Updated: Apr 11
User-generated content (UGC) is an invaluable asset to any restaurant’s marketing strategy. It’s free, organic, and a powerful way to engage with customers, build positive word-of-mouth and promote your restaurant’s offerings.
User-generated content is any type of content created by your customers that you can use to promote your brand.
The main types of user-generated content that restaurants can use to increase their visibility and engagement:
Reviews: Reviews are one of the most powerful forms of UGC, because they provide a platform for customers to share their experiences with a restaurant. Reviews can be used to provide valuable feedback and help businesses make improvements.
Photos: Using customers' photos to showcase your restaurant's offerings is a great way to give potential customers an authentic glimpse of the atmosphere, and to create a visual story for your restaurant. These photos are shared on the customers social media, but they can also be reshared on your social media and used to create an engaging visual story for your restaurant. So, the next time one of your customers takes a photo at your restaurant, make sure to reshare it on your social media accounts and make the most of the opportunity.
Videos: Videos are a great way to show off the restaurant’s food and atmosphere. They can be used to create a virtual tour of the restaurant, provide cooking tutorials, or give customers a behind-the-scenes look at the restaurant.
By harnessing the power of user-generated content in your restaurant’s marketing, you can build trust and credibility, boost engagement, and increase sales.
Here are some tips for leveraging UGC to boost your restaurant’s marketing efforts:
1. Create a hashtag:
Create a unique hashtag for your restaurant and encourage customers to share their experiences with others by using it when posting about your restaurant on social media. This will help you enhance customer engagement, build a sense of community, and create more visibility for your restaurant with user-generated content. #[restaurantname] is the perfect hashtag for your restaurant – start using it today!
Some other tag ideas are:
# HungryForMore - Show off your delicious dishes and mouth-watering meals with this hashtag.
# FoodieFrenzy - Let your customers know that they are in for a treat when they visit your restaurant.
# YumYumYum - Capture the joy of eating your delicious meals with this hashtag. # TasteExplosion - Make your customers' mouths water with this hashtag.
# FoodHeaven - Let your customers know that your restaurant is the place to be for amazing food.
# DineInStyle - Show off your delicious food and beautiful interior with this hashtag. # ChefMasterpiece - Give recognition to your talented chefs with this hashtag.
# ChefsChoice - Let your chefs showcase their best dishes with this hashtag.
# RestaurantVibes - Show off the atmosphere and energy of your restaurant with this hashtag.
# HungryForSuccess - Share your success stories and achievements with this hashtag.
# TreatYourself - Encourage your customers to pamper themselves with a visit to your restaurant.
# DeliciousDishes - Highlight all the amazing food your restaurant has to offer.
# DineOut - Invite customers to come out and enjoy your restaurant's delicious food.
# FoodPorn - Show off your delicious dishes with this hashtag.
# LetsEat - Make it easy for customers to find you with this hashtag.
# FoodTasting - Allow customers to get a taste of your restaurant with this hashtag. # FoodEnthusiast - Show your customers that you have a passion for great food.
# CulinaryExperience - Let customers know that your restaurant provides an amazing experience.
# FoodieLife - Let your customers know that your restaurant is the perfect place to satisfy their cravings.
# EatsAndTreats - Share your delicious dishes and desserts with this hashtag.
2. Actively encourage customer reviews:
Encourage customers to leave online reviews about their experience with your restaurant on popular review sites like TripAdvisor, and Google. These reviews are an invaluable source of UGC and can help potential customers get an idea of what they can expect at your restaurant.
Ways to encourage customers to write reviews:
- Send Personalized Emails: Reaching out to customers with personalized emails is a great way to encourage them to leave reviews for your restaurant. Make sure to include a link to the review site in the email to make it easy for customers to leave a review.
- Offer a Discount: Offer customers a discount or incentive for taking the time to leave a review for your restaurant.
- Make it Easy: Make sure that your customers can easily find the review sites for your restaurant. Place a link to the review sites on your website and in the emails that you send out.
- Ask in Person: Ask your customers in person if they could spare a few minutes to leave a review for your restaurant.
- Use Social Media: Don’t forget to leverage the power of social media to get the word out about your restaurant. Post reminders and links to the review sites on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to encourage customers to leave reviews.
- Leave Reminders: Place friendly reminders around your restaurant asking customers to leave a review.
- Offer Rewards: Consider offering rewards such as free meals or discounts to customers who leave reviews.
- Respond to Reviews: Responding to reviews is a great way to show customers that you value their feedback.
- Share Positive Reviews: Share positive reviews on your social media accounts to show customers how happy other customers are with your restaurant.
- Give Thanks: Make sure to thank customers for taking the time to leave reviews. This will show that you appreciate their feedback and encourage others to do the same.
3. Host Contests and Giveaways
Host an exciting giveaway to get your audience sharing their own creative content! Encourage user-generated content by offering a prize to the most creative, inspiring, or entertaining submission.
You can offer anything from gift cards to promotional items, and you'll be sure to get your audience talking and engaging with your brand.
Whether it's a giveaway for the best photo or video submission, or a contest to come up with the most creative caption, giveaways are an effective way to get your audience involved and generate content for you.
If you’re a restaurant owner looking to boost customer loyalty and create some buzz around your eatery, a giveaway could be just the thing to draw in new customers and reward those who already frequent your establishment. Giveaways are a great way to generate interest and excitement, and they’re a fun way to get people talking about your restaurant.
Giveaway ideas for your restaurant are:
- Gift Cards: Everyone loves gift cards, and offering them as prizes is a great way to get people coming back to your restaurant. .
- Free Meals: Offering free meals to your customers is a great giveaway.
- Merchandise: Offering merchandise such as t-shirts, hats, mugs, and more are a great way to get your restaurant’s name out there.
- Experiences: Offering experiences such as cooking classes, wine tasting, and even private dinners with the chef are sure to be a hit with customers.
4. Leverage influencers:
Restaurants have the opportunity to engage with influencers to actively generate content that will both drive customer engagement and increase their online presence. By collaborating with influencers, restaurants can leverage their reach and expertise to create content that will resonate with their audience.
Restaurants should focus on finding influencers that align with their brand values and will be able to showcase their unique offerings to the right audience.
By utilizing influencers to actively generate content, restaurants can increase their visibility and create a positive online presence.
- Host Events: Invite influencers to host events at your restaurant. These could be anything from a themed dinner night to a special event with a celebrity. This type of event is a great opportunity for influencers to network and show off their content-creation skills for their followers. It also provides you with plenty of content to share on your own social media channels.
- Offer Discounts: Offer influencers discounts or special offers to encourage them to post about your restaurant. This could be anything from a free meal or drink to a discount on their entire bill. Many influencers are more likely to post if they know they’re getting something in return.
- Takeover Social Media Accounts: Have influencers take over your restaurant’s social media accounts for a day or two. This lets them showcase their content-creation skills, while also giving you an opportunity to promote your restaurant to a larger audience.
- Promote Contests and Giveaways: Ask influencers to promote contests or giveaways related to your restaurant. This could be anything from a free meal to a gift card. This type of promotion is a great way to get more people interested in your restaurant and can help increase customer engagement.
- Offer Free Meals: Offering free meals to influencers is a great way to get them talking about your restaurant. Not only will they get to experience your food, they’ll also be more likely to share their experience with their followers. This can be a great way to increase engagement and reach a wider audience.
With the right strategies and incentives in place, you can take advantage of the potential benefits of UGC and start seeing the benefits today.