Social for the Holidays – Fishbowl’s Holiday Social Strategy Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year to plan for success.

The holidays seem to start earlier every year and with them brings tougher competition among restaurants. Success around the holidays boils down to one major shift: starting early. This means starting holiday promotion sooner in the year, even when diners (and you) may be reluctant to. Here are four tips for using social media to help your restaurant stand out from the crowd.

Plan Ahead

Waiting until the holidays to start promoting on social media will not leave enough time to bring you the results you are looking for. Before things get hectic, create a posting schedule outlining campaigns and goals for the weeks leading up to and during the holiday season. Pay special attention to the biggest consumer days such as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Scheduling posts in advance allow you to focus on what’s important during the holidays, your restaurant.

Highlight Specials

Though diners connect with restaurant social accounts because they had a positive dining experience, they ultimately follow along to learn about exclusive content and special promotions. The best way to build excitement and increase sales is to share promotions and provide advanced notice of new menus and events. Take it a step further: Diners are creatures of habit, particularly when it comes to the holidays. If a gift card offer was a hit last year, it is sure to be top of mind again this year for those who made a purchase.

Create a Connection

Feeling connected is a large part of what makes the holidays so special and coincidentally what drives social media success. This can be done by sharing behind the scenes details that make your restaurant unique. Use rich imagery and videos that showcase past holiday events, creation of new menu items, and sneak peek at upcoming offers. Take it a step further: Customers often use social media to contact restaurants with requests and questions. Respond to all comments, questions and private messages so engaged audience members feel heard.

Reach Your Audience

Getting the restaurant name to as many potential diners as possible should be the main focus leading up to the holiday season. It is important to set up ads that target people who are more likely to pay attention and eventually place an order. After creating awareness, the focus can then be shifted to driving reservations by promoting limited-time or special offers and promotional holidays (i.e. Small Business Saturday). This would be another wise time to leverage video and detailed images to showcase the best the restaurant has to offer. Take it a step further: Turn new diners into regulars by continuing your ad campaign into the New Year with targeting.

The holiday season provides many opportunities to grow and connect with your audience online. This is a great time to plan for ways to connect with returning and potential diners leveraging rich imagery, special promotions and advertising.

This blog was written by Fishbowl’s SMB Content Director, Jessika Schweinsberg.