Three Simple Ways to Engage Your Customers on Social Media

Social media makes it very easy to engage your followers/customers, yet the majority of restaurants and bars don’t take advantage. Here’s three simple ways to do it.

1. Repost Customers’ Pictures

There is currently an estimated 800 million Instagram users, and the hashtags for “food” “foodie” and “foodporn” have a combined 455 million total posts, making them three of the most popular hashtags. It is obvious, people are using the social media networks predominantly to post pictures of food, so there is a very strong chance that your customers are posting pictures from your restaurant. You should be checking your location tag and your tagged photos EVERY DAY to see if a customer has posted something. Unfortunately, the pictures aren’t always good enough quality to repost, but more often than not they are. If the picture quality is acceptable, screen shot the picture and repost it, making sure to give photo credit to the customer who originally posted it, as well as tagging them. This will not only build content on your page, but it will also make your customer feel special! People love seeing their pictures repost by an establishment, and it’s super easy. If you offer private dining, pictures from the private event are a great way to promote that service as well!

2. “Tag Your Friends”

In previous blogs, we have discussed instilling a call to action in every post. This means prompting the viewer to do more than just look and scroll on. Some examples include posting a link to an online reservation or your restaurant’s website. In addition, an easy way to increase traffic to your page and engage your customers is by using the “tag your friends” call to action. Create a facebook post with a picture of a share plate, like a cheese board or a family style appetizer, and use the caption “tag some friends you would like to share this with.” Or post a picture of a martini with the caption “tag a friend who would drink this.” This will trigger the viewer to tag their friends, some of which may not currently be aware of your business, subsequently driving new traffic to your page and garnering potential new customers for your establishment. By using this method, our friends at Steam Pub issued a promotion to win baseball tickets (see below), which received 701 likes, 788 shares, reached an astonishing 86,021 people, and consequently 220 new likes for their Facebook page!

restaurant facebook promotion

3. Take a Poll

Post a picture of two food items and ask “which one would you rather see as an upcoming special?” This will induce the customer to voice their opinion in the comment section, which will not only show the customer that their opinion is valuable, but will also make the post more likely to show up in their friends’ news feeds. Instagram also has an interesting new feature under “stories” that enables you to take a live poll, and allows you to see in real time which item is receiving the most votes. Simply go to the story section, post a picture of the two food items, click under stickers and select “poll.” To check the votes simply go to the story and slide up on your screen.

instagram poll ideas for restaurants

These are three very simple AND cost effective ways to engage your customers! Remember, it’s not just about posting on social media, it’s about the effectiveness of what you are posting that is even more important!



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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.