Twitter for Restaurants: How to Generate More Bookings

It’s becoming ever more common for Twitter users to use the website as a search engine, as well as just a way to keep up to date with their best friends and favourite celebrities. Searching for products and services via Twitter allows a certain amount of what you find to be based on opinion. Instead of searching “best restaurant in Leeds” in Google, for example, and finding many results of restaurants claiming that title, searching the same thing in Twitter could find genuine customers raving about it. Twitter is the digital age’s answer to word-and-mouth advertising. It’s a brilliant (and free!) tool to tap into, so here’s some tips and ideas on how to use Twitter as a restaurant that should generate some of those all important bookings.

Setting Up

  • Your Twitter profile is an extension of your brand. Keep it fairly consistent with all your other advertising, branding and with what your restaurant is actually like. Twitter certainly allows for humour and informality, but if you’ve branded yourself as exclusive and upmarket, make sure you don’t spend too much time retweeting cat pictures. Have a little read of our blog on keeping brand consistency in digital marketing for some more advice.
  • Let people know! Add your Twitter handle to your website, your menus and write it at the bottom of your specials blackboard. Let people know you can be found on Twitter and encourage them to get talking about you online. If they Tweet about their fab meal with you and handle you in, their followers can see and might just check you out.

Content

  • What’s going on? Twitter is a great place to post about news; new menus, refurbishments, events – keeping your customers up to date with what’s happening.
  • Behind the scenes. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to let your customers in on what’s happening behind the scenes at your restaurant. Developing a new menu? Maybe post a few photos of the chefs cooking and sampling. Something go a little wrong in the kitchen? As long as it’s not something that’ll harm your brand, these are the kind of posts people love to be let in to. Make a few jokes, let your customer see the inner-workings of your restaurant. It’s a very personable approach which is fantastic for engagement.
  • Being useful.Have you got a great offer on? Tell people about it! Closed for a while? Mention that too. Did you see something going on in the local area? Ask people if they’re going, tell people what it’s about, and maybe they’ll stop in for a bite to eat when they recall who told them about it.
  • Don’t underestimate the visuals.Snapping photos of some of your food looking its best  is a great way to get people noticing your restaurant. It’s hard to scroll past the dripping cheese of a freshly baked pizza (particularly if you’re scrolling through near lunch time), so make use of any emotive visuals you can get your hands on.
  • Engagement! This is probably the most important thing to remember when using Twitter: engage with your followers. Engage with people who aren’t your followers. Talk to everyone about everything (without spamming, of course) and create a rapport with customers, other local businesses and potential customers alike. All these things get you retweeted, favourited and followed, increasing your exposure and improving the chances of someone liking what they see and visiting your restaurant. Relationships with businesses can be mutually beneficial, as conversations over Twitter expose each follower base to a new account – if you’re part of Go dine, for example, you’ll often be retweeted by @godineuk and our followers will be exposed to your restaurant.

Example of Twitter Content
 

Tips and Tricks

  • Timing. Tempt people with your food by being intuitive about when you post. Around lunch time or a couple of hours before dinner could be perfect for those last minute bookings, and posting your best money off deals towards the end of the month might just get you some visitors who thought they couldn’t afford it.
  • Take out the legwork. By using Go dine, you can post a simple link to your restaurant’s Go dine page when promoting yourself or engaging with followers.  Even optimised for mobile browsers, if a potential customer clicks through to Go dine, they’ll see all your menus, offers and photos and be able to book within their browser straight away, in seconds. By taking out the hassle of phoning or remembering to do it later, customers are more likely to book directly after engaging with you on Twitter.
  • Trends and Hashtags. You’ll see the trends for your city on the left-hand side of your homepage on Twitter, and you’ll often see people hashtagging topics they’re talking about, for example #GoNominate. These make it easy to find people you may want to target Tweets to and helps people find you too. Do some research and try some out. Some good examples for restaurants are #FoodieFriday, #yummy and local ones such as #SheffieldIsSuper.

Twitter is a great way to get your name out there and generate more bookings for your website. It’s completely free, and once you’ve built up your following, doesn’t take much time a day to maintain. If you want your account to gain more followers, or don’t have the time to run one yourself, then becoming a member restaurant at Go dine can be really helpful. The social team promotes all our member restaurants to thousands of followers across numerous platforms, driving customers to your accounts or straight through to a booking.

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