Which Social Media Platform Should My Restaurant Use?
One of the questions we often get is "Which social media platform should I use for my restaurant?".
It is a loaded question as many people have preconceptions when it comes to this subject and often enough, it seems to be a sensitive topic. It really shouldn't be.
In our experience and by having analysed the digital presence of thousands of restaurants, we are quite confident that our reasoning for which platforms to use and which ones to not waste time on is quite solid.
One thing does apply to each platform in a restaurant social media strategy; IF YOU CANNOT MAINTAIN IT, YOU SHOULDN'T USE IT.
FACEBOOK A clear choice here, Facebook is THE social media platform of choice when it comes to all types of businesses and that certainly includes restaurants. Where opinions differ is how to use it properly and efficiently. Stay tune for a full blog post dedicated to that subject.
Instagram is an amazing platform for restaurants to use if they want to grow their social media presence. MAU continues to grow, the new story feature allows you to cater to two types of user on the same platform and everyone knows that you eat with your eyes first.
Just make sure you use proper pictures of your food, that the lighting is right (if you don't have the equipment, use natural light), that they are the right quality, that your captions are interesting and your use of hashtags is varied and complete.
We find that Twitter is a great platform for someone that has something to say 5-8 times a day or that is a very angry person. We have yet to find any restaurant with that much interesting and unique content.
If you think of the people/entities that have the biggest voices and levels of engagement on Twitter, you will find politicians, athletes, celebrities and shit disturbers.
G+ No, just no, trust us.
GOOGLE BUSINESS LISTING
Your Google Business Listing is a very important platform to create, update and maintain for any restaurant. Google has been improving the platform, functionality, ease of use and optimization over the last year or so - mostly to make up for the G+ debacle - which has resulted to a solid platform that gets the right information across potential guests of the restaurant.
It is common practice for people that search restaurants to get their information from the Google Business Listing now instead of going directly on the site so you want to make sure that your info is accurate.
We are not huge fans of Foursquare but recent updates and features being pushed by this platform might end up working quite well for restaurants. We are keeping a close eye on the platform and doing some A-B testing with selected clients to find out if more energy and resources should be allocated to this platform. Stay tune on this one.
We love Pinterest and find that it is quite useful for many industries but unless you have a retail component to your restaurant, we do not believe this is a platform that warrants time and energy.
The only use a restaurant would have in using LinkedIn is if it was part of a group with multiple locations or a branded group that has different concepts. In that case, a restaurant group or hospitality group would use LinkedIn for recruitment of management and upper management positions. Otherwise, LinkedIn is not suited for Restaurants.
Is YouTube as a social media platform for restaurants? That depends strictly on how much time and resources you and your team have to dedicate to doing it right.
Video is the best medium to get a message to potential customers but it is also one of the most expensive as you have to plan it, shoot it, edit it, upload it and then spread it. Each of those steps demand time, effort and multiple steps to accomplish properly.
If you are to use YouTube, make sure you can create original, interesting and engaging content at least once a week. Make sure to use the other platforms to spread your videos though.
Instagram did a great job at taking the wind completely out of Snapchat's sails. We recommend to any restaurant that if they have the time and resources to create mini live videos and behind the scene (BTS) content that they use it on their Instagram platform. That way, they can focus on diversifying and growing their Instagram.