Learn how to use social media properly, and you can look forward to increased customer loyalty, a better reputation, and a valuable opportunity to shape your business strategy to suit customer needs. Read on for 21 ideas for social media in 2019.

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Social media is an essential marketing channel for businesses of all types, including restaurants. Learn how to use social media properly, and you can look forward to increased customer loyalty, a better reputation, and a valuable opportunity to shape your business strategy to suit customer needs.

Currently, 79% of independent restaurants and 59% of chains use social media. If you aren’t among them, it’s time to join in.

Devising a content strategy that keeps followers engaged can be a challenge. Fortunately, as a restaurant owner, you are in a great position when it comes to social media posts - from menus to behind-the-scenes footage, you have lots of material.

Here are 21 content ideas for your social media platforms-


1. Show Off Your Best Customer Reviews
It’s now standard practice to research a restaurant online before booking a table. Customers love reading about other peoples’ experiences. Show at least one flattering review each week.


2. Give Followers a Behind the Scenes Look at Your Kitchen
Patrons are nosy and are often curious about what goes on during service. Film short clips or take photos of your staff in action and upload them to social media.


3. Show Off Your Restaurant’s Best Features
Is your restaurant set in a beautiful building? Do you have some unique paintings or valuable antiques on display? Use your social media platforms to show your customers why your restaurant is worth a visit.


4. Share Your Menu
Entice customers by telling them about the delicious cuisine awaiting them at your restaurant. To avoid confusion or disappointment, make it clear if and when the menu changes.


5. Give Notice of Any Current or Upcoming Promotions
Do you run special promotions or deals for Valentine’s Day or other big occasions? Let your followers know!


6. Put Up Staff Profiles
Patrons like to know who is preparing and serving their dishes. Share photos of your staff enjoying themselves at work, and ask them to share their experiences as an employee at your restaurant.


7. Promote Your Vegan, Vegetarian, or Allergy-Friendly Options
To stay competitive, you need to cater to patrons with special dietary needs. Over 3% of US adults are vegetarian or vegan, and millions more report a general preference for plant-based food. Put together posts highlighting your wheat-free, dairy-free or other dishes suitable for those who require a particular type of diet.


8. Show the Origins of Your Ingredients
Do you cultivate relationships with local suppliers? If so, use social media to tell the story of the ingredients that go into your food. For example, you could share photos of vegetables being harvested, or upload a brief interview with one of your suppliers.


9. Share Some Memes and Quotes
Post a few light-hearted quotes that fit with your restaurant’s theme and dishes. For example, if you run an Italian restaurant, create posts featuring quotes in Italian with the English translation beneath.

Dina Indelicato, a writer for PickWriters, recommends saving yourself time and potential embarrassment by using the services of a professional translator. “If you are creating multilingual content, it needs to make perfect sense,” she says.


10. Show Your Green Policies in Action
Consumers like to think that their favorite businesses care for the environment. Referencing your recycling practices, your commitment to using organic food, or similar policies will cement your reputation as a responsible business owner.


11. Show Your Support for Local Causes
If you partner with any nearby charities, publish posts that encourage followers to donate to their latest campaigns. If you sponsor charitable events, show photos of you and your staff in attendance.


12. Let Your Followers Know If You Are Looking to Hire New Employees
If you have any vacancies, post a copy of your job ad to social media. It may catch the attention of someone who already loves eating at your restaurant, and they could be the perfect candidate.


13. Grab Your Followers’ Attention With Creative Photographs of Your Signature Dishes
Social media users favor visually appealing content, so take advantage by treating them to some high-quality food photography.


14. Start a Poll Asking People to Vote on New Additions to Your Menu
Encourage follower engagement and conduct market research at the same time by asking people to vote on their favorite menu idea.


15. Share and Comment on User-Generated Content
Has someone uploaded a post and tagged your restaurant? If so, share it, comment on it, and thank the poster - remember, everyone who creates and uploads this kind of content is a brand ambassador.


16. Publish Content That Links to Your Website
If you have a website or a blog, make it easy for followers to find it by posting clickable previews of your content.


17. Share Staff Recommendations
Your staff should be familiar with your menu, and they should also have their personal favorites. Share a photo of each employee with their preferred dish.


18. Show Off Any Awards You’ve Received
Awards are a great form of social proof, so don’t hesitate to let your followers know when you receive any kind of formal recognition.


19. Encourage Followers to Sign Up to Your Email List
Make posts containing a link to your sign-up page. Entice followers to sign up by offering them discounts or invites to exclusive events.


20. Share a Brief History of Your Restaurant
Give your customers a better insight into your business by telling them how it got started. Who founded the restaurant? Has the cuisine changed much over time? Before it was used as a restaurant, did the building serve any other interesting purpose?


21. Share a Recipe
Finally, you could share an exclusive recipe. Don’t worry that this will make your chefs redundant; your patrons might know how to cook a dish, but most won’t be able to recreate it to a professional standard.

Have fun experimenting with these ideas. Remember the golden rules - Post often, stay positive, and respond to all customer feedback in a timely manner - it’s a valuable source of information. Social media is here to stay, so it’s time to embrace its many benefits.