How To Create The Best Restaurant Social Media Marketing Strategy
Social Media

How To Create The Best Restaurant Social Media Marketing Strategy


According to a survey done by Social Media Today, 30% of millennials avoid restaurants with a weak social media presence, especially on Instagram.

With the number of options social media users have nowadays, a weak restaurant social media marketing strategy can negatively affect your revenue and long-term success. 

It can be hard to know which social media sites to pay attention to and which ones to ignore, so in this blog post, we’ll talk about the platforms with the biggest potential for restaurant social media channels based on recent trends:

  • TikTok
  • Facebook
  • Instagram

In this article, we compared each platform and collected the best examples of restaurant social media marketing strategies that have worked effectively for others. 

Which Social Media Platform Is Best for Restaurants? 

Excluding messaging apps (such as WhatsApp and Telegram), TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram are among the top social media platforms worldwide.

Tiktok is the fastest-growing social media site nowadays. It only took them 3 years to amass their 1 billion followers, which Instagram built for over 6 years. 

On top of that, TikTok videos dominate many Instagram and Facebook Reels, which shows how versatile TikTok video content is.  

Although Twitter has great potential, we didn’t include it in the list because it is widely used for news and events-related content. 

However, some businesses still regard Twitter as a platform with much potential. Restaurants with multiple locations and fast food chains like Wendy’s, McDonalds, and Burger King use Twitter’s trending hashtags for social listening and to stay culturally relevant. 

We also didn’t include YouTube in this list because YouTube is usually used for long-form video content, and oftentimes, audiences do not refer to the platform to find new eating spots.

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How Do Restaurants Promote Themselves on Social Media?

According to Hootsuite’s Social Trends 2022 Report, more brands are using content creators to strengthen their social media presence.

For restaurants, this is an opportunity for you to find local based content creators to provide word-of-mouth marketing for your business. Including them in your social media strategy allows you to reach more people because they already have a sizable following. 

Moreover, you can save money on the costly content production process. Taking quality videos and images of your food means you have to pay for professional food photographers and videographers. 

Creating your own content this way is not sustainable in the long run. While the upfront costs of content creators pay off over time as their videos get more views daily. Consider using well-generated interview questions for restaurants to hire the best fit for you.


TikTok’s recent boom has made it one of the most important social media platforms for marketers. If other restaurants in your area aren’t on TikTok yet, they will be soon. 

Just like other social media sites, TikTok is focused on bringing entertainment. And the reason why it stands out so well is because of the creative ways content is being delivered to its audience. 

If you’re eyeing using TikTok for your restaurant social media marketing strategy, here’s how to do it for both paid and organic. 

Behind-the-scenes content

@davidwma Behind-the-scenes of a Michelin star dinner at Cocina Hermanos Torres #behindthescenes #foodstyling #learnontiktok #finedining ♬ Stories 2 - Danilo Stankovic

Highlight your food serving or food preparation techniques 

@davidwma Behind-the-scenes of a Michelin star dinner at Cocina Hermanos Torres #behindthescenes #foodstyling #learnontiktok #finedining ♬ Stories 2 - Danilo Stankovic

Content creator or social media influencer reviews

@highspeeddining Jungsik ⭐️⭐️ #MichelinStars Part 2 #nyc #koreanfood #restaurantreview #foodreview #foodtiktok #caviar #octopus #scallop #docueatery #highspeeddining ♬ original sound - Joel Haas

Social media algorithms are different for each platform. Although TikTok uses hashtags like Instagram, they show content differently. A TikTok hashtag search will recommend content based on several factors: (1) user interest, (2) video engagement rate, (3) audio used, (4) language and location, and (5) subject matter.

That’s why if you pick a trending audio or music, you can still be viral even if you only have a handful of followers or never had viral videos before!

How To Run Paid TikTok Ads 

TikTok has a wide range of ad types from images to videos and branded content. It’s the best alternative to static ads that do not show a lot of information or your product in action.

Like Facebook, TikTok’s Pixel also tracks activities on your website as soon as your target audience lands on it. 

TikTok for Restaurant Social Media
Different types of TikTok ads

Steps to create TikTok Ads: 

  1. Sign up for your own TikTok Business Ads Manager Account 
  2. Create and install your TikTok Pixel 
  3. Setup your first Ad Campaign 
  4. Setup your Ad Group 

Setting up an ad on TikTok is much like setting up an ad on any other platform. Among the best use cases of TikTok ads for restaurants is Chipotle’s Branded Hashtag Challenges like the #LidFlipChallenge and #GuacDance.

@chipotle Good times #chipotle #guacdance #avocado #fyp ♬ original sound - Chipotle


Everybody’s on Facebook nowadays and although it is not a new social media fad, it has the most ideal user base. More than 30% of Facebook user demographic are between the ages of 18-44, which is the best target age group for restaurants.  

These are income-generating individuals who have the money to spend and are too busy with work to cook at home. 

If you are not yet using Facebook for your restaurant social media marketing strategy, here’s how to do it for both paid and organic. 

Work with Food Vloggers or influencers 

Find well-known vloggers in your local community and work with them. Ask them to add location tags, mention your business page, and social media accounts.

Post evergreen content for FB Reels 

Evergreen content is the type of content that stays the same or relevant even years later. The reason why you want to post evergreen video reels is that you cannot do a manual search on FB reels, at least for now.  

Facebook suggests reels on your feed based on your recent interests. So you might want to stay away from using themes, music, or anything trendy that gets old after some time. 

Facebook audiences don’t often share content on their timeline unless your content has triggered an emotion in them. Relevance and freshness is still a major factor for virality on Facebook. 

If you can find recent trending memes, topics, and discussions, you can ride the tide and get engagement on that, too. Many restaurants include ideas like this in their social strategy.

However, just a word of warning, it still depends on your business’ image and brand voice. Also, be careful when using memes on your restaurant’s Facebook page for cultural appropriation and political correctness. 

How to make better Facebook Ads Than Your Competitors

There’s a nifty trick marketers use to know their competitors’ Facebook Ads. Simply go to your competitor’s Facebook page, go down to Page Transparency, and click on “See All”. Click on “Go to Ad library” and voila, you’ll see their ads. 

  • If you want to create the best ads for your restaurant, use video content that has already performed well before. As much as possible, make the experience of watching your ad feel natural to the person who scrolls. 
  • Use video content with people who are experiencing your food and service in it. Invite content creators to visit your restaurant for a free meal. You can also offer free dinners or discounts to encourage customers to leave detailed online reviews.
  • Use high-quality videos only. Follow Facebook’s guidelines when it comes to the size of the videos to use.

There’s also another Facebook ads strategy that’s becoming popular nowadays and it’s called Influencer Whitelisting. It’s when you use another person’s or an influencer’s page for your sponsored ads.

Influencer whitelisting allows you to work with influencers or content creators who make amazing compelling content and whose target audience are receptive to their social recommendations. 

When people interact with pages they already have liked or followed before they don’t usually notice it is a sponsored ad they are looking at. 

Moreover, user-generated content from influencers shows more truthfulness to any claims or positive feedback about your restaurant’s food and their overall experience. This leads to better engagement and ROI. 

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Instagram’s algorithm shows content from hashtag search based on these two factors: (1) freshness and (2) engagement rate in the first hour upon posting.

This is also the reason why those with a high follower count on Instagram tend to have more viral posts because they can get a lot of likes, shares, and comments in the least amount of time.

Despite that, restaurants are still flocking over to Instagram for more online reach.

Use Instagram Collections 

Instagram Collections are a great way to categorize your restaurant menu items or the overall experience people will get when they come to your restaurant. Use visually attractive images of your menu items or post user-generated content from your restaurant goers.

Always have relevant hashtags

This Instagram account below shows up on #newyorkrestaurant search on IG, and it’s because they always have that hashtag in all of their posts. 

  • Go live videos are vital to every restaurant’s social media success. You get a lot more engagement across every social platform. You can use streaming apps so you can live stream on your restaurant’s social media profiles at the same time.
  • Show the experience 

In an aesthetic-first social media platform like Instagram, your image or video content should give your potential customers an experience. 

The way they sliced that steak already made you crave it. And that’s a killer restaurant marketing strategy.

Feed the eyes – Mind your branding! 

When creating images for your posts, keep the same presets and filters, fonts, and colors of your business’ branding. You should be giving off a consistent tone on your restaurant’s social media profiles as your audience scrolls through. 

Host social media contests

Another common restaurant marketing strategy is social media contests. You can offer meals, trips, or gifts that are completely free and use them to increase your following.

Encourage visitors to share photos, leave reviews, or for your target audience to tag friends, and share the post. This will help you gain new customers and more followers in the least amount of time.

Using Instagram for Paid Ads

Instagram and Facebook both belong to the same company, you can schedule posts and run ads on both platforms simultaneously. You also don’t need to have an Instagram account to be able to run ads, but it’s better to be present on both.

Here’s how to run an Instagram or Facebook ad:

To select Instagram as a placement for your ads:

  1. Go to Ads Manager.
  2. Choose Create.
  3. Click on the objective that supports Instagram as an ad placement.
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Add the details for your ad set.
  6. For the placements section, you have two options: (1) Manual Placements, and (2) Automatic Placements. For manual placements, choose Instagram because that’s where you want your ads to run. If you choose Automatic placements, Facebook will choose which placements work best for you on both Facebook and Instagram based on what works best for your ads.
  7. Select Continue.

To have the best results on Instagram ads, we recommend that you use videos. Videos have better engagement rate than photos and it’s the best way to show off your food and service.

If you want to test other ad placements, Instagram stories are also highly recommended. According to Instagram, 500 million people (or half of everyone on Instagram) watch stories every day. This means you have the potential to reach more people via IG stories.

If you run Instagram ads expect to be flooded with messages. Responsiveness is a make or break for many customers. Your social media efforts and ad spending will be wasted if you can’t keep your response times fast enough for your customers.


TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram are undoubtedly the best place increase brand awareness nowadays. It’s hard to do all of it alone, so it’s easier to find a social media agency that will help you create the best marketing plan for your restaurant.

Leave that task of posting consistently, working with influencers, responding to messages, and optimizing your ads to the experts who has done this before.

A weak social media presence can mean death for your restaurant business. But when done right, you can bring in a good volume of foot traffic to your restaurant’s location daily.


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