How to Use TikTok for Restaurant Marketing – BentoBox

tik tok 101

setting up a restaurant’s tiktok

First things first: New users should download the tiktok app from the apple app store or google play. upon download, a prompt to create a new account appears, and restaurants must create a commercial account.

The account username should reflect the name of the restaurant. however, if that option is not available, adding the city, state, or an underscore of the restaurant might work. for example, if @bobspizza is already in use, either @bobspizzanyc or @bobspizza_ny might be available.

the rest of the profile must be filled in the following sections:

  • photo: a clear, high-resolution image of the restaurant logo.

  • name: the name of the restaurant.

  • biography: a general description of the type of cuisine and location(s) of the restaurant. note that there is a limit of 80 characters.

  • email: the email address of the restaurant (this will be important for influence opportunities!).

  • category: choose “food & drink” or “restaurants & bars.”

  • instagram and youtube: links to these profiles if the restaurant has them.

    Once the business account has 1000 followers, restaurants will have a dedicated section to add their websites. until then, they can add a link to the restaurant’s website or online ordering page to their bio.

    what makes tiktok unique?

    tiktok is unique in that it prioritizes the discovery of new content and accounts that every user will like. tiktok uses a custom algorithm to notice what a user is viewing and likes, then recommends similar content on that user’s for you page (fyp). because of this, tiktok users are much more likely to see and interact with accounts they don’t follow.

    “tiktok is a platform for discovery, and that’s exactly what the page is for you,” explains emily schultz, senior brand manager at bentobox. “While platforms like instagram and twitter have this discovery feature, tiktok prioritizes this feature. tiktok uses context clues from the videos, whether it’s a hashtag attached to the video, the voiceover of the video, or the text overlaid on the video to figure out what the video is about.

    in an age of declining organic reach, this makes tiktok a unique social media marketing channel. With the right content, businesses like restaurants can reach thousands and thousands of people, even if their following is a fraction of that. Attracting followers is still extremely valuable, but tiktok’s for you page has restored the “viral lottery” on social media, rewarding great content no matter where it comes from.

    Of course, creating great content is easier said than done. but on tiktok, more than on other modern social channels, smaller accounts are rewarded for doing so.

    making a tiktok

    the tiktok website has a great eight-step framework for making a tiktok, but here are some more detailed instructions.

    • [1] Go to the “home” tab at the bottom right of the application.

    • [2] press the “+” button.

    • [3] choose the type of video.

      • quick is a 15 second continuous shot.

      • Camera lasts up to three minutes and can be split. just click the record button to pause recording, then press it again to resume.

      • The template is for a photo gallery.

      • [4] press the red checkmark when recording is complete.

      • [5] click “add sound” and browse for an audio file to add to the video.

      • [6] Add on-screen elements like special effects, text, subtitles, or sticky elements like a poll or viewer question.

      • [7] When you are satisfied with the video, press “next”.

      • [8] Enter the description of the video, using relevant keywords and hashtags for the name of the restaurant, the area, the cuisine, and any of the trends referenced in the video.

      • [9] press “publish”.

        That’s all it takes! making a tiktok can be done in just a couple of minutes and does not require any skills other than knowing how to use a smartphone and a camera.

        how restaurants are using tiktok

        From capitalizing on viral trends to showcasing how restaurant food is prepared, there is no shortage of opportunities for restaurants to create welcome content on tiktok. Here are several examples of active restaurants on the web.

        1. showing how food is made

        tiktok is a great place for restaurants to pull back the curtain and show what goes into food preparation. In this example, the Mediterranean fast-casual cava chain shows the entire process of how its meatballs are made: seasoning, mixing, hand-rolling, grilling, and ultimately serving.

        This approach isn’t just a branding move for a behind-the-curtains peek into how food is made; is a masterpiece of visual marketing. Better yet, it’s flexible, as restaurants can introduce fan-favorite menu items or build excitement for new dishes. either way, this image renders more effectively than an image of the bowl and the text that reads “try our new meatballs.” it’s fast but complete, and it looks delicious.

        2. highlighting staff

        A chance to break down the barriers between your staff and your guests, it’s worth handing out the account password to employees for staff takeovers and employee spotlights. In the example above, Levain Bakery had one of her bakers use a popular tiktok video format, walking the audience through a day in the life of her as an employee.

        For customers, this showcases the process of running the business and allows them to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for those who make their food. however, this idea is also useful for staff recognition, retention, and recruitment. When a restaurant dedicates space on its social networks to highlight its staff, it shows that it values ​​them, an important part of building a restaurant’s employer brand.

        3. interact with comments

        If a restaurant’s tiktok presence increases, its videos are likely to generate a lot of comments from customers and followers. one of the unique features of tiktok is that a comment on a video can be used as a prompt for another video. In the example above, a customer’s wish for Chipotle Carne Asada back was granted, and it was announced to Chipotle’s massive TikTok followers.

        Restaurants can also make these types of videos to announce new menu items, upcoming holiday times, and even address negative comments with a few honest words (or a little humor).

        4. jumping on memes & trends

        While it’s important for restaurants to have their own tiktok presence, an alternative, and potentially more visible, move is to partner with tiktok influencers. These are people who have amassed a huge tiktok audience, followers, often within a specific niche or demographic. over 40% of businesses using tiktok use it in conjunction with influencer marketing campaigns, and 49% of tiktok users say the app helps them with their purchasing decisions.

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