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Restaurant Social Media Best Practices (Hint: Encourage Photography)

Today’s restaurant goers are connected. They want to share their experiences with their friends on social media and a big part of that experience includes the food they eat at your restaurant. Your best bet? Embrace the new social aspect of dining out and understand that folks are going to have their cell phone cameras ready. To get the most bang for your restaurant social media effort, encourage photos and give your diners something special to put on their feeds.

Social media interaction is the new marketing currency and you should be directing your customers to interact with your accounts. You’re creating a buzz around your restaurant every time someone shares a photo and tags you in it. With each photo you’re tagged in, you’re encouraging your customers to follow, tweet or repost your content. You want more out of your restaurant social media than a wall full of delicious looking food – you’re ultimately looking for followers, and with that comes an audience to share your upcoming specials and events with. By encouraging photos and interaction in your restaurant, you’re creating a dialog with your customers that keeps them informed and coming back.

Give Them Something To Photograph

With your end goals in mind, make sure you’re giving your customers something special to take photos of. The most important tip we can offer is to make your food presentable and interesting. The cooler the presentation the more likely it will be photographed. If you’re able, use sauces and coulis to personalize your patron’s dessert – you’re almost guaranteed a photo tag if you include the diner’s name or a happy anniversary or birthday message just for them. Even encourage photos by training staff to offer to take photographs for patrons during off-peak hours.

Do you have interesting décor at your restaurant? If not, add something unique that will start a conversation and get your customers to take out their phone and snap a pic. A great example is at Southington, CT restaurant Zingarella. They keep a pair of special miniature purple benches in the entryway to encourage children and adults alike to pose for photographs. The benches are so cute it’s hard to resist snapping a pic and tagging the restaurant on Facebook or Instagram!

Restaurants can also harness the power of social platforms by embracing new technology and features as they become available. Facebook now offers Facebook Bluetooth® beacons – a feature that encourages patrons to like or check in at your restaurant if they open their Facebook app while on your property. You know how often a person checks their Facebook feed these days, so it’s almost a guarantee.

Encourage Interaction With Your Restaurant Social Media

The key to getting your patrons to interact with your restaurant social media is to make it clear that you encourage and appreciate it. Have signs around your establishment directing them to your pages and create a unique hashtag they can use while posting about their dining experience with you.

Above all, have fun with social media and you’ll see your customers will respond in kind. Social media is about having fun and sharing the experience!