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Turn your bar or restaurant into a local hotspot with social media

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What’s for dinner? Just check Instagram. It’s full of #dinner, #drinks and #eatingfortheinsta photos uploaded by Insta-foodies inspired to document every post-worthy crumb and drop.

As a restaurant or bar owner, your social media accounts need to bring their A-game to attract and retain clientele hungry for the next neighbourhood hot spot. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you build your online reputation as a local favourite.

#showandtell

Set up social media profiles for your business. Focus on platforms like Instagram that rely on visual content and crafty descriptions that show off your menu and describe your dishes. Keep in mind that a lot of users will discover your posts through the hashtags you use, so do your research to determine which are most popular.

On the flip side, encourage your customers to share their experience at your restaurant or bar on social media. When they tag your business or geotag their location, it influences not only their followers, but an entire generation of potential patrons. Consider this: the average 18-35-year-old spends an average of five days a year browsing food images on Instagram and 30% would avoid a restaurant if its Instagram presence was weak1.

30% would avoid a restaurant if its Instagram presence was weak1

When deciding what to post, don’t forget about Stories. Any photos or videos that you’ve recorded within the past 24 hours can be added to an Instagram Story that displays to your followers and is searchable to other users. It’s a great way to complement your posts and stay top of mind with hungry and thirsty people in your area. Post a behind-the-scenes look at dinner prep or a video of your bartender crafting their signature cocktail – Instagram users love to see how it’s done just as much as the final product.

#freepress

With over 308 million posts tagged with #food, Instagram is the hub of all things food and drink on social media. The beauty of this is that customers are eager to post snaps of last night’s dinner, this morning’s brunch, or their eighth tequila shot at the city’s hottest bar. Free user-generated content is just one of the many benefits of social media. It helps to promote your business and can be reposted to your profile. This allows you to share the awesome experience your customers had at your restaurant and to thank them for their visit. When reviewing and responding to negative customer feedback or posts, be mindful in how you respond and engage with them. Online reviews have been shown to impact 68% of purchasing decisions2, and while the customer isn’t always right, always be respectful of their complaints. Other potential customers will get an impression of you from how you publicly handle these situations and your overall attitude.

Online reviews have been shown to impact 68% of purchasing decisions2

#popularitycontest

Get a buzz going. 74% of customers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more3.  So, when your customers are in your restaurant or bar, treat them like an old friend. And, when they post a photo of the free birthday cake you surprised them with, ‘like’ it and add a note wishing them a happy birthday. These online acts of appreciation are great relationship builders and will make your business a local favourite.

74% of customers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more3. 

Success on social media often translates into a wait list for tables and a packed bar. Do it right, and you’ll find your business at the top of the ‘what’s hot’ lists for your neighbourhood.

 

Sources:

  1. Independent
  2. Forbes
  3. Forbes

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