Even though social media marketing has been around for a while, it works a lot differently today than it did a decade ago. Restaurants, in particular, are finding that the rules have changed and grabbing people’s attention takes a lot more effort now than it once did.
The social media platforms that restaurants use matter just as much as the content they’re posting. While some people might stumble onto a restaurant’s website, most people in New Jersey now are finding out about new restaurants through social media channels, like Facebook, Instagram, Google My Business and Twitter.
With more people in New Jersey using social media to research restaurants than ever before, it’s a great time for restaurant owners to explore social media marketing so they can start using the most influential social media channels.
This post was written for restaurant owners in New Jersey who are new to social media marketing, as well as those who have been using social media for some time but are just now starting to look into strategies for maximizing the return on investment (ROI) from their social media campaigns.
Which social media channels should restaurants use?
The social media channels you decide to use as a restaurant owner will depend on your answers to these three questions:
● What are your goals with social media marketing?
● What kind of customers do you serve?
● Where is your restaurant located?
The answers to those three questions will help guide your decision on which social media channels to use for marketing. Depending on your customer demographics and business location, you may find that certain platforms drive more engagement and bring more customers through your doors.
Let’s take a look at who is using the most popular social media platforms, and how restaurants can use that information to refine their customer acquisition strategies.
With more than one billion people active on the platform, Facebook is by far the most important social media channel for restaurants. In New Jersey, specifically, more than 52% of the population is on Facebook. Although the biggest group of Facebook users are those between the ages of 25 and 34, users on this platform still tend to skew much older than those on other social media platforms, like Instagram and Snapchat.
Ninety-one percent of restaurants have a profile on Facebook. Not only can restaurants self-market on Facebook in real-time, but they can also track the success of their campaigns using Facebook’s audience tracking tools.
Instagram has surged in popularity over the past year. The percentage of restaurants on Instagram has jumped from 18% to 2017 to 68% in 2019. More than 230,000 people have posted photos with the #NJeats hashtag, making it easy for Instagram users in the New Jersey region to scroll through images as they search for new restaurants to try out.
Although plenty of diners post pictures of their food on Instagram, restaurants can get in on the action by joining the platform and showcasing their menu items. With a huge reach, Instagram is one of the social media channels that restaurants in New Jersey, and around the country, can’t afford to ignore.
Restaurants are using Twitter in very specific ways. Although there are other social media channels that are better suited for general marketing purposes and reaching younger audiences, Twitter is still the preferred platform for restaurants that are trying to grab the attention of influencers in the restaurant industry, like local food critics and other media personalities.
Restaurants that hope to attract press attention should make sure to follow local influencers, bloggers, and food reviewers on Twitter. The social media platform is also a great place to stay up to date on trends in the industry. Having a Twitter account that’s regularly updated with menu specials and upcoming events also serves as a good way to remind followers to keep coming back in.
Google My Business
Google My Business is not technically a social media platform, but it is important for restaurants and is something restaurant owners shouldn’t overlook when they’re coming up with their social media strategies.
Restaurant owners can manage how their business appears on Google Search and Maps with Google My Business. They can also upload photos, events, coupons, and limited-time offers through the Google My Business dashboard.
Just remember: Posts on this platform only stay visible for one week, so posting regularly is very important. At the end of each month, Google My Business generates automated reports that show how many people viewed your restaurant’s listing, photos, and other content. The information from these reports can be incredibly valuable as you continue to refine your digital marketing strategy.
Ask around to find out which platforms your customers and your employees use on a regular basis, then sign up for those platforms. Creating a profile page or listing is usually free. At the very least, your profile pages on these platforms will serve a good place to post menus, hours, and location information. By leveraging all the social media channels at your disposal, you will be able to drive engagement, increase awareness, and bring more customers through your doors.
To learn more about which social media channels restaurants in New Jersey are using right now, reach out to our team here at Market to Foodies.