Anyone who has ever controlled a social media account – be it a personal one, a professional one or one that’s just for fun – will know the difficulty of coming up with fresh content. You want to offer value, variety and a little bit of X-factor, an aim that can sometimes turn this social media side-gig into a full-time profession. What’s more, social media followers are a fickle bunch, and the magic formula for getting those likes rolling in is an elusive one.
Thankfully for restaurateurs, social media content is everywhere. It’s just that you may not be recognising it as such. Why not try one of these fresh ideas for your next Facebook, Twitter or Instagram post?
1. Display your skills
Do you have a brilliant chef, mixologist, or barista whose talents seem wasted behind the counter or kitchen wall? Why not turn their professional aptitude into performance art? Get your chef to dramatically flick some stir fry, your mixologist to flair bartend, or your barista to design a bit of cappuccino foam that Michelangelo would be proud of. Capture the action on film, put it up as either a video or GIF on your accounts, and prepare for virality.
2. Take it to the people
A new and exciting menu alone can be enough to get the punters rolling through the door, but what if your guests had a say in what was included? Use social media to poll your followers on new menu items – this gives them a feeling of investment and can turn a trickle of patrons into a torrent, particularly if you keep the results a secret and unveil them at a special event.
3. Shoot your food
Let’s face it – when plated up correctly, your food wouldn’t look out of place on the catwalks of Milan. And if there’s one sure-fire way to get your followers excited at the prospect of visiting your restaurant, it’s showing them what they could be piling into their mouths. If you feel comfortable with a camera in hand then set an afternoon aside to shoot with your chef, but for maximum impact, it may be worth getting professional help with this one!
4. Social only specials
Why is it that people would follow you exactly? They’re generally not putting their hand up to be advertised to, as sad as that is. No, they’re looking for a little something back. Offer your followers value by posting social only specials – deals and offers that are only valid if a guest follows one of your accounts.
5. Photograph your guests
Nightclubs have been pulling this one for years, and that’s because it works. Hire a professional photographer to shoot inside your restaurant, then upload the finest photos to your Facebook page the following day. People like looking at themselves having a good time – that’s just science – so getting a professional quality shot from your fun night out is quite the perk. Your album should prove to be an absolute tag-fest.
6. Profile your team
Who are these mystery men and women who work at your restaurant? A regular staff profile will help to shine a light on these oft-overlooked cogs in your business machine and will make your patrons feel more welcome and comfortable by surrounding them with familiar faces. And a word to the wise; if your restaurant has a pet to profile you’ll be all the more successful.
7. A behind-the-scenes tour
You might be surprised at exactly how interested people are regarding the inner workings of your business. A behind-the-scenes look at your back of house will give your followers some unique insight into how your business works, and will once again help in giving them that feeling of investment.
8. Showcase reviews from guests
Word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing around, and you can make use of that fact by publishing guest reviews on your social media channels. Highlighting reviews – particularly the good ones – can encourage other diners to share their thoughts too, generating more publicity for your establishment.
In such a creative and exciting industry as hospitality, the content options are almost limitless. But if you’re stuck on what to deliver to your fans next, these ideas can form the perfect starting point from which to launch your continued content strategy.