How BIR-IKI Doner learns about customer preferences with Bolt Food (2024)

It’s impressive how social media has transformed from simply connecting people to becoming a powerful marketing tool for businesses, including restaurants.

It’s no secret that a solid social media presence is vital to running a successful restaurant in today’s digital age.

But there’s more to it than just having a profile and posting pictures. In this article, we’ll talk about social media marketing for restaurants.

Our Senior Social Media Manager, Nina, shares some insights on how restaurants can use social media to drive engagement, attract new customers, and increase sales.

Meet Nina, Senior SMM at Bolt

Let’s take a moment to introduce the person behind these expert tips!

Nina is a Senior Social Media Manager at Bolt. She’s always been passionate about connecting with people and understanding internet culture.

With over 7 years of experience working in social media, Nina has become an expert in crafting effective social media strategies and executing successful campaigns across various industries.

She helps us manage campaigns, curate engaging posts, track the performance of our social media profiles and channels, and optimise strategies to build a strong following.

Why social media marketing is essential for restaurants

Having a social media presence has become crucial for restaurants that want to influence customer decision-making positively.

“As part of their decision-making process, it’s become a habit for people to check out a restaurant’s social media presence before ordering or visiting the business.”

According to DataReportal,75% of internet usersuse social media to research products or services.

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This creates the perfect opportunity for restaurants to leverage social media platforms and showcase their unique food, ambience, and offerings.

Such content captures the attention of potential customers exactly where they’re most active.

Additionally, social media enables restaurants to handle feedback, and enquiries, while cultivating relationships, fostering loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.

“It’s a two-way conversation that fosters a sense of community and helps restaurants understand and respond to customer preferences. Addressing concerns promptly and showing a commitment to improvement builds trust and encourages customers to share positive experiences.”

Interacting with your audience is not a courtesy anymore but an expectation.

According to Twitter,71% of usersexpect a brand to respond to their tweet within an hour of Tweeting.

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Best platforms for restaurant social media marketing

The surge in social media usage has led to the emergence of various platforms, leaving restaurants wondering which ones to focus on.

According to Nina, the top platforms for restaurant social media marketing are typicallyFacebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

Facebook offers a broad reach and allows restaurants to provide detailed business information in their profile, promote events, and interact with customers.

“Facebook is a versatile platform that facilitates effective communication and engagement.”

On the other hand, Instagram is perfect for showcasing visually appealing food and restaurant images. Using Instagram, restaurants can keep their followers informed, engaged, and intrigued.

“Instagram’s visual focus creates a captivating experience for potential and repeat customers.”

But when it comes to virality potential, TikTok stands out.

“TikTok’s dynamic nature and trend-driven content make it an ideal platform for restaurants aiming to generate buzz and reach a broader audience.”

Additionally, while not a social media platform per se, review sites like Yelp are essential for managing customer reviews and enhancing online reputation.

“Being active on review sites like Yelp or Google My Business help restaurants address customer feedback, improve their reputation, and attract more clients.”

How can restaurants increase their following and engagement

Restaurants can use several strategies to increase their social media following and engagement. Consistency, as advised by Nina, is crucial.

This means restaurants should consistently post high-quality content, respond promptly to comments and messages, and organise contests or giveaways to encourage participation.

Let’s start withhigh-quality content.

“Restaurants can create engaging content by sharing delicious food photos, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and videos showcasing the dining experience.

They can also share stories about the restaurant’s history, staff, or sourcing of ingredients to create a personal connection with followers.”

If you want to enhance your food photography skills, check out our dedicated article featuringfood photography tips for restaurants.

Pairing these high-quality visuals with special promotions, events, or seasonal menu items can generate excitement and encourage followers to take action.

“Providing exclusive offers, giveaways, or limited-time experiences is an effective way to incentivise engagement and attract new customers.”

At Bolt Food, we recognise the significance of quality visuals. We provide ready-to-use design templates to assist our partners in promoting their restaurants across various online channels.

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Such compelling content can pique customers’ curiosity and generate conversations. Engaging with the community is crucial. Always try to respond to comments, messages, and reviews.

Influencers also play a significant role in expanding a restaurant’s social media presence.

“Partnering with brands or influencers who align with your restaurant’s values can amplify your social media presence and attract new followers.”

At Bolt Food, we’re committed to supporting our partner restaurants in reaching a wider audience.

We occasionally feature the best restaurants on social media, inside our app and other marketing campaigns, increasing their visibility and reach.

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Here’s an example post from Bolt Food Kenya which showcases a special offer from one of our partner restaurants.

You can also use targeted social media ads to reach specific demographics or interests.

“Run social media ads targeting specific demographics, interests, or locations. Social media ads are often more cost-effective than traditional advertising activities, and if the ad is of high quality and generates engagement, it becomes even more cost-efficient.”

Restaurant social media trends

Video content, especially short-form videos like TikTok or Instagram Reels, has witnessed a significant surge in popularity.

Today a simple TikTok or Reel without any advertising can get millions of views because of the viral nature of this content type.

But it doesn’t happen randomly. There’s a science behind virality.

“Audio plays a huge part in the success of TikTok or Instagram reels. Choosing a trending sound can boost your views, increase your chances of virality and put your restaurant in front of a whole new audience.”

Live streaming is also gaining popularity in the restaurant industry. As Nina says, it’s a versatile tool for various scenarios and purposes.

“Going live provides followers with an authentic, interactive, and personal experience. You can use it for behind-the-scenes looks, cooking demos, or Q&A sessions.”

To get the most visibility for your live streams, create a dedicated post informing your audience about the upcoming cooking demo, Q&A session, or any other live stream event.

Social media KPIs every restaurant Manager should measure

While being active on social media and consistently posting quality content is vital for restaurants, measuring these activities’ impact and identifying improvement areas is equally crucial.

According to Nina, tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is essential to understand the effectiveness of social media efforts.

Here are the top social media KPIs to monitor:

  • Follower growth: increase in social media followers.
  • Post engagement rate: the number of post likes, comments, and shares.
  • Reach or impressions: exposure of your social media content, such as views or simple displays on social media feeds.
  • Website traffic from social media: traffic from social media platforms to your website.
  • Conversions: the percentage of social media visitors who take a desired action, such as making a reservation or placing an order.

While these metrics provide valuable insights, it’s also important to delve deeper and monitor additional platforms to understand your social media success.

“Monitoring customer sentiment through reviews and tracking the impact of social media on offline foot traffic or revenue can provide crucial insights into the overall effectiveness of your social media efforts.”

For Bolt Food partners, connecting social media campaigns with their impact on the restaurant becomes even more accessible.

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The Bolt Food Partner Portal, an exclusive online space designed for our partner restaurants, offers data on new unique users, the percentage of customers who’ve placed an order after viewing your restaurant profile on the app, and more.

Examples of restaurants using social media successfully

Nina believes Wendy’s is an excellent example of a restaurant that uses social media effectively.

“The fast-food chain has perfected its brand voice, incorporating humour and sass in its tweets and responses. This clever approach has earned them viral attention, increased brand visibility, and a large social following.”

For Nina, Burger King is another restaurant that has excelled in leveraging social media to amplify its campaigns.

“While the brand excels in offline stunts, it also leverages social media to amplify its campaigns. By consistently engaging with user-generated content, they keep the excitement and hype alive for longer.

One example of this is when they re-introducedlimited-time funnel cake fries from 2010.

As part of this campaign, Burger King started liking old posts from famous influencers, arousing curiosity and sparking conversations.

For example, Casey Neistat was surprised when Burger King liked his eight-year-old tweets, andhe tweeted about it.

He unknowingly contributed to exposing the Burger King brand and the funnel cake fries campaign to his two million followers — precisely what the restaurant aimed for.

Key activities for successful restaurant social media marketing

We asked Nina to summarise the top 5 activities restaurants should prioritise for effective social media marketing. And here’s her summary.

  1. High-quality and consistent content:regularly post high-quality and visually appealing content to engage your audience.
  2. Active engagement:engage with your followers by promptly responding to comments, messages, mentions, and more.
  3. User-generated content:leverage user-generated content and customer reviews to show appreciation and build trust and authenticity.
  4. Promotional campaigns:create excitement and drive traffic by promoting special offers, events, and seasonal offerings.
  5. Data-driven analysis:track and analyse key metrics to measure the effectiveness of your social media efforts and make informed decisions

A big thank you to Nina for sharing these valuable tips!

This article should have provided you with valuable insights to elevate your social media marketing game and make a real impact on your business.

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How BIR-IKI Doner learns about customer preferences with Bolt Food (2024)

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