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3 Social Media Ideas for Restaurants to Stand out This Holiday Season

November 22nd, 2016 Marketing Social Media Written by Wes Parsel

holiday social media blog

Holiday carolers, chestnuts roasting on an open flame, and 2,237+ unopened emails—the holidays are a noisy time with companies flooding inboxes, mailboxes, and website ad space. Everyone is vying for your customers’ attention, and on top of it all, you’re juggling holiday parties, catering orders, and festive get-togethers at your restaurant.

Don’t give up! While the holidays are a busy time for both you and your customers, we’ve got a game plan that will help you grab attention (and business) amidst this snow-flurry of media.

Here are three low-cost, high impact social media ideas for restaurants like yours to you stand out this holiday season. They’re are easy to incorporate into your marketing mix as you plan for the new year ahead, and will help keep the orders coming.

Want more expert social media ideas for restaurants? Download our comprehensive ebook with strategies for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, and watch the followers—and orders—roll in.

Read the eBook

3 Social Media Ideas for Restaurants to Stand Out During the Holidays:

1. Show Off Your Holiday Specials on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat

The holidays are a time for delicious and decadent treats—ones that customers enjoy themselves and purchase to share with friends and family. Whether you make a mean gingerbread cookie or serve seasonal tamales that fly out the door, now is the time to show off your restaurant’s unique holiday fare.

Take quality pictures of your offerings and post them to all of your social channels. Don’t forget to include a link to your online ordering so your followers can instantly get a taste of the celebration.

Customers are more likely to choose your restaurant if it has a branded mobile app.

2. Tell Your Authentic Story on Instagram

You know the saying, people eat with their eyes first? What better way to connect with your foodie followers than with a visual slideshow that authentically captures the culinary process and the people behind your most craved dishes.

Instagram Stories is a feature that allows you to take pictures and videos and sequence them together, each one live and viewable to your Instagram followers for 24 hours. 

Check out, for example, Pizzana, a ChowNow restaurant client based in LA that does an awesome job on Instagram and uses Stories to take customers behind the scenes at the restaurant. Take a page from their book, or continue reading below, for some great ideas around what you can do to craft a holiday story for your Instagram followers that gets them in the spirit and breaks through the mundane advertising they’ve grown numb to already.

Instagram storylines for your restaurant to try:

  • Step-by-step food prep of your most popular seasonal dish
  • One-on-one interview with the chef, or a weekly rotating staff spotlight
  • Promote new menu items and lunch or dinner specials to stir up people’s cravings
  • Limited time promotions: “Get a free drink with your lunch when you screen-shot this and show it to your server!”

If you’re just getting started on Instagram, check out our social media guide and then try out an Instagram Story one afternoon when the kitchen gets quiet after lunch rush.

3. Spur Some Healthy Competition with a Social Media Contest

Picture the scene after Thanksgiving dinner. Or the living room on Christmas Day, after all of the gifts have been opened. Everyone’s on the couch. And — like it or not — everyone’s on their phone!

Turn their scrolls into actual engagement with your restaurant by running a simple social media contest. This tactic incentivizes customers to spread love for your food to their friends and family.

Here’s our easy-to-execute formula for a successful social media contest:chownow_holiday_instagram_contest

  1. Pick the social media platform you’re most active on: Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter? For this example, let’s go with Instagram.
  2. Create a hashtag that’s unique to your restaurant. Example: #HudsonsHolidays
  3. Post an image on Instagram daily or twice a week with the caption “CONTEST: Show us how you holiday! Post your favorite seasonal dish (homemade or takeout) and include the hashtag #HudsonsHolidays in your caption to be entered to win a $25 gift card from us to you. We’ll pick a weekly winner every Friday in the month of December!”
  4. Announce the winner by reposting their image using the Repost app.
  5. Gift this person their gift card prize the next time they come into the restaurant.

Get creative! The best social media ideas for restaurants always spark interaction. If you’re a ChowNow restaurant client and want to run some ideas past us for feedback, schedule a call — we’re eager to weigh in. And if you don’t already have online ordering at your restaurant, ‘tis the season. Get a free ChowNow demo from one of our experts to get started today!

About the Author

Wes Parsel is a member of the ChowNow Restaurant Success team. In his free time, you’ll find Wes riding bikes, baking sourdough bread, and dreaming about his next culinary adventure.



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