Simple ways restaurants can tap into social-media platforms

Ashley Breneman, lead chef at the Certified Angus Beef LLC culinary center, shares ideas for how operators can expand their reach

27 September 2023

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Ron Ruggless

Restaurant operators can tap into free social-media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and Threads to expand their reach, either by creating content themselves or through marketing partners, said Ashley Breneman, lead chef at the Certified Angus Beef LLC culinary center in Wooster, Ohio.

During a presentation during the trade group’s annual convention Sept. at the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, Nev., Breneman share ideas on how restaurant operators can share their message with consumers.

“There should be some sort of platform that the consumers can connect with you,” Breneman told restaurant attendees. “Social media these days is the new food critic.”

“You have a connection— whether that’s 1,000 people online or whether that’s 50 million,” she said. The platforms aren’t just for unusual TikTok dances, she added with a laugh.

Breneman suggested following the “The Three Cs” of social media:

  • Capture — images by encouraging teams to take their own photos and reshare photos posted by guests.
  • Consistency — post regularly, whether daily or weekly, and alternate between materials that entertain, educate and provide general information.
  • Community — engage with followers by responding to comments and liking their mentions. Also, she suggested following peers and supporting their platforms and using #hashtags and location tags to see what is trending in the immediate area.

Consumers can identify with the restaurant online through the avenues that the brand uses for content, which Breneman suggested might fall into three areas:

  • Trendy — offer insights into trendy items that the restaurant is offering.
  • Storyteller — share stories and pictures of team members, from the dishwasher to the host, as well as stories about the food.
  • Food photos — post visuals that highlight the restaurant’s menu items or limited-time offers. Those can be professional photos or good images from a smartphone.

Breneman also said quick videos about the restaurant or menu preparations also could provoke customer engagement.

Anthony DiBernardo, pitmaster and owner of Swig & Swine in Charleston, S.C., said his restaurant connects with the community through a combination of staff-produced posts as well as those from the website marketing team. Scheduled posts are produced by the professional team Monday through Thursday, he said.

Source: Nation’s Restaurant News

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