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Is social media marketing on your restaurant’s menu? It should be. These days a social media campaign is an essential component of any marketing plan and this is especially true for restaurants. Unlike many other industries, restaurants have the unique opportunity to meet their customers face to face with every single transaction, and in today’s market, more and more of those meetings are being coordinated through social media.

Reviews, pictures and promotions, each can be a valuable marketing tool for your restaurant, whether you’re sharing them or your customers are. To get the conversation started today and add social media to your menu, employ the following five tips:

Find Facebook friends.

While Twitter is consistently gaining market share, Facebook is still the social media king. Establishing a Facebook page should be part of phase one in your social media plan and once the page is established, make sure to update it often. A stale Facebook page makes it seem as though the restaurant has closed and can actually be worse than no Facebook page at all.

Encourage visitors to get the picture.

Think of your social media channels like you think of your menu – text conveys the information but pictures make it pop. Social media is a great way to tantalize your customers with mouthwatering pictures of your latest menu items or your old specialties. Also, don’t forget to encourage guests to share their own pics of amazing meals they’ve enjoyed at your restaurant.

Tweet timely tweets.

Twitter has become a remarkably successful marketing tool for restaurants of all sizes and styles because its bite-size messages are perfect for the easy-to-read, easy-to-share crowd. Time your tweets so that they appear right before the prime lunch and dinner hours and make sure to always include your menu or a drool-worthy picture of a featured dish.

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