This guest post about TikTok for restaurants is from Samantha Hackett, Marketing Coordinator at Influence Grid.
TikTok has taken the Internet by storm, especially throughout 2020, and TikTok for restaurants is no different.
It’s been a great platform to help businesses of all kinds grow their audience. Through short, 60-second-or-less videos, you can connect with your ideal customer, get them excited about your restaurant and encourage them to patronize your business.
One of the age-old questions for content creators on any social media platform is how to go viral. While there isn’t a set blueprint or roadmap you can follow to reach virality, there are certainly a number of things restaurant owners can do to increase their chances.
Here are five tactics to grow your restaurant’s TikTok account and potentially go viral:
1. Partner With Influencers
One of the best ways to get your restaurant viral on TikTok is to get an influencer to post about it. Influencers are well-trusted in the online space, and by partnering with them you can reach an audience that will trust you because they trust the influencer they love and follow.
Finding influencers doesn’t have to be difficult, either. You can find them using a tool like InfluenceGrid, by looking for influencers in the food and restaurant space. Or, you can browse the discover tab on TikTok to find an influencer and suggest a collaboration.
Pro tip: find local influencers who can provide an authentic experience for their followers. When you partner with someone who can actually visit your restaurant, they can make more realistic content that resonates with their audience.
For example, Jasmine Kingery is a TikTok influencer who makes videos showcasing small restaurants in New Mexico. Because of her TikToks, some restaurants have even had to close temporarily because they ran out of food! When you find someone like Jasmine who has a passion for showing off local businesses and restaurants, you can create a strong partnership.
2. Create A TikTok Cooking Class
When using TikTok for restaurants, try creating a series of how-to videos where you go through the steps on how to make some of your most popular dishes. This can help you reach your target audience on TikTok. These fun recipes will entice TikTokers to try the food and also bring new followers to your page for recipes.
Doing so also allows you to broaden your reach and get people excited about your restaurant even if they aren’t local. When you can bring someone along and show them your recipes and how you make some of your dishes, they begin to trust you much more quickly.
While they aren’t restaurants, the accounts @cookingwithshereen and @thatdudecancook are just two of the many very popular cooking accounts on TikTok. With over 3 million followers each and hundreds of thousands of views on each video, they’re proof that recipe-based content is popular on TikTok.
3. Aesthetic Is Everything
When you’re creating your videos, it’s important to remember that TikTok is primarily filled with the Gen Z generation. There’s nothing that Gen Zers love more than an aesthetically pleasing restaurant to post a photo of themselves and their food to make their followers jealous. This generation brought about the phrase “the camera eats first.” They’ll wait a few moments to capture the most engaging photo before digging into their food.
And the same goes for the restaurant in general. TikTokers love to take pictures of themselves and the decor if it’s aesthetically pleasing. This means both the décor, ambiance, and food need to stand out. Display dishes and decor that people can’t help but take a picture of before they start eating.
You can use TikTok to show off the beauty of your plates and give a tour of the décor in your restaurant. By giving examples of how trendy, unique and beautiful your food and space is, you’re sure to attract a whole new customer base.
For example, @restaurant_villareka has used their TikTok account to show off their location, decor and food. One of their most captivating videos showcases their location at night. With cool lighting and a unique outdoor space, it’s no wonder the video got over 16,000 views.
4. Make Sure You Stand Out
Try to make sure there’s something unique about your restaurant that helps you stand out. For example, TikTok user @danijackelcringe visited a restaurant called Bacon B*tch, and the special way the employees interact with the guests led her to post this video. This restaurant stood out to the influencer, and that’s why she felt inspired to post. With 1.1M views, it’s clear that other TikTok users were interested in the restaurant as well.
You don’t need to go to that extreme or change your entire business to appease TikTok. But, think of ways that you could make your restaurant stand out. Could you add a special neon sign that makes your patrons want to take photos with and show off? Maybe you could redesign your menus to be a unique shape, or add some fun and unique names to your various dishes.
Spend some time thinking about how your restaurant can stand out. TikTok users love to see things that are unique so they don’t get bored. Try to find something exciting you can incorporate in your restaurant.
5. Use Marketing Strategies On TikTok
It’s important that you know how to properly use the marketing tools available to businesses on TikTok. Posting the right kinds of videos and working with influencers are great strategies, but there’s more you could be doing to fully take advantage of what TikTok has to offer. Like many social media platforms, TikTok offers paid ads, paid hashtag campaigns, and analytics.
With ads, you can target your idea audience with your best quality videos. You can also work with influencers on a paid sponsorship campaign, too. This can be discussed directly with the influencer, but it’s a way to ensure you’ll get high-quality content from the influencer you work with on the promotion.
TikTok has a unique ad opportunity where you can pay to sponsor a hashtag to be placed on the app’s Discover page for a set amount of time. Then, you’d work with influencers to create videos associated with that hashtag and they’ll be shown as “official.” From there, the magic of TikTok takes place and other users can create videos using the hashtag and can be added to the page. Kroger ran a campaign like this a couple of years ago.
Using the right hashtags in your TikTok videos is critical to going viral on the app. So, use the Discover tab and check out what are the popular hashtags that other foodie accounts are using. Then, try using them on your own videos. Maybe they’ll work for you or maybe they won’t. With TikTok, you have to be willing to experiment to see what works for your restaurant and audience. And, don’t forget about the #ForYouPage hashtag. This is a great way to help you land on the “for you page” of your ideal audience.
With any social media platform, it’s important to watch your analytics to ensure your content is performing the way you want. You can learn plenty from analytics, from how long your viewers are actually watching your videos to the types of content they want to watch in the first place. Monitoring your analytics is a crucial part of creating a strong TikTok strategy with the hopes of making one of your videos go viral.
TikTok For Restaurants
There are many different tactics you can employ when using TikTok for restaurants to create quality, popular videos that have the chance of going viral.
The beauty of TikTok is that the app is designed to show its users new accounts that the app thinks they’d enjoy. TikTok is focused on helping accounts grow by showing videos to people who don’t follow the user, but might be interested in doing so.
You can choose to work with influencers, make design changes in your restaurant, invest in paid ads, or combine these tips. Remember to post consistently and create high-quality videos your audience will be interested in watching.
Use these strategies and hopefully your TikTok page will go viral!