which platforms will I use? Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are essential, but will you also maintain a presence on YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, or any of the others? Only choose platforms which you feel comfortable using and are able to commit time to.
  • Are my profiles consistent? Ensure that your profiles are consistent across each platform – keep profile pictures the same or similar, have your logo obviously placed, and display your web address clearly.
  • Who are my audience? Knowing who your target audience are will help to inform your social media marketing plan, allowing you to curate content so that it targets your audience most effectively.
  • What are my competition doing? Browsing the social media pages of your competition will give you an idea about how other businesses are doing similar marketing. You can get information and inspiration about how you might like to run your own online marketing and what works for your audience.

Step 2: Set Your Goals

Of course, the ultimate goal with any form of marketing is to increase profit through increased business, but there’s a lot of methods that lead to that result. This is especially true for marketing restaurants on social media. A strong social media presence will attract and engage current and future customers, but by tailoring your posting you can focus on more specific goals. When building your social media marketing plan it’s a great idea to clearly define these goals.

What type of posts you create depends on what you want to achieve. Do you want to:

  • Promote your products or offers?
  • Attract new customers?
  • Build brand awareness and customer loyalty?
  • Grow your following on social media?

All of these goals are legitimate ways to grow your business through social media marketing. Write down your goals so that you always are reminded of what you’re trying to achieve with your posts. Before you post anything, ask yourself which goal it satisfies. If you’re not sure that it works towards your goals, you probably shouldn’t be posting it.

Step 3: Prepare for Action

You’re a restaurant owner, not a marketer. You’ve got other things to be doing with your time than switching from Twitter to Instagram to Facebook to promote your restaurant. This is where a social media calendar or schedule comes in.

Whether you use a fancy online calendar which will schedule posts across platforms for you, or you have a good old fashioned wall calendar with your schedule written on it, make sure you’ve got something which tells you when and where you need to post content.

This will keep you on track, keeping your posting regular and consistent. Your calendar should reflect the goals you’ve set and allow for posts to achieve each of these.

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Step 4: Just Keep Moving

You’ve got your plan in place, and you’re following your schedule and posting things when and where you’re supposed to. Now you need to check that it’s actually working.

Checking your analytics to see what is working is essential. But, if no one is engaging with your posts, don’t worry! One of the many joys of social media is that if your marketing doesn’t hit the mark you haven’t lost huge amounts of time or money, you can just try something else.

Keep an eye on the metrics – see what people are loving and see what people aren’t loving. Adjust your plan accordingly. Keep tweaking as you go until your social media marketing plan is a well-oiled machine.

Alex Sizer

Alex Sizer is a red wine lover, content writer and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing her own travel blog, she's writing for The Social Savior's content team.

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