Time and again we’ve spoken about the importance of social media in building your restaurant’s presence; it is the cheapest and easiest way to engage with your customers. As a restauranteur, it is essential to make the most of this channel to invite customers to visit or order from your restaurant. But we realized it might be overwhelming for beginners and that’s why we came up with some content ideas and examples that you can implement!
One such example was customer generated content; but involving your customers and followers in the process of promoting your restaurant is often overlooked. Hence, in this article we’ll focus on customer generated content, its benefits and how to use it to your advantage.
What is customer generated content?
Literally, as the name suggests, customer generated content comprises media pertaining to your restaurant organically posted by customers on online platforms. In simple terms it is posts, stories, reels, reviews, blogs and more, voluntarily uploaded by customers.
What are the advantages of customer generated content?
You can advertise your restaurant all you want, but it doesn’t compare to an authentic post by a customer. It is a fact that customers trust and buy into content posted by other customers much more easily than into content posted by the brand itself. Thus when someone apart from you speaks of your restaurant, it adds to your social proof.
The majority of restaurant customers rely on recommendations from friends and family to discover new places to visit or order from. When customers see content from others about their incredible experience at your restaurant, they will remember it and most likely will visit or order hoping for the same kind of experience.
You’ll be surprised at how keen customers are to be part of something their friends and family are involved with. Customers love sharing their experiences online and will bond with others over similar instances they’ve had at your restaurant. This adds to your word-of-mouth marketing and more customers will be willing to join the group of people sharing an experience at your restaurant.
The best part of customer generated content is that it’s voluntary and organic, you don’t have to pay a single penny for it. You simply have to create a moment for customers to share online, and repurpose the content they create.
What are some customer generated content ideas?
If there’s one thing you can guarantee that customers will do on their visit at your restaurant, is that they will check their phones, and more often than not they’re doing so to update their social media! Active customers constantly document their experiences on their stories, and it is essential that you keep an eye out for these. Check your tags and mentions, follow the right hashtags and get an update everytime there is a relevant content piece and repost it from your profiles. Not only does this add to your social proof, but it also gratifies the customer who posted the same to begin with.
Your customers actively look forward to sharing their experiences with friends and family; give them an opportunity to do the same by creating the perfect social media moment. For example, create a photobooth with your restaurant branding, or add statement pieces and branding to your decor, or add Instagram-worthy theatrics to your food and plating for customers to share. Don’t forget to create a branded hashtag and instruct customers to use them whenever they post something online. This adds to content around your restaurant, will amplify your online presence and will invite more people to visit or order!
Let’s face it, customers love freebies! And you can leverage this fact to host competitions and make a complete campaign around it. Whether it is a free meal, a discount or a dine-in offer, these contests will help you create a buzz and drive up customer engagement. For example, create a challenge around a new flavour or item you’re introducing to your menu! This helps you maximize your reach and engagement, as participating customers will rally their friends to like, comment and share!
Customers are most likely to share content to social media in exchange for instant benefits. Give out freebies and perks in exchange for a shoutout. Promise them a free drink or a complimentary dessert if they follow you on social media, post about your restaurant, and tag one friend in the post.
Last but not the least, take the onus of posting to social media on yourself. So what if customers are not sharing their experiences themselves? You can do that! Highlight events, add stories, write posts about the happenings at your restaurant and don’t forget to tag the customers who came in! In all likelihood, they will repost it to their profiles. Hence by doing the hard work for them, you can win shares and thus increase your reach!
To conclude customer generated content is free, easy, and extremely effective. It is low-risk marketing that you should make it a point to invest in. Leverage all social media platforms and review websites to take advantage of every piece of customer generated content around your restaurant!