Most businesses are aware that social media is crucial to a thriving customer base, but some are still indecisive about Pinterest – especially restaurants. Why the apprehension? Pinterest has become one of the most popular social media platforms, even for businesses. While they may not know it, restaurants can utilize Pinterest to visually brand their business, increase new customer potential and engage with followers.
Pinterest is simple to use, and relies on images to grab users’ attention. Pinterest acts like a virtual bulletin board where users pin images they like onto boards they create so they can share what they love with their followers.
Creating a Pinterest page for your business is easy and simple to do. You’ll want to set up your restaurant as a business account, verify your restaurant’s URL and link to the Facebook and Twitter accounts. When selecting a username, try to stick with your restaurant’s name if possible. Sometimes usernames are already taken, so you’ll need to get creative but don’t get too crazy – you’ll want to make sure it’s searchable for followers. Be sure to include a short description about your restaurant so potential customers will know more about you and visit in the future.
One of the main concerns most restaurants have when adding another social media page is time. Pinterest doesn’t require a large amount of time, but by installing the Pin It button to your website, users can pin your menu listings, blog articles (if applicable) and images with a direct link back to your website.
Ways to Promote Your Restaurant
With a restaurant, there are plenty of ways to visually promote your brand on Pinterest. Followers will be looking for beautiful pictures of your food, and even behind the scenes action.
When you create a board, keep in mind each one should deal with a specific topic. The board name should be simple, and include keywords for searchability. It’s perfectly fine to get creative with your board names, but shorter category titles are the easiest to understand. Here are some great topics every restaurant should be pinning about:
- Food – The most obvious, but important category. Food boards are one of the most followed on Pinterest, so take advantage of it! Use your menu as your guideline and create boards that follow it; creating ones with your appetizers, pizza, pasta, dessert and more. If you’re known for specialty cocktails, create a board with those as well. You can also create boards based on what in-season produce you’re using and having specials for.
- Restaurant Tours – Pinterest users love “behind the scenes” shots at restaurants. It gives them a more personal feel and lets them see things they don’t get to on a normal visit to your establishment. Include shots of your dining room, bar, outdoor seating and kitchen(s). Post pictures of your friendly staff members and awesome customers (with their permission of course).
- Merchandise – Does your restaurant sell merchandise? Add them to a Pinterest board! Pin your t-shirts, glasses and more to the board, and also pin products you recommend followers would enjoy such as your chef’s favorite kitchen tools and more.
- Volunteer Work – Create a board dedicated to the charities your restaurant supports or the volunteer work you perform. This not only gives light to these charities and efforts, but also builds a positive reputation for your restaurant
- Local Attractions – Support local businesses by creating a board dedicated to your neighborhood and city. Pin places to shop, fun things to do around town and other places to stop and enjoy a bite to eat or a drink.
- Influences – Does your restaurant focus on barbeque, sushi, steak, pizza, pasta or drinks? Create a board filled with recipes to try out and new products to use. This will help inspire your chefs and followers with new ideas!
- Brand – Create a board that supports what your brand is all about. If you’re a sports bar, pin favorite sport teams, if you’re a health-based restaurant, create boards involving fitness and healthy recipes or if you’re restaurant showcases live music pin musical acts from your shows. Think about your brand and make boards that follow suit.
- Holidays – Some of the most popular boards to create are ones based on the seasons and whatever holiday is approaching. Followers love new recipes to try out or new crafts to create for the season, so be sure to do the same and create boards for the holidays!
Final Tips and Pointers
Remember, with all social media the final goal is to invite new customers to your restaurant. The more active you are on Pinterest, the better you’ll engage with followers. Be social with your followers and who you follow; whether it’s repining, commenting, liking posts or inviting others to post to your boards. After all, social is in the word social media!
Don’t focus on your own restaurant when pinning, no one wants to have their news feed filled up with pins all about you. Practice the 80/20 rule from FSR Magazine where “80 percent of your pins contain helpful information, and at most, 20 percent of your pins self-promote.”
While Pinterest is fun (and addicting) you don’t want to fill up news feeds with hundreds of pins at once, so pin slowly to spread your content out over the course of weeks or months. You want your pins to be shown in followers’ news feeds throughout the year so you’re always on their mind!
Infographics and contests are hot on social media right now, and Pinterest is no different. Design a fun infographic about your brand or restaurant, or hold contests (best recipe, win a dinner for two, etc.). When creating boards and adding descriptions, use keywords for SEO purposes so your pins and website are easily found in online searches. Don’t forget to promote your Pinterest page by linking it to you website and other social platforms, as well as your blog.
At the end of the day, Pinterest is meant to be fun! So make your restaurant’s Pinterest page fun to follow and engage with. Sell your restaurant, but more importantly make a connection with potential customers.