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Social Media for Restaurants: How to Build Your Strategy

Are you a new restaurant wondering why you should be on social media? Here’s the perfect strategy for your restaurant’s social media marketing.

Posted 1 year ago
social media for restaurants

Written by

Mackenzie Taylor
Posted 1 year ago
With TikTok and Instagram being the number one place (yes, even more so than Google) where people are getting their recommendations for places to eat, you better believe you should be on social media promoting your restaurant! While it’s one thing to have a website and Google/Yelp reviews, you also need a place where you completely control the images, the brand feel, and more to really boost your brand awareness online. So how do you do that? And how in the world can you boost your awareness? Let’s dive into why restaurants need to have effective social media marketing.

Jump to a section ✨

  1. Why is social media important for restaurants? 🤔

Why is social media important for restaurants? 🤔

The number one question you might be asking yourself: Why do I actually need social media for my restaurant? Well, if you want anyone to know what your food looks like (that isn’t taken from someone’s phone and the harsh overhead lighting making everything look yellow), you might want to curate your own social media content where you can show off the food, drinks, and restaurant in a good light.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Salt and Smoke (@saltandsmokebbq)

It lets people find info about your restaurant

One of the biggest reasons you should have social media for your restaurant is because it easily helps people find out everything they want to know about you! Yes, online reviews and a website is helpful, but how often are you updating your website? How often are you checking in on those Google and Yelp reviews? Social media is a quick and easy way for you to post frequently, let people be aware of any specials you might be having, and share any updates that might be pertinent to your followers.

Show who your brand really is

Who is your restaurant really? Are you more serious? More fun? Family-friendly? A bit sexy? Whatever your overall aesthetic is, using social media can help you hone in on your branding and brand voice to help you stand out amongst the crowd.

Easily communicate with customers

One of the best reasons to get on social media is to easily (and quickly!) communicate with your customers online. It’s super easy for someone to send a quick DM on Facebook or Instagram to ask you questions about your menu or to easily accommodate any requests they might have before heading to the restaurant. Most people want to try new restaurants if they feel familiar with the restaurant, so being able to easily communicate with someone will help you retain customers and keep them coming back for more.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BIG MAMMA (@bigmammagroup)

How to promote a restaurant on social media? 🍔

There are a few ways restaurants can use social media for their business and get new people through the door. Some of our favorite ways are:

Posting photos and videos of your food

Yes, this is a very obvious one but it’s effective. Work with a photographer that can capture your food well because the better the photo of the food, the more likely people will follow your account and want to try your food. Ever seen a terrible photo of the food before? Yeah, you don’t want that. Make the photos and videos enticing. Show off your best-sellers. Show off the cocktails you make. The more content you have around what you serve and make will be huge for your social media pages.

Show off your employees

As I stated before, people love to feel connected to a brand and as if they know the people behind the brand. Start showing off your employees so people feel connected and as if they are part of your local community.

Highlight your favorite customers

Have regulars that come in often? You should show them off online! Give them a little shoutout, mention their favorite food, and ask them for a little testimonial that you can use in the caption of the photo.

Talk about promotions

Do you have a special promotion or holiday coming up that you want to highlight? A big way to bring in new customers and get new followers is by sharing a promotion or deal if someone follows you online. Social media is also a great way to promote a limited edition item or talk about daily specials on your story.

Respond to feedback

Social media is a great way to quickly respond to feedback and reviews from your customers. A lot of people will send feedback through comments or DMs and the faster you are at responding to this feedback, the more likely your customers will stay loyal and want to continue coming back to your restaurant.

Show off behind-the-scenes

Go in the kitchen and show off how the back-of-house team works together. Show off the ins and outs of making the food at your location. People love to see what’s cooking in the kitchen (is this a bad pun?) and showing the behind-the-scenes is a great way for them to feel connected to your restaurant.

User-generated content

If you don’t know what this means, it’s basically posting what your followers and customers have taken and posted on their own social media channels. You can use this content (always ask for permission first!) and post it on your own channels. A lot of people like seeing their own photo on a company’s social media channel and makes people want to take more and more content for the chance to be featured.

Ask questions

When posting a story or feed post, ask your audience a question! Insert a poll. Ask them about their favorite meal. This will help the engagement on your posts and can get conversations started in the DMs and comment section.

How often should restaurants post on social media?

Like any social media, the more consistent you are online, the more likely your posts will get shared and seen by followers. A good rule of thumb is to post at least 3 times a week online, or you could lose out on anyone seeing your content at all.
@eatsroundeast New York bagels in Hackney. They sold out quite fast so make sure to get there early. Very good bagels and the fillings were very generous #breakfasts #brunchlondon #nycbagels #bagel #cafelondon #sundaybrunch #thingstodoinlondon #londonfood #londonhotspots #fypage ♬ More Than A Woman – SG’s Paradise Edit – Bee Gees & SG Lewis

What social media platforms should restaurants be on? 📲

If you’re unsure of which social media app you should be on, here are the top ones that will help you get noticed in the online space.


Yes, you should be on Facebook. Older generations are still on Facebook and it’s a great way for you to post your hours, locations, and more on the app. Besides being seen by more people, you can utilize Facebook’s account manager where you can run ads, respond to customers, and so much more.


Oh, Instagram. The millennials’ favorite app (well, I think…). Back in the day, Instagram was THE place to post your #foodstagrams and it still is heavily overloaded with food photos on the feed, in Stories, and on Reels.
You can include all relevant information about your restaurant in your bio and use niche, location-specific hashtags in your post so people can easily find you and your restaurant. Similar to Facebook, you can create ads for your Instagram posts (you will need a Facebook account to do this though!).
One of the best things about Instagram is its Stories, where you can post about daily specials, behind-the-scenes at the restaurant, and more!


Want to get into the eyes of the younger generation? Then, you’ll want to give TikTok a try! The platform is video-only, so it’s a great place to show off how to cook your signature dishes, show off more of your personality online, and live events happening at your restaurant.

Social media marketing for restaurants ✨

To help you get the most out of your social media, you need a good social media strategy behind you. Here are a few tips on how to get started:


Hashtags are a key part of building a great social media strategy for your restaurant. Social media apps all use hashtags to help categorize content on their platforms. A lot of people will search a specific keyword when trying to find content on social media, when you use a hashtag that identifies what kind of restaurant you are (#bbq) and your location (#stlouisbbq), you have a higher chance of new people finding your account and following you.

Hashtags & Analytics

Find, manage, and analyze hashtags for Instagram.

Learn how to implement the perfect hashtag strategy here.


Captions are so important when it comes to building your social media strategy. Being able to hook your audience in enough for them to stop scrolling, read, and engage is essential. Work on building out your brand voice. Who is your company? What do they sound like? How do you talk to your audience?
Those questions will help you nail down the tone and voice of your social media posts. Learn how to write engaging captions here.

background30 Days of Free Captions

Boost your account's engagement



Once you’ve got your hashtags, captions, and content nailed down, you’ll want to start scheduling your content. Yes, scheduling will help you tremendously with your strategy.
With scheduling, you can ensure that your posts are going online at the time your audience is online and engaged, plus you can make sure that your content is going up consistently. Consistency is key when it comes to social media and you don’t want to not post for a week because you forgot.
💡 Flick’s tip: Start a free trial with Flick to start scheduling your social media content.
Restaurants are all about community and fun, so making sure your audience feels connected to you and your community is important for your overall social media marketing.


Why is social media important for restaurants? 🤔

How to promote a restaurant on social media? 🍔

How often should restaurants post on social media?

What social media platforms should restaurants be on? 📲

Social media marketing for restaurants ✨

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