As regulations and rules for restaurants change and evolve as more news is released during the COVID-19 pandemic, social media has become one of the best ways to maintain contact with your customers.
Keeping consumers informed and updated about your operational changes around service hours, delivery and takeout, and health and safety procedures is essential and social media is a useful tool to do so.
Her are social media marketing best practices for restaurnats as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Be Active and Vocal in your Community
COVID-19 has shown us that we all need each other to survive. Your restaurant is an important member of the community and it needs to show transparency and goodwill. According to a study by Edelman, 65% of surveyors said they will only buy from a brand that is socially responsible at this time.
Restaurants that do their best to support their customers, hospitals, food banks, etc. are the ones that will succeed during these hard times. If you need help making ends meet, we encourage you to be open and honest on social media and your community may respond with support. A recent example of this is the announcement of Vesuvio’s closure in Toronto.
Invest in Content
This doesn’t strictly mean spending money on professional photos and videos. The most important investment will be your time. You’ll need to take a lot of photos and videos of your food for Instagram posted frequently alongside key messaging about your takeout and delivery offerings. You can also hire a graphic designer to make posts and banners from home. For those that are especially social media savvy, you can even start an Instagram Live video series every day around dinner time to show your fans how to make your dishes at home. Content is king!
Take Advantage of Facebook and Instagram Ads
If you can afford to spend some advertising dollars on social media, we highly recommend you do so. As little as $50/week goes a long way on Facebook and Instagram through ‘Boosts’.
Facebook and Instagram have seen a decrease from big advertisers due to COVID-19, this has led to more affordable ad space and a great way for you to get the best bang for your buck.
Use Instagram as a Marketplace
If you set up your Instagram as a business account, and you’re doing e-commerce sales on your website, you can post photos of your food that link directly to the item’s webpage where potential customers can purchase them.
If you do not have e-commerce and you’re simply relying on delivery apps, you can put a clickable Uber Eats or DoorDash link as your website in your Profile. This will make it easier for your customers to order!
Instagram also recently introduced the ‘Order’ button for stories. This button can link out to a third-party app for a seamless customer experience, learn more here.
Extend Your Reach with Influencers
Don’t be afraid to reach out and offer local food influencers a free meal or gift card in exchange for an Instagram post that highlights your food and offerings. Be friendly and transparent!
If they like you, they’re almost always willing to help local businesses during these tough times. Although there doesn’t seem to be a definite end date, we hope these observations and tips will help to alleviate some of the effects on Canadian restaurants.