Food PR: Top social media marketing apps for restaurants

Whilst the press has been full of stories surrounding the apparent demise of British nightclubs- with around half closing their doors in the last ten years- it would seem bar, restaurant and cafe culture is in rude health.
This is certainly the case here in Manchester, Smoking Gun’s hometown. The city has witnessed an exponential explosion in food establishments. From hipster burger bars like Almost Famous, to upmarket carnivore haunts such as Hawksmoor and Gaucho, taster menus at Manchester House and The French, Pho’s Vietnamese basement to burritos in the Arndale Food Market, it’s possible to travel the world through tastes without leaving the sprawl of Cottonopolis.
Sadly, though, as the MEN reported earlier this month, Mr. Michelin and his sought after gastronomic guide still hasn’t awarded any eateries in the metropolis with an elusive star. Nevertheless, many taste very good indeed. But with more options comes more competition, meaning it’s harder than ever to stand out amongst the crowd. The result being an increased emphasis on savvy marketing techniques that fully exploit both the technology available and public trends, ensuring potential customers notice what’s on offer.
Inspired to help out, we’ve put together the following list of top social media marketing apps for restaurants and bars, so take a look and see what might suit your business best.
Spotistic is somewhat unique in that it was designed specifically for restaurateurs and bar owners/managers. Like other social media management tools, you can integrate all your accounts through this app- so that would be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like. Better yet, you can also add coupons and discount vouchers, track their performance on individual networks, and update business information on FourSquare, Yelp and TripAdvisor.
TINT looks to create one visualised version of all social media activity concerning your business. By linking it to your various profiles, and then embedding ‘the TINT’ on your website, visitors can easily see any tweets, status updates, pictures and posts relating to your eatery, made by the public, through your homepage. Needless to say, then, it only really works well if you deliver the goods to your customers.
If everyone is a critic these days then it’s important to give them a voice, and make things as easy as possible for them to sound off. As with TINT, this means everything from the starter to the service needs to be on point. Getting your business set up on Yelp means people can search via GPS and find where you are, what you serve, your opening hours, draft up reviews whilst gorging on their mains, and advise others to pay you a visit.
An obvious choice, but a near-essential in 2015. We don’t know of a more popular social network for images on mobile, but whilst it’s one thing to have people uploading pictures of your wonderful creations, by opening an account yourself and having a steady stream of photos taken in-house you can build up a loyal following and have those followers salivating over your tasty treats. Clever restaurateurs are also using this platform to showcase experimental dishes and asking people to feedback as to whether these should make it to the final menu.
Unlike many food review apps, Foodspotting only cares about good, positive reviews. It’s not specifically designed for restaurateurs, but rather the public, however there are several ways in which you can make the most of the platform. Firstly, tell people you are watching the network- perhaps even run a competition for the best photos of a dish, with a nice reward. Secondly, take pictures of your own dishes, daily specials and any food on discount offers, and ask people to rate the dish when they try it.