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Marketing 360® Blog

How Restaurants Can Use Social Media During The Coronavirus

In our previous blog, we talked about strategies for how small businesses can handle social distancing, and how they can adapt their business models and stay nimble during this challenging time.

Businesses in many different industries have suffered from the impacts of the coronavirus, and the restaurant industry is one of them. 

As a restaurant owner, you’ve already made drastic changes to your daily business operations. From closing your dining rooms and altering your menu to setting up order delivery and order pickup procedures, it’s certainly not “business as usual” for restaurants right now. This disruption has likely impacted your revenue, which is why marketing your restaurant during this time is critical. 

One effective way of reaching your audience during this time is through social media — with everyone confined to their homes, social media usage is expected to increase as people are looking for entertainment and connection. In this guide, we’ve put together some tips on how to use social media to increase your order volume, stay engaged with your customers, and help your restaurant weather this storm.

#1 Share Your Current Hours and Services

First and foremost, make sure your followers know your current hours and services. Create a pinned post on Facebook, update your Google My Business information, and edit your Instagram bio with details about your operating hours and offerings. If you’re accepting online orders for pickup and delivery, be sure to include a link to your online menu within your social profiles as well. 

  • Tip: If you’re looking for an online ordering system, we’re offering our powerful, all-in-one online ordering solution free for two months for restaurants who sign up before April 30th. 

#2 Promote Daily Specials

Daily specials can help break up the monotonous weeks that many are experiencing at home while also providing value to your customers. Whether you’re continuing with pre-established daily specials or putting together new specials during this time, make sure to update your social media profiles with information about your daily offers. 

Make sure to snap a photo of your delicious daily special and share it on Instagram and Facebook to keep your customers informed. 

  • Tip: Tag local media outlets and food bloggers in your post. Many bloggers and media outlets are creating lists of food takeout options, so make sure they know that you’re open for pickup orders! 

#3 Share Your Behind-The-Scenes Story

There are many creative ways to stay top-of-mind during this time. 

  • Share staff bios and let your audience get to know your restaurant’s team.
  • Film a cooking demonstration, or a how-to video for your most popular cocktail so people can make it at home.
  • Use hashtags, like #flashbackfriday or #throwbackthursday to share photos from the early days of your restaurant, and give your customers a bit of background about the history of your establishment.
  • Give potential customers peace of mind by sharing the protective measures you’re taking to keep your staff and customers safe.
  • Share a recipe so that people can try making their favorite dish in their own homes.

These types of posts are more personal and can allow your business to connect with your audience in a new way.

  • Tip: Offer a take-out kit with all the ingredients to make a fun dish at home! Many people are looking for at-home activities to pass the time, and cooking and baking is a great option.

#4 Incentivize with Gift Cards or Promotions

Incentivize pickup orders by offering a gift card with purchase, or create a one-time promo code for a discount on online orders. While the idea of offering discounts may seem counterintuitive during this cash-strapped time, a small promotion can increase the volume of online orders and result in more revenue at the end of the day.

  • Tip: Run a social media contest to raffle off a gift card, a dinner-for-two, or a family meal. Share an image of the meal or gift card you’re raffling off, and invite followers to enter by commenting on the post and tagging a couple of friends. This can bring new eyes to your business’ social profiles and increase the size of your social media reach. 

How Marketing 360® Can Help

Now’s the time to get creative and be proactive to keep your restaurant afloat. But to remain nimble during these times, you need online ordering software that can keep up. Our new All-In-One Ordering Solution makes it easy to build your online menu, set up secure payment processing (with flat rates that never change), sell digital gift cards, and leverage online discount coupons for your unique promotions.

Marketing 360 is now offering the first two months of the Websites 360® Shop App for free to all restaurant, bar, café, bistro, etc. owners who sign up before April 30th. 

Activate this offer by clicking the Plans & Pricing button and completing the form, or get started right away when you call our team directly. We’re open from 7-4 MST on Monday-Friday.

Call us or click the orange “Plans & Pricing” button to start the conversation