800-316-3198 [email protected]

HotOperator is one of the leading experts on restaurant social media. Here are the 7 Keys to Success for Restaurant Social Media.

Social media for restaurants is much more valuable than most restaurant operators realize. Most operators struggle with keeping up with their social media marketing. They get busy with other things, and it can be difficult to know what to do and how to do it. Here are the HotOperator restaurant social media 7 keys to success.

Instagram & FacebookKey #1: Connect Instagram and Facebook

There are a lot of social media platforms out there, and it can be difficult to know which to put your energy (and money) behind. The nice thing about Facebook is, it’s still very powerful, and it connects with Instagram, so it can be used as a single platform. Keep in mind that what posts on Facebook doesn’t always work that well on Instagram. So, you’ll need to alter the posts a little from one to the next. But what you post on Facebook will work on Instagram, and they can be posted together at one time.

Also, on Facebook and Instagram, with the reels, you can post your TikTok videos on Instagram and Facebook to get more eyes on your creations. Keep things photo driven, use videos to grab attention, and most importantly, get professional help with your design, photography and video production so your viewers think highly of you.

Key #2: Establishing A Clear Voice.

Every brand is made up of a  ‘personality’, and what we do at HotOperator is interview our clients about what their brand represents. It’s a fun process that includes establishing the personal character of the place or places your restaurant represents. Here is what we look for in our social media personality, and keep in mind, this reaches every platform we post on, and it also is the driver behind our reputation on review sites.

  • If you had to pick a gender, which best fits your brand?
  • How old is the person that best represents your brand?
  • If your restaurant(s) came to life, what movie star would be picked for the lead role?


Once established, you should be able to picture that person talking in your social media posts and review responses. And anyone who is working on your social media marketing will need to do their best to speak that voice. 

Key #3: Define Your Social Media Look

Social media, all social media, is a visual place. It’s fashion trending and depends on photos and videos to make an impact. To that end, it is essential for your business to have a look that is an extension of your business.

This is much more difficult than it sounds. It’s not just about shooting a photo of some food and putting a logo in the corner. It’s about  coming up with a branded look that is appealing and will carry your message to the largest number of potential customers.

Key #4: Interact With People

One of the most powerful keys to success for your social media program is to interact with people in your network. They need to feel like they belong, like you’re listening to them, and that you care about them. 

The key to a successful social media program is to have it be a conversation. It’s not just about posting a photo now and again. I guarantee you, your occasional posts are being ignored. Getting your social media program to go from good to great is about getting your guests and potential guests to talk to you on your sites.

When your guests comment, when they post, and when they like and love what you post, your social media will really take off. Getting them to do that is tricky and takes time. People have to feel like they are being listened to before they will say anything to you or about you on social media.

HotOperator PostsKey #5: Post (a lot)

It may sound obvious, but it needs to be said: The best way to grow a social account is to post consistently and post often.

If you’re not posting every day, you’re not posting enough. Hell, you can even repeat yourself now and again. When you look at your social media network, keep in mind, you spend a lot more time on your pages than anybody else. So if you post something one week, it’s perfectly okay to post that same thing again the following week.

One thing we do is develop a special feature on any given Tuesday, and then run that each and every Tuesday for the month. Maybe it’s a special on wings, or a drink special, or a featured item. Once it’s established, keep running it so your guests come to expect it, and stop into your restaurant for it.

Key #6: Put Together A Budget

Here’s the deal, Mark Zuckerberg and people like him are smart. Probably smarter than any of us. And they know how to make money. They’ve got shit-tons of it. All social media platforms are advertising media sources. They all depend on people like you spending a couple of hundred dollars each month to reach ‘your’ guests. I put quotation marks on your guests because they are not your guests. They may follow your page, but you’re not going to reach them just because you posted a lovely photo of your food.

The only way to reach a large number of people on social media each month is to pay to reach them. It sucks, but it’s true. Paid posts, advertising, boosts, they work. And if you don’t pay to reach your potential guest you’re not going to be in front of many of them.

If you have a few thousand followers on any given social media site, when you post a photo, you’re likely to get in front of a few dozen people unless you’re giving something away for free. And even then, you’ll maybe get in front of a hundred or so people. But the moment you put $35.00 to $100.00 behind the post, you’re going to get in front of more than a thousand people.

Key #7: Make A Calendar

Social media is a complicated process that requires knowing in advance what you want to talk about. It is essential to have a calendar to work from at least a month in advance. In this way, you will be able to plan events, schedule posts and gather together information and photos as the month progresses.

Keep in mind, the calendar is a guide, and not carved in stone. It’s fine if it changes from time-to-time. But having a calendar at the ready will keep you on track, and help you post every day.

HotOperator can help you develop award winning creative and social media direction for your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok accounts. We work with you to come up with ideas for promotions, creative content, calendars and your social media presence. Want to learn more? Connect with our team!