Figuring out how to start a restaurant that goes on to become a success is a difficult proposition for any entrepreneur. If you’re not able to get the word out fast enough to develop repeat business, you won’t be able to stay afloat for very long.

Thankfully, social media has made the process of launching a restaurant far easier. Below is some great advice on how to open a restaurant with an assist from social media.

Determine Your Target Audience

First, before learning how to open a restaurant with a social media marketing strategy, you need to determine exactly who you will target with your marketing. Obviously, this should match the people you believe are most likely to be patrons of your establishment.

This is very important. The late night bar crowd is very different from the customers of more family friendly establishments for example. You should know their likely ages, genders and income levels. You should also perform some research to find out what their preferences are in general so you can fine tune your social media marketing.

Choose Your Social Media Platforms

There are many social media platforms out there that allow you to connect with potential customers. Choose two or three to launch your social media strategy with. Facebook and Twitter are obviously the two most popular options (as an example check out Silver Chef website and their social media channels).

Screen Shot 2558-03-12 at 8.07.28 PM

Screen Shot 2558-03-12 at 8.01.25 PM

However, you may also want to consider another networks like Instagram as well. Instagram, for example, is a great platform for publishing enticing images of your delicious food.

Build a Pre-Launch Following

Once you have created your social media accounts and provided attractive images and logos to go along with them, you need to begin building your following. Learning how to start a restaurant with an online presence means first building your social media follower lists.

You should absolutely do this well before your restaurant’s launch date. Expecting your follower list to build itself is foolhardy. Without followers, your launch is likely to go completely unnoticed as far as social media is concerned.

Thankfully, building a following on social media isn’t as difficult as it seems. Simply follow others first and press to like or favorite their posts or content. As a gesture of good will, most social media users will reciprocate by following you back. Make sure to try to obtain followers who are in your target audience and most likely to dine at your restaurant.

Make the Launch a Social Media Event

Once you have developed a list of followers, you can begin hyping up your grand opening. Try to make people excited about the prospect of trying out a new restaurant in your town. Get their saliva glands going by posting some well photographed images of your delectable menu items.

Screen Shot 2558-03-12 at 8.13.57 PM

Make it seem like the opening will be a party that shouldn’t be missed. Craft this marketing around the preferences of your target audience. Also give them incentives to come by advertising food and drink specials or by providing coupons.

If you built your follower list properly, the message should start to spread among their contacts. Going viral means that your message is passed from person to person throughout social media. Just get the ball rolling, and your target audience will become interested in giving your new restaurant a chance. If they like what they taste and see, they will help spread the message further and give you even more free advertising.