5 Social Media Marketing Mistakes Restaurant Owners Should Never Make

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Marketing on social media is critical for any business in this day and age, and restaurants are no different. Social media marketing allows you to access a huge audience, engage with your customers, generate a following, promote your product, and attract new customers, all for comparatively low cost and effort. This is one of the joys of social media – anyone can use it. So, many restaurants can and do conduct their own social media marketing.

With so many businesses fumbling their way through their online marketing, there’s bound to be mistakes. If you are an owner/manager/marketer, there’s some simple rules to keep in mind to make sure your efforts are working for you rather than against you. Here are the five social media marketing mistakes restaurant owners should never make:


Not Using Analytics

If you’re not measuring the impact of your social media marketing, how do you know that it’s working? You don’t. Without analytics you are just throwing content out there and hoping it sticks.

Even the simplest metrics – number of likes, shares, reach… – will give you an idea about what posts work for your business. Use this to guide your future efforts.

Lacking Cohesion in Branding Across Platforms

Put simply: your website should match your Facebook should match your Instagram should match your restaurant premises. Everything should work together to send one common, strong signal. Customers like to know what they’re getting.

If a prospective customer finds your Facebook page and it looks very casual and basic, then they click through to your website and it is high-end, formal, they’re only going to be confused and turned off.

Not Taking Social Media Seriously

Social media has enormous power. Many tech-savvy restaurants are working off of purely social media presence and marketing and their businesses are thriving.

Having an incomplete Facebook page or no presence on Google is a huge marketing mistake for restaurants. Sponsoring posts on Facebook and Instagram is definitely worthy of consideration for your marketing budget.


Neglecting Feedback or Responding Inappropriately

This is a doozy. The online review culture has been one of the biggest game changers for restaurants with the rise of social media. People read reviews and quite often reviews have a lot of sway over their decision making.

One of the biggest mistakes restaurants make on social media is not responding or responding poorly to feedback. People will read your response to reviews, so keep them upbeat and appreciative when responding to positive reviews – signal that you appreciate every single one of your customers and don’t take positive feedback for granted.

For bad reviews, take the high road. Lashing out at even the most unreasonable of reviews will damage your image, and ignoring them is dangerous too. Respond with explanation, compassion, explanation and apology.

Being Inauthentic

People can smell a rat if you’re pretending to be something you’re not. A huge part of branding is sticking to the image you’re trying to portray and the message you’re trying to send. You know who you are as a restaurant and what you’re about, make sure that’s what is being conveyed in your social media post.

Trying to appeal to everyone is a marketing mistake restaurants make far too often. You’ve grown your audience because they like what you do and feel an affinity with your brand. Putting up something that goes against this is only going to turn them off.

Health food restaurants putting up a post that positions them as a “beer and burger” venue is going to alienate loyal customers. Similarly, if a burger bar starts posting about the benefits of their kale chips and wheatgrass shots, they’re going to lose their target audience.


Owning a restaurant now often comes with the added responsibility of social media marketing manager. If you choose to go it alone and do your online marketing yourself, just keep these tips in mind. Steer away from these five social media marketing mistakes restaurant owners should never make and you’ll be one step closer to being an SMM guru!

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