A Handbook for Social Media Marketing for Restaurants

A Handbook for Social Media Marketing for Restaurants

For today’s restaurants, traditional marketing mediums like print ads or word-of-mouth referrals are techniques of the dinosaur age. In this online age, social media marketing for restaurants is a must-apply technique that you should leverage to give your business the publicity it deserves!

About 82% of restaurant owners use one or more social media platforms for marketing and publicity. If you are not using social media for marketing your restaurant still now, you might fall back in the race.

Social media is much cheaper and more effective compared to the traditional method of marketing. It can work wonders in boosting sales.

To add a feather to your marketing strategy, you can use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Our comprehensive blog will guide you through social media marketing strategies for restaurants. We are here to discuss all the means and measures you must take to take your business to the pinnacle.

What is Social Media Marketing for Restaurants?

What is Social Media Marketing for Restaurants?

Restaurant social media marketing is making use of social media to promote your restaurant. It is a core part of digital marketing that aims to augment the online visibility of a restaurant on social media.

Social media is a commanding tool that you leverage to market your restaurant. Your restaurant’s social media profiles can be a determining factor in the revenue generated.

The process revolves around creating official pages for your restaurant on all major social platforms for a strong online presence. The main leading social media are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, among others.

You can do a social media campaign absolutely free of cost. None of these platforms charge any money for opening a page or optimizing it. However, you can also market a restaurant with the help of various formats of Paid meta ads for quicker results.

You can use social media to communicate with potential customers about several fests or promotions going on in your restaurant. Or you can simply upload alluring photos and videos of the property to capture a new market.

Why Should Restaurants Use Social Media?

Why Should Restaurants Use Social Media?

At the start, here’s some interesting data you should look at.

A 2022 survey conducted by Go Tech on 5,000 customers from Britain revealed that 48% of people used social media to search for restaurants and bars. Over 80% of restaurant-goers has an account on at least one social media platform. One-third of them used Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to book tables.

Such trends strongly suggest that restaurants need to build a thriving social media presence to maximise their customer reach.

Knowing the art of using social media for restaurants in order to appeal to the right audience group can help you earn lucrative leads who are interested in trying out food at your café, bar, or food joint.

For instance, a food joint specializing in Thai delicacies can leverage interesting anecdotes from Thai culture via social media posts to promote its brand. Such a social media post is likely to appeal to someone located near the restaurant who might be searching for Thai food at any point in time.

Now, while lead generation is a major marketing goal for any restaurant out there, it isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of boosting their brand image.

There are many other promotional aspects that you’ll need to handle, and social media marketing (SMM) can help you effectively with each.

Boosts Restaurant Popularity

By promoting your restaurant on social media, you can ensure customers see your brand more often.

Even a simple tag on a guest’s Facebook page can boost the number of viewers for your page, thanks to the readily shareable nature of social media content. Alongside this, you can host live events like giveaways on social platforms like Instagram and Facebook to engage customers further and improve your reach in the process.

Features like ‘check-in’ on Facebook also bolster your restaurant’s popularity. The availability of such diverse resources for customer engagement makes social media one of the most profitable marketing tools in this age.

Facilitates SEO

Although search engine algorithms don’t take social media into account in their analysis, they can indirectly affect the rankings of your restaurant.

Some significant factors that Google’s algorithm considers in this regard are the website authority, traffic, customer reviews, and popularity of the page.

  • Firstly, the way you represent your brand on social media determines its popularity on different social media platforms. The use of relevant hashtags, engaging content, and effective communication are the main yardsticks in this regard.
  • The marketing and keyword optimization strategies you use on social media largely determine your audience reach, social media presence, and, ultimately, your conversion rates.
  • If more people find your engaging posts, it can help establish your restaurant as a trusted entity.

You have to keep in mind that the same people who use Google use social media, and Google gives prime importance to visitor behavior.

If visitors get into your page via any browser, Google will study the customer behavior, such as the on-page time, bounce rate, etc., which can facilitate SEO.

Reduces Marketing Costs

Reaching a large audience and boosting footfall for your restaurant can often become expensive, but not when you’re using social media for the purpose.

Social media can make your restaurant the no.1 haunt in the city in a matter of a night. You are just a few strategically placed posts from being golden.

Do you know what’s the best part?

It can come for FREE!

All you need are some basic skills to take good photos and insightful videos and post them on social media as a part of your restaurant marketing strategy.

Posting an insightful passage, initiating a survey, or uploading a video on the majority of the platforms is either free or otherwise, or it might involve a minor budget.

These posts can be much more impactful compared to any traditional mode of advertising, such as billboards and television ads. Social media campaigns for restaurants work faster than SEO as well. SEO will take some time to show results. If you are low on budget and want your restaurant business to flourish rapidly, social media marketing is the key.

Builds Brand Loyalty and Trust

Implementing an effective social media strategy can help you showcase valuable content about the brand on different social platforms consistently. This way, potential customers can feel connected to your brand.

If you were asked, ‘Which is your favorite restaurant in town?’

You will have an answer in mind.

This is because you often visit this place. It can be because of the amazing food, the cozy ambiance, or simply a familiarity with the place.

It is your responsibility as a business owner to make your restaurant the favorite of as many people as possible. This is achievable if you instill an engraving image of your restaurant in the customers’ minds.

These platforms serve as a means of generating awareness for potential customers of the quality of service at your restaurant and establishing a better brand image. You should make use of social media as a two-edged sword. Use it to generate leads and engage previous customers so that they pay a visit often.

How to Get Started with Restaurant Social Media Marketing?

How to Get Started with Restaurant Social Media Marketing?

Prior to uploading the first video or photo of your restaurant on social media, you’ll need to take a few basic steps to lay a strong foundation for your brand.

Here’s a simplified guide for starting a social media marketing for a restaurant campaign:

Optimize Your Restaurant’s Social Media Accounts

The first thing to do here is to create separate social media pages for your brand. Many restaurant owners make the mistake of remaining active on just one platform. As it costs no money, why not create pages on all social media sites?

Take advantage of platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tiktok, and even LinkedIn!

Here’s the golden rule for improved visibility on social media— the faster people are able to find your business, the better it will be!

In case you’re just starting out on social media, make sure to provide easy access to vital information about your restaurant, like contact details, address, email ID, closing hours, etc.

While filling out the profiles, make sure to add enough photos for the audience to know what they can expect from your restaurant.

You can post pictures of your property, special events, signature dishes, and food festivals. If you are a local business with multiple branches, include vital details of all locations so as to draw local customers based in and around all those areas. Ensure that for all locations you use the same restaurant name. It would make finding the place easier.

Apart from this, you shouldn’t miss adding a short and engaging description of your restaurant and a link to your website for customers to move over and know more.

Effective Branding

Creating a brand identity for your restaurant on social media is of prime importance. It can help you become recognized in your niche and develop a solid online presence.

First, you need to have a logo that would create the best possible impression on your target customers.

Ensure that it’s unique and resonates with your restaurant’s name and vision. You can also create a logo based on the vibe of your restaurant and the type of customers you’re focusing on. For instance, a restaurant specializing in Thai food would want a more ethnic logo, whereas a continental cafe might settle for something more simple.

In addition, it’s important to use a consistent tone across your social media profile. All posts for your restaurant should reflect the tone effectively and help engage potential customers effectively.

For instance, the brand tone for a fine-dining restaurant will be straightforward and informative, while a casual spot would require a more communicative and charming brand tone.

Be Consistent

If you want to retain the interest of potential guests on social media, you’ll need to post regularly and effectively on all significant platforms.

The search algorithms for different platforms consider regular posts to be a significant ranking factor. This is why they can help enhance the visibility of any restaurant considerably.

Speaking of the effectiveness of your posts on social media, the best approach to follow would be to experiment with different platforms and formats. You’ll need to monitor how potential guests react to your posts and identify those that are garnering the most views, likes, and shares.

Continuing with such an approach as part of your social media marketing strategy can help you attract more engagement and followers on all channels.

Apply Paid Advertising

Did you know that social media platforms offer one of the most budget-friendly advertising channels for restaurants? Leading platforms such as Facebook and Instagram offer a range of cost-effective advertising strategies to boost user engagement considerably.

In fact, several surveys show that the major segment of ad runners on Facebook are small businesses that lack clear online visibility. As a restaurant owner, you can do restaurant social media marketing by spending a minimum budget on paid campaigns on social media.

It is worth every penny as you are going to earn business exponentially higher than your ad spend.

An advantage of social platforms is, they can provide you with a vast range of data on the behavior of potential clients.

As a result, you can target different demographics and locations with your ads and ensure that they are viewed by people who make up the customer base.

Promote Offers & Discounts on Social Media

On that note, here are some popular ideas that you can boost through paid social media campaigns;

  • Inauguration Publicity – Very often, social media marketing for hotels takes this idea into account. Being a restaurant owner, you can do the same. To add icing to the cake, you can launch some inaugural deal or complementary dish on the day of the inauguration.
  • Limited-time offers- Releasing special deals such as first-time lunch offers can help you engage customers, new and old. Social media users dig such offers. Just come up with a good ad copy and you can get your business rolling in no time.
  • Key partnerships & events- Tying up with well-known brands in your niche can help solidify your online reputation. You can launch events jointly or engage in cross-promotion on social media pages to amp up your publicity.

7 Restaurant Marketing Strategies for Social Media 101

7 Restaurant Marketing Strategies for Social Media 101

Social media marketing for restaurants might sound like an easy cake to walk on, but you need to follow some strategies to harness its power for lead generation, brand awareness, and sales bolstering. Take a look at the 7 best restaurant marketing strategies to establish a strong social media presence.

1. Adopt A Visual Style

Visual appeal is integral when you’re promoting a brand on social media.

And given the increasing popularity of food photography among today’s restaurant goers, this presents an immense opportunity to attract a large section of potential customers.

The challenging part here is making a mark amid thousands of competitors strewn across the newsfeed of potential customers. After all, they’re putting their best foot forward by posting high-resolution photos and videos.

A proven technique to get past this challenge is to develop a visual style that sets your brand apart. Written content and images are certainly important, but studies say that videos garner 1200% more shares than texts and images.

To boost the shares and likes, you can shoot behind the scenes content, tour guide to restaurant, customer testimonials, and food preparation vlogs on your social media pages.

2. Make Your Pages More Detailed

Potential guests might be viewing your content mainly through their newsfeeds, but this doesn’t mean you can take your page views lightly.

In fact, optimizing your social media pages can drive a major chunk of potential customers to your business page.

When users arrive at your social media page, that indicates they clicked on your profile after coming across one of your posts and signals a strong interest. So, it’s equally important to ensure they find what they’re willing to know about your services.

Hence, always mention the link to your business website, your contact details and location on the social media pages. Optimizing the pages with high quality photos, videos, and detailed menu of your restaurant are necessary to drive referral traffic your way.

Do note that a well-crafted social media page should meet your interest with details regarding the features and restaurant designed to convert users into paying customers.

3. Vertical Videos Are In!

Log into any social media platform, and you’ll find short vertical videos of food joints and their delicacies cropping up on your newsfeed every now and then.

Shot on standard smartphones, vertical videos have emerged as a highly popular content format among internet users worldwide. Here’s why— they don’t require professional expertise, are cost-effective to create, and have a realistic appeal that’s loved by today’s internet users.

Platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram have been the frontrunners in leveraging this trend. In fact, some of them have even tweaked their algorithms to draw organic traffic for their posts.

Thus, if you want to popularize your restaurant on social media, creating fun-filled and engaging short vertical videos is the way to go.

Start by watching TikTok videos and reels by restaurants and influencers in your niche to know the latest trends and best practices in the industry. While filming the videos, use natural light wherever possible, make the first 3 seconds highly impactful, and edit the content effectively for the best results.

4. Spread the Word On Seasonal Delicacies

Introducing variations in your restaurant’s menu is vital— it can help retain the interest of existing customers while also appealing to new prospects. After all, there’s no one who doesn’t love to try something new!

Promote such variations online in a way that would appeal to your audience and boost your restaurant’s footfall. So, when you’re launching a dish or adding a seasonal item to your menu, make sure to inform your audience about what’s new.

Talk about what made you introduce the dish, any special ingredient you might be using, and other interesting facts associated with the recipe. In fact, you can introduce food festivals in your restaurant for a certain number of days.

For instance, if you have a budding continental restaurant in the locality, you can try out an out-of-the-box idea by launching a Chinese food festival or a festival on Indian delicacies.

Include Facebook marketing and Instagram marketing into your restaurant’s social media strategy to give the promotion a good bandwidth.

5. Engage and Interact With Guests

Social media channels may have become a lucrative platform for showcasing quality content, but it’s still equally useful for engaging with customers. In fact, restaurant social media marketing would remain half-done if you do not engage with the guests on social media.

Social media can help establish long-term customer relationships and build trust and goodwill for your brand. Just make sure you’re consistent in communicating with your target audience.

For instance, you should respond to as many direct messages as possible and repost all the photos where your restaurant is tagged.

It’s equally essential to reply to comments and reviews tactfully. In case of negative reviews, it’s best to maintain a friendly tone and try to address the concerns that guests might have regarding your services.

6. Collaborate with Influencers

When it’s about earning the trust of your target audience, the recommendation of a social media influencer counts a lot in today’s world.

As per the findings of a 2023 survey, 72% of internet users in the age group of 25 to 34 follow at least one social media influencer. This clearly indicates that influencer marketing can work wonders in boosting the visibility of a brand and enhancing its online reputation in the long term.

Here’s the catch— you’ll need to choose the social media platform where your target customers are most active and shortlist some niche influencers who can represent the brand well. We suggest you go with Instagram or Facebook for this purpose.

Apart from this, the following simple yet effective strategies will help you ace this stream of digital marketing:

  • For each influencer you choose, it’s essential to know their geographical reach, audience engagement, the quality of content they offer, and their interactions on posts.
  • Based on the above information, you can then chalk out a budget and decide on the influencers to collaborate with. On a side note, it’s best to rope a couple of influencers from different categories for a wide reach and cost-effective results.
  • Make sure to outline the campaign objectives, prepare a brief on the type of content you want influencers to create, and decide on the deliverables for a definite period.

To reap the maximum benefits from such campaigns, it’s also essential to leverage influencer relationships for enhanced visibility. Some of the best techniques include:

  • Requesting influencers for reviews
  • Inviting them to promotional events
  • Asking them to spread the word about giveaways
  • Host social media contests and winner gets to meet the influencer
  • Making them brand ambassadors to initiate a long-term collaboration

7. Leverage User-Generated Content

Content created by previous customers is another powerful tool to utilize for restaurants. You can build credibility for your brand and provide social proof to customers to reinforce their trust.

For instance, when potential guests come across a positive review or a captivating photo of the ambiance, they are likely to go ahead and plan a visit to your restaurant. This can, in turn, boost user engagement for your restaurant, expand your reach on social media, and improve organic exposure.

Do note that user-generated content can take many forms, and there are various ways to leverage them for better visibility:

  • Re-share the photos taken by guests at your restaurant
  • Publish reviews and any special feedback from frequent guests
  • Request satisfied guests for video testimonials
  • Repost Instagram stories of your restaurant

Which SMM Channel Should You Apply for Your Restaurant?

Which SMM Channel Should You Apply for Your Restaurant?

When leveraging social media marketing for restaurants, you should focus on the platforms that align with your restaurant’s promotional goals. This will ensure your marketing efforts are on point and will ultimately fetch the visibility you’re aiming for the brand.

Let’s take a quick look at the most significant social media platforms to utilize and how they can come to your help:


 In 2024, a weak Instagram presence will not be well received by restaurant goers. If you want to leverage content that’s visually stimulating for your audience and draws a lot of engagement, Instagram would be the best platform to go for.

Make sure to showcase your menu and photos of the restaurant on the platform, and keep your audience engaged through interactive contests and interesting graphics.

You can also make use of this platform to capitalize on hashtags and inform your audience about upcoming events.


This is one platform all restaurants can utilize most effectively, no matter what their social media marketing goals might be. However, you have to ensure to optimize your Facebook page with correct business details.

Whether it’s driving customers organically to your website or boosting engagement for your digital ads, Facebook can be a highly useful resource throughout.

A dedicated page on the platform can not only help you interact with customers effectively but can even serve as a medium for receiving direct orders for food delivery.


Video marketing is perhaps the most impactful tool for generating brand awareness, and the platform that’s best for utilizing this tool is YouTube.

So, to cater to your audience with informational and engaging video content, you should set up a YouTube channel that aligns with the brand voice of your restaurant.

As YouTube is an exclusive social media platform for Videos, you cannot post other content formats. However, you can make the most of what is given by creating views on cooking tips, restaurant tours, shots behind the scenes, chef interviews etc.


Pinterest provides internet users with new ideas and lets them hoard those ideas as “pins” on digital “pinboards.” Thus, creating a page on this platform and adding engaging pinboards will let customers share or ‘repin’ the images that they find interesting or relatable.

Some of the best ways to draw the interest of customers on Pinterest include uploading high-quality images of exotic dishes and providing backlinks to the sales page.


It’s no secret that Tweets can spread pretty quickly. Users can repost any tweet with a few clicks, which makes it visible to their followers. This feature makes the platform a great fit for boosting audience engagement through conversion-worthy content.

While posting on Twitter, you might need to tailor your tweets to make them appeal to prospects quickly. Rope in professional photographers who can make your delicacies look tempting include snaps of your daily menu, and let potential guests know what they can expect on the menu on any day.

Another effective strategy is to inform followers about any special additions to your menu or special offers.

You can incorporate seasonal offers or devise innovative ones such as corporate lunch deals, girls’ day-out lunches, or happy hours.


Though Snapchat is a relatively new entrant in the world of social media, it has emerged as one of the most impactful marketing platforms for restaurants.

With a user base of more than 180 million, it offers a range of promotion tools designed for businesses like restaurants.

Now, let’s take a peek at how you can start restaurant marketing on Snapchat. Once you create an account, you’ll get a unique code to showcase at the restaurant and expand your reach on the platform.

Do note that this code is shareable on your website and a range of other social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. That way, you’ll be able to boost your follower base exponentially.

Some effective strategies to help your restaurant get noticed on Snapchat include sharing discount coupons, posting enticing food snaps, and creating specific geo-filters for your brand. On a side note, geo-filters can only be used by people sending snaps from your restaurant and are accessible over a certain radius. 

Mistakes To Avoid During Restaurant’s Social Media Marketing

Mistakes to Avoid During Restaurant’s Social Media Marketing

Now that we’ve talked about the best practices in social media marketing for restaurants let’s take a look at what you need to avoid. Rest assured that these precautionary measures will boost the performance of your campaigns considerably:

Avoid Low-Quality Photos

Social media readily lets you upload and share images. The appeal of images is exponentially higher than just texts. In fact, posts that include images have 650% higher user engagement.

Hence, you’ll need to exercise this option carefully to ensure your audience gets to view quality posts on its news feed.

Keep in mind that uploading high-quality images is essential. It helps you to keep your audience engaged on any social media platform.

Low-quality images can get pixelated when viewed on larger devices like desktops or laptops.

And for leading platforms like Facebook and Instagram, guests will always be keen on sharing a post that comes with a high-resolution image.

You’ll also need to focus on the subject in such a way that it draws maximum engagement. For instance, using the best possible light is crucial to uploading a conversion-worthy photo.

Don’t leave Out Significant Social Media Channels

While planning a social media post for any channel, you’ll need to adopt a cohesive restaurant marketing strategy on social media to maximise your engagement.

For instance, if you’re posting on Facebook, try to convert the post into a series of tweets and an Instagram post. This will help guests spot the content across multiple platforms.

Don’t Overdo Your Promotional Efforts

Applying social media to promote your brand naturally is quite different from using it like an advertorial. If you’re too direct with promoting your restaurant, that might end up making potential guests disinterested in your posts.

Rather, your focus should be on keeping the content original and interesting. For instance, the captions you use for photos shouldn’t sound like salesy in tone. On the contrary, try sounding convincing without coming across as pushy.

A great way to appeal to your target audience would be to share relatable content that excites and drives them to interact with your brand on social media. You can create content centred around customers or simply put forth photos of the most-loved items on your menu.

Final Take

To round it up, reaching more people on social media for restaurant marketing requires being creative and knowing what your audience wants. And in the process, you shouldn’t hesitate to try innovative methods to draw their attention.

Following the steps, we’ve talked about in our guide will help you chalk out a business-specific social media marketing strategy for your restaurant. Plus, you can use the examples we’ve cited to draw inspiration for your content plan on different platforms.

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get the ball rolling!

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