For restaurants, engaging with their followers on social media can lead to a packed house, IRL.

Instagram followers can lead to real life customers, especially if your online audience has a relationship with your restaurant. Community engagement on social media can build that loyal relationship meaning a higher ROI for your social media strategy.

Communities Are Built in the Comments

Humanizing your brand and building relationships with your audience can be achieved in the comments section of your social media accounts. Don’t sell community engagement short — you can create repeat customers and future regulars before they even step foot into your restaurant.

As a restaurant owner or operator, you understand the importance of a human connection. What’s stopping your customers from getting take-out delivered or cooking at home? The people and ambiance of your place is the reason they’re coming in, so let that attitude, friendliness, and feeling show online, too. Use it to interact with your followers, whether it’s people who have never been inside or past customers wanting to reach out.

Triple O’s, for example, has an incredibly loyal following. For their brand, we prioritize community engagement, keeping in step with their relatable brand voice. We spoke to AntiSocial’s Social Strategist Andrew Tatton who leads the community engagement team for  Triple O’s. He discusses the importance of humanizing your brand online. 

Community engagement

“When it comes to building engagement for restaurants, communities are built in the comments: Generally, if people are following a page, it is because, in some way, they have a common interest or appreciation for that restaurant and the experience it provides. This makes it an ideal opportunity to create meaningful conversations in the comments to further connect those people. It also allows the restaurant itself to add a human element to their brand. It makes people feel as though they are speaking with the restaurant itself and that, in turn, builds incredible brand equity.” – Andrew Tatton, Social Strategist

Real-time Feedback For Your Restaurant

The benefits of community engagement reach beyond developing a relationship with your audience. Tatton tells us, it can provide real-time feedback:

“From a tactical standpoint, it is important to engage with comments because it a) gives you as a restaurant an opportunity to learn about what people are thinking about your restaurant, the experience and the food itself and b) allows you to get quick and valuable feedback on how you can be better and the type of content you should create to meet your audiences questions, needs, and concerns. Essentially, the comments section is an invaluable data tool for your restaurant. Kind of like a real-time survey.”

Plus, it can be kinder than Yelp.