Building a Community of Customers on Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool that can help you connect with your customers, build your brand, and grow your business.

Reading time 6 minutes

The perception is often that by having a social media presence, you are simply posting to your existing followers, filled with loyal customers who love your business, however if you look beyond your follower list, social media can be an important tool for building up and engaging new customers too.

Consumers frequently use social media to find new places to eat and drink and platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have become go-to resources for consumers who are looking for recommendations and reviews of restaurants, bars, pubs, and cafes.

In fact, almost a third of 18-34 year olds get information about new places to eat & drink through social media, either from the brands themselves, reviews, influencers/bloggers or others sharing photos of their visit, compared to just under one quarter of all consumers.We also know that when shoppers have chosen where to go, they view operators social media channels and online menus before they visit [1] to see photos of dishes and drinks, and get a sense of the atmosphere and ambiance. Therefore, it’s really important that your food and drinks are a prominent feature on your social channels.

But how do you build that online community to help you promote your content and ultimately, your venue?

Quality Photos & Videos

Photos and videos of dishes and drinks are essential for engaging customers on social media to entice customers and showcase your unique offerings. In fact 57% of 18-34 year olds Strongly/Agree that they often order new and exciting drinks that they have seen on social media [2]. Therefore ensure that the photos and videos you are posting are of high-quality.

Sharing user generated content directly from your customers is also a great way to build trust and show the true atmosphere in your venue. By printing your social media handle or your own hashtag on the bottom of menus or on table talkers you can encourage guests to use this and tag your account which you can then share.


Social media contests and giveaways are a great way to engage customers and reward them for their loyalty. Offer prizes such as gift cards, free meals, or merchandise in exchange for social media engagement, such as likes, shares, and comments. Also by sharing competitions or promotions you have running in-venue on your online channels, can encourage people into your outlet. Take a look at our Pepsi UCL digital assets which encourage customers to come in where they can then scan a QR code in-outlet to enter the competition.

Discover our digital assets

Behind the Scenes

Sharing behind-the-scenes content, such as photos and videos of the kitchen, staff, and preparations, can help customers feel connected to your outlet and build a sense of trust and loyalty as customers get to know the real people behind the business.

Share Local News

Sharing local news and events, such as festivals, concerts and community events, can help show that you are part of the local culture. Joining community social media pages will also allow you to follow what’s going on locally to tailor promotions, for example offering a free drink to finishers of a local run. Such pages are also a great place to promote your own events directly to the local community.

Be Informative & Entertaining

Posting informative and entertaining content, such as food and drink tips, recipes, and trivia, can help engage with customers and keep them coming back for more. Many platforms such as Instagram and Facebook already host features to share polls and ask questions on posts and stories so it’s an easy way to interact with your audience.

Respond to Customer Feedback

Lastly and most importantly, responding to customer feedback, both positive and negative, shows that you are listening to your customers and care about their experience. Timely and professional responses to customer reviews and comments can help to build trust and loyalty with customers.

Besides the above and showcasing new dishes, your menu, promotions or events, having a social media presence also provides an opportunity for customers to tag and share photos and videos of their own experiences at your venue, which can further help in building trust and loyalty.

Just remember to be consistent and creative with your social media presence to help you stand out in a crowded market and ultimately build a loyal online community of customers.



[1] CGA, Pure Instagram and BKUK Instagram

[2] CGA, Instagram

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