What a new Google Business Profiles update means for how your restaurant uses social media

Google Business Profiles update

Hungry customers are increasingly searching for restaurants online before they visit, with 50% of diners claiming that social media can influence their restaurant choice for the night. To keep your restaurant at the forefront of their minds, Google has introduced a game-changing update to Google Business Profiles which is currently running in the US and will no doubt be transitioning to the UK soon.

This will mean that social media content from your connected accounts can automatically appear on your GBP listing, creating a more engaging experience for potential diners.

How it works and who it affects 

As Google continues to roll out this feature to more regions, businesses may see enhanced visibility and engagement by automatically displaying their social media posts on their Google Business Profile.

Google may automatically pull content from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other linked platforms. This content will be displayed in a new “Social Media Updates” section on your mobile Google Business Profile listing, alongside your core information, menus, and reviews.

When this rolls out, the process to ensure your content is showing will be:

  • Access the “Edit profile” section within GBP.
  • Click “Business information” and then “Contact”.
  • Select “Social profiles” to add, update, or remove links, ensuring they adhere to the specific formats required by Google.
  • Google also allows businesses with multiple locations to manage social media links through an API.

How to optimise your digital storefront for increased visibility

While Google chooses which posts appear, you can significantly influence this by creating high-quality, engaging social media content. Think about sharing photos of your signature dishes, tempting desserts, and beautifully plated specials as these can act as a visual menu and can help drive customers through the door.

Then share photos and videos that capture your restaurant’s atmosphere. Is it a cosy, candlelit haven or a vibrant family-friendly space? Let your visuals tell the story. Once you have a following you can announce special offers, happy hour deals, and limited-time menus through eye-catching social media posts. Include clear calls to action, like “Book Now” or “Reserve Your Table.”

To keep the engagement going you should respond to comments and questions on your social media posts directly, fostering a sense of community and encouraging interaction.

The Power of Content Creation in 2024

In today’s digital world, where competition is fierce and attention spans are short, compelling content is the secret for restaurants. By consistently creating high-quality social media posts, you can achieve a multitude of benefits. 

Fact – #Food—the most popular hashtag on Instagram—has more than 250 million posts on the platform, So you need to know how to stand out from the rest.

You’ll build brand awareness by keeping your restaurant’s name in customers’ minds. Engaging content will not only grab their attention but also encourage them to share it with their network, boosting your online reach and attracting new diners.

Social media also allows you to showcase your restaurant’s unique personality, creating a connection with potential customers that goes beyond just the food. This combination of content creation and audience engagement is the recipe for restaurant success in the digital age.

Tips for engaging content 

To truly benefit from the Google Business Profile update, optimise your social media presence now.

First, claim and verify your GBP – this unlocks the ability to integrate your social media accounts directly into your listing. Once verified, link your Facebook, Instagram, and any other relevant social media profiles to your GBP. 

Now, focus on creating a social media strategy. Develop content that showcases your delicious food, inviting ambience, and any enticing special offers. Remember, consistency is key! Aim for frequent, high-quality posts to keep your audience engaged. 

Don’t forget to keep it going 2 ways – actively respond to comments and messages on your social media platforms. This interaction builds relationships with diners and strengthens your online presence.

Moving Forward 

Even though the full update with social media integration isn’t available in the UK yet, there are still ways to leverage Google for your restaurant. 

Don’t underestimate the power of Google Posts! This free tool lets you directly share updates on your Google Business Profile listing. Use it to announce upcoming events, seasonal menu changes, or special holiday promotions. Remember, data is your friend! 

Track how well both your social media posts and Google Posts perform to see what resonates with your audience. Utilise this information to refine your strategy and ensure you’re creating posts that not only drive engagement but ultimately lead to more customers walking through your door.

By embracing this Google update and focusing on creating compelling social media content, UK restaurants can significantly enhance their online presence, attract new customers, and establish themselves as must-visit destinations for hungry diners. 

This article was written by Sam Braniff, senior local SEO consultant at Add People digital marketing agency