If you own a restaurant in New York City, you know that marketing is more important now than ever. Each day countless restaurants pop-up with the intention of bringing new business to the door and they do so competitively. Restaurant owners are finding that they have to stand their ground and keep customers coming in.

Social media is one of the most accessible marketing outlets with a track record for lucrative results. Maximizing your restaurant’s exposure to new customers has never been more easily attainable. With the right plan in place, social media can surpass traditional marketing efforts for restaurants. These results don’t come easy. It takes more than creating a Facebook or Instagram account and throwing up a few posts to create a following.

Here’s an action plan you can begin today to jumpstart your social media marketing.

1. Setup Real Goals

It is essential to have goals set in place for your social media marketing, without them it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re doing online and why you’re doing it. Figure out what you want to achieve and come up with the necessary steps to achieve it.

2. Determine Who Are Your Target Customers

Who are your current customers? Who are the potential customers you want to reach? Painting a clear picture of your current customer base and who you want to target lends a helping hand in reaching this group via social media. Understanding your target also aids in knowing when and how to engage with them.

3. Use The Right Platforms

Knowing where your potential customers are is crucial to your social media plan. Not using the platform your target audience is on the most could be the difference between driving business to your restaurant and simply wasting your time. For most restaurants, having an Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are essential for a stable online presence.

Expert Tip: Each restaurant is unique and there is never a one size fits all method. Be sure to have a strong grasp of who your target customers are and what platforms they frequent before moving forward with you social media plan.

4. Be Actively Engaging

Once you know where to put your social media efforts to good use, be sure to interact and engage. It’s naive for restaurants to post photos of their food and wait for results. Unfortunately, success doesn't come so easy. Think of your social media platforms as a place for conversation, just like your restaurant is! Say something about your content that will make people react (in a good way)!

5. Streamline Your Online Presence

In order to increase your visibility, you’ll need to smooth out any ridges in your online presence. This means integrating target keywords in your posts and updates and ensuring that all your social media accounts reflect one unified persona for the restaurant.

Expert Tip: Make sure all your social media accounts lead your target audience back to your website and that your website has the appropriate links to your social media.

6. Be Unique

Your restaurant offers more than just food. It’s an experience that people keep coming back for and that is what has to be shown on social media to entice people to visit your restaurant. The better you can showcase how different your restaurant is compared to the hundreds of others in New York City, the more you’ll be able to attract your target audience.

7. Create a Brand Image and Promote it

A brand identity has never been more important in the restaurant industry. There are new restaurants popping up every day and the competition is fierce to get new customers. Pin point what makes your restaurant special and promote it. Maybe you only use fresh cheese from a small farm in Italy or perhaps your delicious pastries are made with a unique ingredient no one is using. These are the advantages you can use to promote your restaurant.

8. Create a Calendar

Having a calendar to schedule your posts simplifies the social media process. With several social media posts scheduled in advance, a calendar will keep you organized and on track. (As long as you follow through!) Keep in mind that social media is like a car, it has to keep running regularly to work. Results won’t happen if your social media posts aren’t consistent.

Expert Tip: Each target audience for every restaurant is different. You’ll want to know the times your restaurant’s target audience is active on social media so you can post during those times. This is crucial because if your potential customers don’t see your posts, your efforts are fruitless.

  1. Mix it Up Posting the same content twice is a definite no-no. What many restaurants don’t realize is that posting the same kinds of content gets boring too. Keep your audience in a delightful suspense by posting a healthy mix of content from photos, videos, gifs, articles, infographics, blog posts, and more.

  2. Communicate Social media is a place to be social! Treat your customers (and potential customers) online with the same energy and enthusiasm as you would offline and you’ll see the difference. While you’re guiding the conversation about your restaurant, always remember to engage and interact with those potential customers (and current customers!) who comment, like, and share your content. Truth be told, they want to feel special and be heard. Communicating with them helps them fulfill those feelings.

  3. Shine the Light on Others It may sound a bit counterintuitive to promote another business’s content when you’re trying to promote your own but this is a tried-and-true method that not only works but has been used for years. When you see content that you love and is aligned with your restaurant’s brand, share it! It makes the person or business who posted it more likely to share your content to return the favor, putting your restaurant in front of a new audience. Bingo!

  4. Stay on Track and Measure Your Results Always keep your goals in mind and set a marker to track your success. Look for areas you’re doing well in and analyze what you can do better and adjust accordingly. Remember to follow this routine regularly to see progress each month.

Looking for guidance on how to elevate your business’s social media marketing? Clickdaily is New York City’s Premier Social Media and Branding Agency. We specialize in helping restaurants large and small create a distinguishable brand identity online. Start bringing in new business from your social media accounts and get the results you deserve.