Updated: Oct 12, 2020
“Now is the time to connect with your community online and turn them into lifelong customers.”
During the pandemic, the restaurants have been looking for new ways to stay agile while also staying true to their mission. Restaurants are facing unprecedented challenges to find ways to keep the lights on, with customers staying home to flatten the curve and save lives.
OpenTable found that reservations are down 100% year over year globally, which means these businesses are challenged to generate revenue solely through the available options: online orders for takeout or delivery and online gift card purchases.
The good news is that search trends indicate the demand for online ordering and take out is higher than ever.
Here are five tips to help restaurant and food business owners pivot their Social Media strategy so when things do return to normal your business will be stronger than ever.
Target Your Local Community In Social Media
Get creative with your marketing messaging
Help your community
Market your restaurant’s app
Remember your marketing funnel
1. TARGET YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY IN SOCIAL MEDIA
Marketing to your community means a personalized approach, and Facebook is personalized marketing at scale. Not only can you deliver a highly personalized message to your prospective customers, but you can also target users strategically and cost-effectively. There are over 2 billion users on Facebook and 700 million users on Instagram, and use of both platforms has been growing during the pandemic. In fact, Facebook recently hit an all-time high of 2.6 billion monthly users, and daily Instagram usage has increased. With this huge potential for reach and the platform’s targeting options, Facebook and Instagram offer almost unparalleled possibilities to reach your community. You can target local users, previous customers, or ideal customers with advertisement
What to offer?
Monthly Promotions - Create monthly promotions by combining different items every month. Family deals are specially popular with entire families staying at home and looking for low cost alternatives to cooking at home.
Contact-less Pickup or Delivery Options
The best part is that it’s cost-effective to reach your community on Facebook and Instagram and it’s the best time to take advantage of it.
2. GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR MESSAGING
With people staying home there are ways to help them stay connected with your brand or discover your food for the first time.
Keep people in the know by announcing any changes to your food and beverage menu in your social media. Try marketing your loyalty program right now, or consider creating one.
And whatever you include in your messaging, be sure to take advantage of the Facebook and Instagram news feed format by using mouth-watering imagery of your food that will make users stop as they scroll through their feed. An amazing image or video can go a long way—that might just be one of the reasons why the food and beverage industry has the second-highest CTR by industry on Facebook.
3. HELP YOUR COMMUNITY
Is your restaurant located near a local hospital, grocery store, or post office? Create a thank you promotion where customers can donate meals to say thanks for all of the hard work from essential workers.
Running ads to promote your initiatives will encourage your audience to donate meals to deserving front-line workers right now, helping your business make more of an impact. And it’ll also remind your customers that your business is still open for takeout and delivery.
4. MARKET YOUR RESTAURANT’S ONLINE MENU
Use your website and social media to drive sales through your online menu. This is a great time to run promotions exclusive to your online menu, which will lead to more online orders.
Google search trends indicate the demand for online ordering and take out is higher than ever. Check out the search volume around online ordering, for pickup or delivery.
Don’t yet have an online menu? Let the FreshBuy team create one for you. Not only will this help in the short term, but it can also become the start of a future post-COVID-19 when your restaurant is thriving with online orders and in-house customers.
5. USE YOUR MAILING LISTS
If you are a good business owner, you have managed to create a mailing list of potential and current customers. So, advertise your business and online ordering all at the same time by sending flyers, coupons, and menus, through email. Spread that net wide, and you will catch more business (and fish).