Several restaurants regularly use their Facebook page or Twitter account and yet do not see any increase in their business. This is because they have not attracted enough traction to their social media pages. To run successful social media campaigns, the restaurant must let people know about its presence. This can be done effectively by using the restaurant website.
The restaurant website is one of the most valuable tools for the business.
It is through the restaurant website that a restaurant’s current and potential customers get to know everything about the business – the menu, working hours, special discounts and offers, events and other such information. The restaurant website is the first place that people visit online to find out more details. So, it is obvious that details about the restaurant’s social media profiles be highlighted on the website.
The first step towards social media integration is to build a fabulous restaurant website. This is the most important part of marketing in this digital age. Every other marketing activity, whether online or offline, should aim at directing potential customers to the website. If the restaurant is unprofessional or does not provide vital information, it will fail to convert visitors to customers. Thus, you will lose customers to your competitors even before you get to know each other.
Having a ‘Like’ button on every page
Have A Social Media Based Commenting System
By adding a ‘Comment’ section, visitors also get an opportunity to express their views. A social based commenting system is a great way to integrate the experience of commenting and initiating conversations among people. Commenting systems mandate commenters to sync one of their social media accounts for commenting. So, only genuine profiles get linked to your identity and reduces online spamming. Such systems also permit human-to-human interaction and create strong authenticity and reliability of the information shared. They also bring to the helm the most relevant information among innumerable other comments, presenting to the readers the most relevant and interesting information.
Having a ‘Follow Us’ button in the sidebar or header
This button allows visitors to follow the Facebook page, Twitter account or other social media sites. So, every time the restaurant posts some content on any of its social media accounts, it will appear in the feed of the followers. Also, friends of the restaurant’s followers will be able to see the post. Therefore, it is an incredibly powerful tool helping you reach a wide spectrum of audience.
Add Reviews And Testimonials To The Restaurant Website
This is not just a social proof to visitors but also a great way to build trust. Winning the trust of customers is the crux of any marketing activity. When a person’s trust is won, there are many chances that he will visit the restaurant. But, if they turn you down, they will never be your customer. Reviews create a strong social proof. Reviews help people to believe and buy as they are real recommendations from real customers who have already tried the restaurant. Social proof must be showcased by integrating social reviews and recommendations of former customers on the restaurant website for potential buyers and online visitors to see.
79% of customers trust social proof – thereby increasing sales and website conversions.
Display Social Media Buttons
The social media buttons should be easy and large enough to see. They should be placed at an eye-catching spot, alongside the restaurant website’s home page. When visitors click on these buttons, they must be redirected to your respective social media pages.
Use Share Buttons
Using share buttons on the restaurant website will enable visitors to easily recommend your business to others on their social media pages. These buttons can be placed next to menu items so that when a customer likes a particular menu item, he can click the share button and share details about it with his Facebook friends.
Videos are another great way to incorporate social media with the restaurant website. If a restaurant has a YouTube account, it can post videos on its restaurant website. Videos are a great visual mode to draw attention, make the restaurant website more interactive and also boost social media exposure.
Place Social Share Plugins
Social share plugins allow restaurants to place social buttons on a product page. Website visitors can use these buttons to share pages on various social channels. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the ones that receive great user engagement. Select only a few relevant social share plugins and place them on your website pages. The plugins must be near the image of the menu item or table reservation icons to enable the visitor to notice them easily and share quickly.
Benefits Of Social Media Integration On The Restaurant Website
Social media is a boon for modern restaurateurs as it presents a plethora of business opportunities that benefit brands in several ways. The following are the crucial benefits that restaurant owners will enjoy by integrating social media on the restaurant website:
- Gives the restaurant the ability to reach a wider audience with greater exposure
- Amplifies the interaction and engagement capabilities of the restaurant website
- Helps gain insights into the social behavior of consumers
- Channelizing traffic between the restaurant website and its social media accounts
- Enhances website vibrancy using creative visual social content
- Builds brand image and reputation through different modes of communication
- User-generated content from the social media helps build social proof
- Increases conversions and sales
- Delivers a superlative consumer experience
Things To Remember While Integrating Social Media Into The Restaurant Website
It Should Make Sense
Restaurants must integrate social media only in places where it makes the most sense. For instance, restaurants should only promote those social sites that they actively use. If they use Facebook and Twitter extensively, only those sites should be promoted on the website. Promoting inactive social media profiles will turn out to be counterproductive.
Do Not Go Overboard
Although share buttons are a great way to integrate social media on the restaurant website, restaurants should be careful not to go overboard while doing so. Too many share buttons will only confuse customers and also make the website look unattractive.
Thus, restaurants should integrate social media into their restaurant website to attract more attention to their social media pages and also drive greater traffic to the restaurant. Social media integration has now become a critical part of the online marketing strategy. Restaurants must have all the basics covered so that additional integrations can be easily accommodated in the future.