You may have used Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms to boost sales for your restaurant. Have you explored TikTok for the same? The first question that may come to your mind - is it even effective? The short answer to the question is YES.
TikTok is one of the world’s fastest-growing media channels and the Apple App Store’s most downloaded app. This makes it the perfect marketing channel, especially for trendy restaurants, eateries and bars that want to attract the attention of Gen Z and Millennial customers.
In this article, we will look at how TikTok can help you with more online sales and what is an expert take on it.
Why do you need TikTok marketing?
Experts believe that most interaction between a brand and its customers is done online, and hence restaurants should take advantage of every social media platform. Marketers are drawn to TikTok as it reflects a key social media trend for creative skills and collaboration amongst young audiences. Its fast-paced nature keeps users engaged for relatively long periods, with it having over 1 Billion monthly active users. The platform has more than 130 million active users in the U.S.
If the popularity of TikTok is on the rise, there are no reasons your restaurant does not make use of it. Here are some reasons for you to consider TikTok marketing -
Get you new customers - If you can post engaging content, TikTok can take your content to a wider audience. You can give a link to your website on each video to increase the conversion. Experts say you cannot force your videos to become viral. But if they do, you should ensure two things - you have the conversion tool on that video, and you live up to the hype of the video. If successful, you can surely get new customers.
Delivers high engagement - When compared to other social media platforms, the TikTok algorithm makes it easier for you to reach more people and engage with them. Do you know what the best part is? You don't need to have thousands of existing followers to make your video viral. Among all platforms, TikTok videos have maximum potential to go viral, and you should not miss the opportunity.
Tie up with micro-influencers - The time has changed. Now, you don't have to run expensive TV commercials to engage the audience. Today, it is all about brand ambassadors that love your product and can help to promote it on their platform. For example, if any of your existing customers love the food at your restaurant and have a substantial following on TikTok, you can tie-up with them.
FitWaffle, a food influencer who started on Instagram, has gained more than 2.5 million followers and over 75 million likes (as of November 2021) since they launched on TikTok in 2019. Eloise Head, the creator, ranks among the world's most popular and fastest-growing foodie content creators.
How can you make the most of TikTok marketing?
Capture your customers' finest moments on TikTok - Most customers may come for a regular lunch or dinner with your customers. There are always those that come on a special occasion - a birthday party, friends enjoying a lovely evening, lovers on the first date, etc. You should capture the genuine happy moments of your customer. Experts believe average users can differentiate genuine happiness from one created for marketing. Such videos have the potential to travel distance and eventually give you a new audience and increase your online sales.
Show your kitchen - As a restaurant, you are in a perfect position to show your customers behind the scenes look and how their most popular dishes are made. If you have some special process or use some special ingredients, show it to the audience. If your food has a strange backstory, make your customers excited to see it for themselves.
Teach them a recipe or technique - TikTok started as a lip-syncing app, but it didn’t take users long to realize that the food world was a perfect fit. There have been several videos that have gone viral where the recipe was being taught to prepare a dish.
Launch new items on TikTok - TikTok is an excellent advertising tool for specials or menu additions. It is really an interactive way to show off people what they can expect when they visit you. Also, it is an excellent opportunity to attract diners who have no plans to visit your restaurant or have no plans at all. As part of its promotion for its new chicken sandwich, KFC teamed up with popular creator Lili Hayes on TikTok. In addition to over 1.1m likes on the collab's KFC channel, #trythekfcsandwich has been viewed more than 210m times.
Collect user-generated testimonials - If your brand is looking to create engaging videos with little effort, encourage your customers to submit their own videos. These user-generated videos, especially from younger users, can feature short testimonials or them cleverly using your product. It's likely you'll get a high level of buy-in from your customers if you find a creative way to get them to share videos of themselves using or interacting with your products.
Few Restaurants That Have Successfully Marketed on TikTok
Burger King launched #WhopperDance on TikTok, which allowed customers to order burgers through dancing. A few TikTok influencers had tutorials on their TikTok pages that demonstrated moves representing combinations of Whopper sandwiches that users could incorporate into their own dance order. Users who follow Burger King on TikTok and post videos of their order dance videos with the #WhopperDance hashtag received a $1 Whopper sandwich.
Chipotle launched a social media marketing campaign on National Avocado Day to promote guacamole, its popular addition to its menu. The #GuacDance Challenge was initiated by Chipotle, which encouraged followers to perform guacamole-inspired dance moves. Dr. Jean, whose "Guacamole Song" instantly went viral, was the face of the campaign. Additionally, Chipotle paired up with YouTube stars to help market the TikTok dance-off. Chipotle reported 430 million views and 250,000 video submissions during the campaign's six-day run.
Experts advise that every restaurant owner should understand the platform they are using for marketing. You mustn't lump all of a brand's social media presence in one. For example, you should not put the same thing on Twitter as what you would put on TikTok. The key to success lies in understanding the audience and also the platform. You can become an overnight viral sensation with only one video post through the platform, which is interactive, and immediate.
If your brand identity could do with a more playful, free-spirited side, TikTok marketing is the route to take. What is stopping you from not doing it? Remember, it is all about having fun and showing users your human side. You should not hesitate to use humor and don’t take yourself too seriously. If you can post relevant content and bring authenticity to your posts, TikTok marketing can surely boost online sales of your restaurant.