Most restaurants phone their social media efforts in, particularly on Twitter. Social media is an opportunity to have conversations and share what your business is all about. Auto-post no more! Here's 25 ideas for you to try instead.
New Specials: You're always adding something new to your menu, so show those specials off. Specials are not always available, so share those dishes to encourage fans to put down their phones and make a reservation asap.
Seasonal promotions: 'Tis the season, and your kitchen is ready to celebrate with seasonal flavors. So should you. Show off the limited seasonal specials your kitchen is serving up, from the new fall pumpkin dessert to your Valentine's Day menu.
Favorite vendors: You have amazing vendors, from the vegetables to grains, and you are obsessed with them all. And guess what, your fans might want to know where you get your fabulous produce or meat from too. Tell them! And don't forget to tag those vendors in your posts as well.
Share some history: If you've been open for 20 years or 6 months, your restaurant has certainly changed from day one. Instead of forgetting about the early days, embrace them and give your followers a peak into the past. #TBT and #FBF are a few hashtags you can utilize when you share old photographs.
Kitchen experiments: Kitchens are places where experiments happen, and your followers aren't just interested in the final dishes that make it to the final menu. Share what the kitchen is up to, from exploring new pasta shapes to trying out a new gelato flavor.
Guest content: I've never understood why some restaurants forbid photography because your guests are snapping some of your best content! Share what they are sharing, either by simply retweeting them or asking them if you can repost the content.
Trending topics: You know that section on the sidebar on Twitter, trending topics? That's what people are talking about near you! Don't be shy to add to trending topics when appropriate for your restaurant. Did the hometown team just win a big game? Feel free to give them a shoutout, but don't forget to use an accompanying hashtag!
Travel shots: Is someone from the restaurant exploring the world? Ask them to send a few shots your way. This is particularly relevant if your restaurant serves international cuisine. Share images from the places that inspired the menu, like shots from Paris for a French bakery.
Dining out in the neighborhood: You don't always have to talk about yourself, you know. When you're out at a friend's place or stopping by a trendy spot, snap a few pics and share the experience. Don't forget to tag the other restaurant in your posts.
Before and afters: Typically a recipe and a restaurant doesn't just exist naturally, it takes time and a bunch of steps to make them happen. Show off what the restaurant looked like before construction and then after. Show off the tomatoes before they make their way into a dish, and then share the final result. Fans will enjoy seeing the transformation.
Videos: I could write an entire thesis on this, but don't forget that videos should be a part of your marketing mix on Twitter. Videos don't need to be fully produced masterpieces. You can share a quick video clip from the kitchen or maybe a quick interview with the head chef.
Inspiration: Inspiration is critical to a restaurant, so what drives yours? Is it the city you're in or a particular artist? Share some thoughts behind the process of getting an idea to the menu.
Visitors: If you're fully booked you might want to take a quick snap to show off the space when it's full of activity. You don't just need to share photographs of famous people who walk through your doors, the everyday customer would likely be delighted to be featured on your feed, but ask for permission to post!
Events: Does your restaurant host events? If not, maybe you should. From special dinner menus to private events, you should be sharing about your events and getting people excited to attend or think about your restaurant next time they have an event to hold.
Promote upcoming classes and workshops: Classes provide a space for fans to learn about your craft among other fans. Do you teach bread-making or how to make dumplings? Make sure you promote the heck out of those classes on Twitter.
Share family meal: You'd think family meal wouldn't be interesting compared to your actual menu, but you'd be surprised. Show off what it's like before service by sharing the sights and tastes of family meal. This is an opportunity to highlight your amazing staff too.
Culinary perspective: Your restaurant represents a specific culinary perspective so share that perspective! Share what your food represents and why it matters in the larger context of the food industry.
Collaborations: Working with other brands that are similar to yours is always fun, so be sure to spread awareness to your collab. Collaborations are also a nice way to reach new audiences so take advantage of the opportunity by creating designs and graphics for the collaboration.
Give advice: Each post doesn't need to be a sales pitch, sometimes you can just provide some advice. Teach your followers how to chop an onion or how to set a proper dining table.
Best sellers: Show off what sells well at your restaurant! They're popular for a reason, so most likely you'll get a few more likes when you share these hit menu items.
Commentary: Maybe you just want to share some thoughts on a topic. That's great! As long as the topic is on-brand go for it. For example, Big Gay Ice Cream is always tweeting about things that aren't necessarily about ice cream but they're funny and it works for their brand.
Ingredient spotlight: If fresh ingredients are critical to your restaurant, show them off. If unique ingredients are in your dishes, teach your audience what they are. If your restaurant is passionate about the health benefits of certain ingredients, talk about them.
Press hits: So the New York Times wrote about you, huh? Ok, you'll want to share that. But even if a blogger writes a great post about you, you should be sharing these positive reviews about your space.
Cross-promote: Likely your brand is not just on Twitter, so don't be shy about sharing your other platforms on Twitter. Don't just say "Follow us on Pinterest too!", give followers a reason to follow you to a different platform. Say something like "See what designs are inspiring our Fall menu on Pinterest" and then link to your Pinterest profile.
National food days: Ok, so there are way too many food days right? But good news for you, you don't have to work too hard to make one work for your restaurant. Instead of creating dishes for these days, at the beginning of the month check out which ones would work for the menu you already have in place. Then day of, use that hashtag and share a picture of the dish. Easy content!
Are you sharing these type of tweets for your restaurant? If not, it's time to get to work!