In the restaurant business, marketing ideas are hard to come by. Social media is an incredibly useful tool to increase restaurant foot traffic that most restaurant owners don’t fully tap into. Not only does social media help create awareness for your business, but it’s also an excellent way to drive engagement and get people talking about your restaurant.

If you’ve started marketing your restaurant on social and haven’t gotten the results you’d hoped for, it’s time to reconsider your approach. Here are a few restaurant marketing ideas to spark your successful social media strategy:

Build your targeted following.

Not just any following: You want to create an audience of food lovers. Images of food are extremely popular on social media. Discussing food online is an easy, relatable way for you to build a connection with your followers. You can accomplish this when you take time to create content that your target audience will engage with.

Another way to connect with your target audience? Follow their accounts! And of course, don’t forget the power of a well-placed hashtag.

Create and post content that keeps your followers engaged.

When creating content for social media, you need to follow the 80/20 rule. 80 percent of your content should be interesting and shareable for your followers. The remaining 20 percent is left to sharing content specifically meant to sell to your audience.

Shareable content is often visual. Post relevant images of your restaurant’s food, and have fun with it. Share your latest menu items and come up with humorous captions to meet your followers where they’re at. Understand what your target audience is truly interested in, and use your content to respond to what they need.

Monitor your social presence.

Pamphlets and delivery menus slipped onto windshields simply don’t cut it anymore. More often than not, restaurants with a strong social presence incorporated into their restaurant marketing strategy fare the best. In the competitive food industry, not taking advantage of social media is almost a death sentence.

Setting up your social media accounts is half the battle – it’s also essential you keep up with what’s happening on your social platforms. Social monitoring is crucial for you to determine what’s most relevant to your audience and observe what your followers have to say about your restaurant.

Building a social media presence for your restaurant can feel overwhelming, but start small and incorporate these tips into your strategy to increase awareness, generate engagement, and keep customers coming back.