For a restaurant, posting high-quality photos and videos on social media can be a make or break tactic to driving revenue. The restaurants with the best social media presence remember a few key social media tips: share visual content, post consistently, stay relevant, and promote engagement from the audience while also engaging with the audience.

By considering these tips and also creating various types of visual content, social media can certainly help drive business to your restaurant. Check out some of the types of visual content that will boost holiday revenue this year.

1. Daily, weekly, or monthly specials

During the holiday season, menus may change on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis depending on the restaurant. First, it is important for restaurants to establish a strategy for their seasonal offerings, and then once decided, share all over social media. Post a photo on Wednesday to share the holiday special for all those who dine in from 3-6 pm or the event space for Monday nights that can be reserved by private dinner parties of 10 people. Bostonia Public House recently created a “date night special” on Tuesday nights that consists of two glasses of wine, a shared appetizer, two entrees, and a shared dessert for $75, and it has been a hit.

This year is unlike any other, so with less commuting and different schedules, people may be interested in specials that are offered on seemingly “random” days. Post about these specials in the form of photos, videos, infographics, or user-generated content so that everyone knows about them when planning their holiday meals out.

2. Testimonials

Did someone have a wonderful experience with your restaurant recently and is willing to speak about it on your behalf? These testimonials, even if just a sentence or two, are a powerful tool to include on social media. Use the design tool Canva to put the blurb into a pretty template that looks on-brand for your restaurant and post the image on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

The power of social proof and sharing experiences straight from the mouth of your happy customer is a piece of content that could be the most impactful to a follower looking at your page. Collect and organize testimonials over time, because they can be used in all sorts of marketing and sales materials.

3. Holiday decor

Show your followers that your restaurant is bringing the holiday spirit this year in big and small ways. Share photos of the added touches of seasonal centerpieces placed on tables or holiday ribbons on takeout bags. Does your chef dress up in a Santa Claus costume every year to bring the fun to employees? Is there a menorah in the entranceway? Share it on social media!

This keeps you relevant to the season and shows you are not just recycling food photos from the summer months. And be sure to be inclusive of as many holidays as possible so that everyone feels involved. Unless your Instagram followers are like the Grinch, they’ll enjoy seeing posts about how your restaurant can update content to stay relevant for the holiday season.

4. Holiday DIYs with IGTV, Facebook Live, or Reels

Since there is so much creativity that can be found in the hospitality industry during the holiday season, use social media to share what your restaurant knows about preparing a great holiday dinner, a perfect holiday cocktail, or a classy holiday wreath. Instagram and Facebook have so many ways to share these experiences in an educational way, such as through IGTV, Facebook Live or Reels.

Film your bartender making a seasonal cocktail and explaining the ingredients, history of the drink, how it is best served, and its secret ingredients. Post it all in a short IGTV video. Use Facebook Live to give a longer demonstration of your chef putting together a fancy holiday dinner or your pastry chef creating the tastiest dessert. Even if the video is not seen by many people while live, it will be saved as a post on your Facebook page and shared in your feed to be found later by your followers.

Reels, Instagram’s most recent 15-30 second video feature, is a quick way to engage followers through short-form video. Reels could be used for a sped-up version of the content that you might share in a DIY cocktail IGTV video, for example. Your restaurant could use reels in the form of a Q&A about the venue, showing and answering commonly asked questions about the restaurant or diving deep into the culture, history, team, experience, and menu. Show the question in bold letters in the reel thumbnail so that followers know what the Reel is about. The possibilities are endless, but trying out various features on the social media apps will lead you to what sticks and drives the most business. As an Instagram follower of many brands and businesses, I always appreciate it when I see accounts taking advantage of the latest social media features to share their messages.

5. Giveaways, contests, and challenges

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned staying engaged with followers and non-followers. The key to getting the Instagram algorithm to work in your favor is to set up your content so that people will want to engage with it. For example, maybe you could set up a holiday giveaway or contest that requires participants to like a post, follow your account, and tag a friend (or five) in the comments that they would want to dine with at your restaurant. Give unlimited entries for 24 hours, and announce the winner on social media later on, and give them a prize like a $100 gift card or a live cooking demonstration with the chef. This helps your engagement through commenting, liking, and gaining new followers all due to the contest.

Another route to push engagement could be by creating social media challenges. Create a photo a day challenge that requires participants to post a certain activity and tag your restaurant every day for the month of December. Set up Instagram stories that ask fill-in-the-blank questions or polls to get followers to physically interact with the story. Figure out what content will make your audience want to engage, and come up with a plan to post that type of content.

The second part of engagement is consistently responding back to the followers that engage with your account. Comment back to people on posts, reply to Instagram DMs, and repost content that tags your restaurant so that your followers (and the IG algorithm) know that you also engage as a business. Increased engagement will help increase overall performance and growth on Instagram and other platforms.

More resources

Need more tips on social media marketing, visual content, and holiday marketing? Take a look at these posts from the Tripleseat blog:

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