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The Best Social Media Marketing Management Tools for Restaurants

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    Written by: Hilary YoungPublished: May 7th, 2024

    It’s hard to avoid the fact that your restaurant’s marketing mix needs to include a well-thought-out and effective social media strategy. Social media marketing is central to many restaurant marketing strategies, and for good reason: it’s a cost-effective way to reach a lot of people. 

    The best social media marketing tools create greater efficiency for your various efforts, allow multiple users to post on behalf of the restaurant, and help you tap into valuable insights that can help you make better marketing decisions in the long run. If you’re struggling to figure out which of these technology platforms will yield the greatest return for your business, we’ve got you covered. Our experts have spent hours on research and product demonstrations so that you don’t have to.

    Jump to: Our Top Picks

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    How to leverage social media for your restaurant

    Social media offers proven strategies for increasing brand awareness, driving traffic to your restaurant, and boosting sales. But it’s important to “do social media” correctly. There’s actually a lot that goes into building a positive social media presence. You’ll want to establish a good cadence for posting content, create a pleasing visual experience, and hone your messaging to your audience.

    Social media represents your best opportunity to engage directly with your customers, showcase your top menu items, and share special events or promotions. They provide a dynamic environment where your restaurant can participate in real-time interaction, build targeted advertising, and cultivate a community of loyal customers. 

    What to consider when choosing a social media marketing tool

    When it comes to choosing a social media marketing tool or service, the first thing to figure out is how involved you want to be in the process. There are options available for those who want to fully outsource their social media marketing efforts, as well as options for operators who want more hands-on involvement or with smaller budgets.

    While many of these tools make it easier and more efficient for restaurant operators to manage their social media, they won’t necessarily help you generate better content (unless you choose to outsource your marketing to pros). If you’re looking for additional tips, we have expert advice on how to improve your social media content for your restaurant as well as advice on utilizing influencers as part of your marketing strategy.

    OUR TOP PICKS

    Vetted and Approved by Back of House Experts

    Feeling overwhelmed by all the options out there? Our team of experts have identified their top choices for social media management systems for you. As you review, pay close attention to more than just price–from the level of your own involvement in the process to the other types of integrations that work well with each platform, it’s important to take your restaurant needs into careful consideration before making an investment.

    Any paid partnerships have no influence on our evaluations and suggestions. All our opinions are our own.

    See All Vendors

    GREAT AI-POWERED SOLUTION
    Sprout Social Logo Horizontal
    Sprout Social

    SproutSocial is both an all-in-one social media content scheduler and a rich source of data on your digital marketing performance. With advanced publishing tools, it’s easy to post your social media content across multiple platforms, and multiple times, with a single click.

    Starting Price
    $199/month
    Icon (2) Features
    • Advanced multi-platform publishing tools
    • Optimal post-time recommendations
    • User engagement tracking
    • Brand-level engagement reporting
    • Keyword and hashtag trend analysis
    • Service Cloud integration
    • Brand Ambassador program 
    • Professional consulting services
    • Chatbots with automation tools
    Person Outline Who it’s best for

    Restaurant teams who have a marketing budget and want to tap into in-depth user behavior analytics, and detailed, easy-to-follow reports–all while incorporating AI and machine learning technologies. 

    Check Mark Icon-1 Things to consider
    SproutSocial has an extensive amount of reporting options but does not allow for customization. It can also be a bit expensive for smaller teams.
    Thumbs Up Icon Where it excels

    SproutSocial offers a user-friendly interface and dovetails with operational needs through Helpdesk and CRM integrations. 

    MOST USER-FRIENDLY
    Hootsuite-Logo-Horizontal-1
    Hootsuite

    Hootsuite is among the original innovators in multi-platform management for social media scheduling, campaign creation, and analytics.

    Starting Price
    $99 per user, per month
    Icon (2) Features
    • Unlimited post scheduling
    • Optimal post-time recommendations
    • Canva integration 
    • Custom analytics and reports
    • Link-in-Bio tool
    • Automatic link tracking
    • Advanced content curation
    • Organic and paid campaign management
    Person Outline Who it’s best for

    Teams looking for essential social media management services like unlimited post scheduling, data-driven alerts for when to post, and detailed reports on your ROI from various digital marketing campaigns.

    Thumbs Up Icon Where it excels

    Hootsuite turns the tedious and time-consuming burden of social media management into an efficient and manageable aspect of your digital marketing strategy. For Enterprise businesses, Hootsuite offers comprehensive digital marketing services to outsource your restaurant’s content curation, manage advertising campaigns, and even provide customer support service agents

    Check Mark Icon-1 Things to consider
    HootSuite makes users sign a contract, but there is a 30-day free trial option to “try before you buy".
    GREAT FOR RESTAURANTS ON A BUDGET
    Social Pilot Horizontal
    Social Pilot

    Social Pilot is designed to help your business scale your social media operations while lowering the burden of labor on your in-house team. With an intuitive and navigable interface, Social Pilot makes it easy to onboard team members and begin scheduling posts across your social media mix.

    Starting Price
    $25/month
    Icon (2) Features
    • Social media calendar 
    • AI Assistant 
    • Team management and workflow tools
    • Advanced and analytics 
    • Browser extensions for instant content sharing
    • Bulk Scheduling 
    • Integrations with third-party apps like Slack, Dropbox, and Canva
    Person Outline Who it’s best for

    Smaller restaurants looking for an inexpensive option with structure to keep you on task.

    Thumbs Up Icon Where it excels

    Social Pilot is not as robust as some of the other options; they don’t identify peak posting periods and analytics tools still provide insight but are not as extensive.

    Check Mark Icon-1 Things to consider
    You can schedule posts in bulk, which means you can plan for the publication of up to 500 posts across multiple accounts and profiles in a single action.
    GREAT OUTSOURCED SOLUTION
    targetable
    Targetable

    Targetable earns honorable mention among the social media platforms featured here because it is tailored directly to the digital marketing and social media needs of restaurant owners and operators. While the platforms noted above are all highly adaptable to the needs and goals of restaurants, Targetable offers a suite of services and tools built with restaurateurs in mind.

    Starting Price
    Customized Pricing
    Icon (2) Features
    • Social media ad development 
    • Organic social media posting
    • Comment response
    • Cultivation of customer reviews
    • Custom landing page development
    • Oversight of digital awareness campaigns
    Person Outline Who it’s best for

    Restaurant operators who don’t have the in-house resources to manage their digital media mix, but have the budget to outsource to experts. 

    Thumbs Up Icon Where it excels

    Targetable also offers to manage your email marketing, oversee acquisition and loyalty programs, build customized landing pages, and enhance your brand visibility. 

    Check Mark Icon-1 Things to consider
    Targetable focuses exclusively on restaurants and provides top to bottom digital ad campaign creation, marketing, and management. 
    See All Vendors
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