Social Media Content Ideas for Restaurants

Social Media Content Ideas for Restaurants

Everyone who works in the hospitality industry knows there are two ugly truths in digital marketing these days –  the necessity of managing your online reviews, and the necessity of managing your social media. If you’re looking for ways to do the former, check out this article on different ways to manage your online reputation. 

And if it’s the latter – rest easy. Because you’re not alone. Social media management is tough. And while we could come up with a laundry list of reasons why, the biggest confounding factor is that social media platforms are hungry. Like, really hungry. Like, need-to-feed-once-a-day kind of hungry. Social media is a beast, especially in the hospitality industry. It requires ongoing, never ending, content ideas for restaurants that leaves their owners feeling depleted.

The good news is, content actually doesn’t have to be difficult to make. Or better yet – to get. More on that in a second. But first, a history lesson.

Instagram & TikTok - The Chronicles

Before TikTok, the people who became influencers on Instagram were the people who were living the dream life. It was the so-called “Instagram Reality,” where perception reigned supreme. But everything changed when TikTok came along.

All of a sudden, the accounts that were gaining traction weren’t the ones that were perfectly styled, with no hair out of place. It was the opposite. TikTok’s early stars were posting videos that weren’t pretty. They were engaging and funny sure, but they also felt real. Something about people filming themselves in their bedroom, showing their life unfiltered, was relatable. And viral. 

Soon, other social media platforms started feeling this effect. Because as TikTok became the most popular thing since sliced bread, the idea of “real” became more and more popular. The “quality” of how the posts looked was less important than their authenticity. And suddenly, around the social media stratosphere, the Do-It-Yourself aesthetic was popular.

This shift turned the job of content creation on its head.

The Beast’s New Meal

Because of this trend toward “DIY” content, the level of quality of what is acceptable on social media lowered. Which means as a company, you no longer need to hire a videographer and an editor and shoot for 4 hours to get a piece of content that can go viral. In fact, you have just as much of a chance – if not more – to go viral with a quick video that was shot on your phone. And when I say quick, I mean quick – one minute is considered long nowadays. 

Now, I won’t say that you should never have that higher-quality content – keeping things fresh (and eye-stopping occasionally) is important. It always will be. But you no longer have to worry about it with every post. 

Which is all to say, feeding the social media beast is no longer as difficult as it once was. Because now, you can do about 90% of the content creation right on your phone. And have just as much a chance of going viral. 

User-Generated Content

Alright, so back to that “content doesn’t have to be hard to get” comment. I will clarify that there’s definitely content you can – and should – be continuing to create for your business. Which we will talk about. But, before I kick into that, I want to mention what is undoubtedly the most useful tool for digital marketing since the social media shift. And that’s UGC, or user-generated content. Because with a diminished importance on content that looks perfect, and an increased importance on content that feels real, you can let your customers create for you. 

Imagine a content idea for your restaurant, using video, where a loyal customer of yours comes in, and films their experience at your restaurant. It captures your unique atmosphere, highlights the beautiful food, shows off the immaculate vibes. And better yet, it captures why they love it, maybe in a voiceover to really drive it home. 

This video is an example of UGC. And it’s like manna from Heaven. Of course, the mere fact that someone else did the work to create it is wonderful. But that’s only half the story here. Because it’s not just someone. It’s someone who loves what you offer. A customer who genuinely wants to show you off. A real video from someone who has experienced your business feels like word of mouth. Like a recommendation from a friend. And when 92% of people use a recommendation from someone they know when trying to decide where to go, this is worth its weight in gold.

Finding a way to easily get UGC will make your social media efforts faster, easier and more efficient than virtually anything else.

Content Ideas for Restaurants that go beyond UGC.

Alright, that’s my diatribe about UGC. To be honest, I’ll probably mention it again because it’s such a powerful tool. But, as I said, there is still some content that you can be making to drive awareness and customer acquisition. So let’s talk about that. Because I know as a restaurant owner, there are so many things on your plate that the last thing you want to be thinking about is creative ideation for social media content. So, let’s kick into some easy ideas that you can make right on your phone.

  • Tell Your Story. This sort of content is a surprisingly powerful tool because it goes beyond what you’re physically selling to people. Letting people know where you started, why you started, and where you’re planning on going allows them to relate to you as an idea, and not just as a product. 
  • Bring Your People to Life. This is the same ideology as telling your story. Use different videos to show off the people behind the product. In one video, you can introduce them to your chef. The next, a waiter. The next, a hostess. Show that you’re not just a product – you’re a group of people working to better others’ lives. This humanity resonates deeply with customers.
  • Behind the Scenes. If you’ve got loyal customers, it means they love something that you do. So show them how you do it. Give people a tour of the kitchen, or show the chef making a fan-favorite dish. This latter one especially can be very eye-catching because it’s active – flipping burgers, drizzling cheese, tossing a pizza. Show your customers where the magic happens. 

New Menu Items and New Promotions. This one is a no-brainer, I know. But, that doesn’t make it any less effective. Show your new stuff off! Get some eye-watering pictures of it. Then, as a pro-tip, get a video of it as well. Maybe as you bring it from the kitchen and place it on a table. This is specific to Instagram, but if you can post a picture of the dish, then post the video as a story, you can drive people with your story to look at the post, and get more eyes on the dish.

Your New Social Media Strategy

I suppose I’m being somewhat disingenuous when I say it’s a new strategy. Because it’s really the same as it’s been for years, and it boils down to “post frequently.” But, the execution of that strategy no longer needs to be difficult. 

From the perspective of you actually creating the content, everything listed above can be done in 30 minutes or less with nothing more than a phone. Which means you can bring those content ideas to life, very quickly. Creating effective, potentially-viral content, for your restaurant. 

And more importantly, you also have the ability to get this (potentially-viral) content straight from your customers, in the form of user-generated content. See, I told you I’d bring it up again. But with the trends of social media leaning toward real, authentic content, there’s no denying the effectiveness – and efficiency – of User Generated Content. 

If you want to learn more about how to get UGC, you can read this article about how franki makes it easy. We’re built to help restaurants get UGC and video recommendations. And if you want to learn more about franki in general, check out this article