Social Media Best Practices for the Average Restaurateur

Running a restaurant can be hard as it is, but keeping track of your restaurant online can seem even harder. Thankfully, in this time of growing technology, there are more and more options on how to post, engage and track your business profiles. Below are 5 simple tips that can be implemented immediately to improve your business’ online presence.

  1. Organize Everything in One Place

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Yelp, Trip Advisor… the list of sites to keep track of and maintain can seem endless sometimes. Lucky for us, there are technologies like Hootsuite and Buffer that allow you to have all of your social profiles in one place. You can write one post and add them to all of your profiles in one click. How cool is that?!?

  1. Don’t Ignore Your Online Rating

Did you know that according to a recent consumer reports survey 91% of people read online reviews? AND of those 91%, 86% trust those reviews as a personal comment. I know I would certainly like to know what 91% of customers think about my business, especially when that information is free and readily available. Checking large review sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, Facebook and Google at least once a week can make sure that you not only thank all of those customers leaving kind reviews, but also attempt to remedy any negative experiences that occur.

  1. Speak Online as You Would in Person

When speaking for your business persona, stay aligned with your brand, but remember the world can see you. Facebook is not the place for argument and Yelp should not be used to insult customers that have left you bad reviews. Some great examples of a more humorous online presence can be found on restaurants like Wendy’s and Denny’s pages. These restaurants are often joking with their customers and having their replies go viral. Don’t be afraid to get out of the box with your posts, social media is the best place to have your brand shine through.

  1. Negative Reviews are Your Best Opportunity for Growth

Every restaurant has that off day where either food takes too long or something doesn’t turn out quite right. Sometimes people will just complain because they’re having a bad day. Either way, it is important to separate your emotions from your business and handle all reviews with empathy. Some easy steps to follow are to: 1) Acknowledge the problem at hand and apologize for the scenario.2) Say what you are doing to ensure it does not happen in the future. 3) Offer a phone number or email so that they may contact you out of the public eye with more details about their concerns.

  1. Have Fun With It!

Social media is one of the best ways to connect with customers. Start promotions, grow a community and connect with the vast majority of the people that walk through your door. The best thing about all of this is that it is one of the most inexpensive or free forms of advertising you can do. Growing your online presence doesn’t have to be a burden. Let it be part of your day-to-day tasks that you enjoy doing.

For any questions on these tips, or specific advice for your restaurant, email NMRA’s Media Specialist Wendy Hughes at