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Which Social media platform is best for restaurants?

Restaurants want to and should strive to engage with their clientele or target customer base. With the introduction of social media into every aspect of our lives, social media marketing has become an increasingly important element of digital marketing.

Social media marketing can be defined as a form of digital marketing that utilises social media platforms as a marketing tool. Social media marketing encourages the creation of content that will encourage users to share to their network, helping a company to increase their brand presence.

Through the free social media platforms, creating an effective social media marketing campaign will allow your brand to reach its awareness potential. The quest for effectively marketing your brand is a never-ending battle for a restaurant. With an incredibly saturated marketplace – dominated by big chain companies – the number of new restaurants opening has made social media marketing ever important. But what platform is the most useful?

Elements of social media marketing

Before we determine which platform is the best for restaurants, it is fitting to start to identify some of the key elements to social media marketing. It is important to point out that social media marketing isn’t as simplistic as it sounds. Here are some of the key elements;

  • Look at how and what your current social media presence is.
  • Create clear and realistic targets, based on analysis and research.
  • Create a comprehensive content calendar.
  • Understand how you want to engage with users.

It is important to remember that social media marketing isn’t just about gaining likes, the overall campaign goal is to increase your brand awareness with your target audience. Likes should become secondary to the amount of shares a post receives; shares will increase the wider engagement of a post. Keeping this in mind with every post will help improve the effectiveness and success of any social media campaign.

What is the best social media platform?

The most useful and effective social media platform depends on the specific target audience, the overall aim, and the sort of engagement you are looking to achieve (User Generated Content/ Shares/ Likes/ Click Through).

With the nature of the restaurant industry, visual and user-generated-content are often the most effective in increasing a restaurants image and in providing a direct look at the products and services available. This often defines what platform is best for restaurants; content and the target audience drive forward any social media campaign.

Instagram

There is no doubt that Instagram is one of the most useful in promoting user-generated content and engaging with users. With its seamless development to more than a picture sharing platform, Instagram allows a restaurant to engage with their target customer base through several channels. With the ability for a restaurant to share pictures, videos and stories of products, a well optimised and engaging Instagram account can act as a more valuable marketing tool than a website – this is not to say you should ignore your website though.

As we are currently living in the age of the Instagram influencers, user-generated-content (UGC) is a restaurant’s best friend. UGC is simply photos or videos taken of the restaurant, the food available, art on the wall by the customers etc. UGC is arguably one of the core reasons why restaurants should utilise Instagram. These include: 

  • It shows a genuine dining experience.
  • It creates a community around the restaurant.
  • Increases engagement with users you haven’t previously reached.

The benefit of marketing through social media is the ability to reach users through your followers account. And most importantly for free! Encouraging your users to tag your restaurant, use your location, or share a photo/video, allows your restaurant to engage and reach a wide market. Although other platforms such as Facebook and YouTube are effective in increasing your brand image, the current trend in the social media world, shows Instagram to be the most effective social media platform for restaurants.

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