With Facebook becoming such an integrated and assumed part of daily life for the average person, most businesses recognize the value of using Facebook to increase their business and brand reputation. Restaurants are no exception.
As the owner of a restaurant, bar, or eatery, it is critical that you put the power of social media to work for you!
Here are Key ways Restaurants can use Facebook Effectively:
1. Offer Interesting Content on Facebook
You need to connect with your community. By this we mean the physically community where your restaurant is located and the radius your restaurant serves!
Offer new and relevant content continuously about not only your restaurant, but about your team, and your local area. Special dishes, interesting information about menu items, or even loyalty discounts are a good starting point and should be part of your mix but go beyond that to what is happening in the community.
Did the local high school team just make it to a state championship? Congratulate them!
Is their a community parade or event coming up? Help promote it!
Is their a local non-profit you support? Help get the word out about their work!
It’s NOT all about you. An interesting Facebook Page connects with the heartbeat of your patrons. What interests them? This is what you can talk about on Facebook.
2. Post more. Plan Posts.
Post Fresh Content Daily! You really should post at least 3x a day! Work ahead 1-3 days by planning and scheduling posts most of the posts. Then mix into that spontaneous posts each day that are current and relevant.
For the scheduling ahead, you can use tools like Buffer, HootSuite, or Post Planner.
Space your Posts out! No one wants to get bombarded by a page with 4 posts in an hour.
Instead space out your posts for optimum times when your fans may be on Facebook such as mid-morning, just before or after lunch and early evening!
3. Identify Your Uniqueness
You need to answer this question: What makes you unique?
Once determined, make sure you use this in your messaging!
This is your voice, or put another way, your “style” of posting! Tailor your social media posts and updates accordingly. For instance, if the restaurant positions itself as a hangout place for pro basketball fans, actively reach out to area sports leagues and post about upcoming games and results from recent games.
4. Encourage Facebook Check-Ins
Make sure on Facebook your restaurant is a “Place” location in the category selections so that visitors can check-in. This gets seen by their friends!
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Facebook is popular because it shares authentic information from real people. A check-in or a great review by a friend carries credibility.
5. Share your Menu
In addition to having your menu on your website, make it pieces of it available in your social sharing of content and also make it available on a tab on your Facebook Page.
The goal is too make it accessible and easy to find wherever visitors are finding you.
By posting about a new item on Facebook and then linking to the Facebook Page Tab, restaurants can draw in fans and visitors to their Facebook page.
6. Offer Deals and Contests to Grow your Email List and Create Buzz
Deals and contests can create engagement and attract visitors. By then converting visitors to email subscribers by offering a discount coupon for joining your email list or hosting a random drawing of a Gift Certificate from those who enter, a restaurant can both help gain short-term attention and interest but also server longer term marketing goals.
The deal or contest offers quick incentive while the ability to utilize this to capture email addresses means your restaurant can then drip market to these folks over time to build further awareness, interest, and loyalty.
Well, I mean monitor and listen socially!
Closely related to asking for feedback is to proactively keeping track of what is being said about your restaurant on social media. Literally hundreds of applications like Hootsuite, ViralHeat, Sendible, and more and allow business to do exactly that, scouring blogs and social network posts, and extracting relevant items.
8. Be Visual!
Images communicate better and spark greater interaction than simply text posts.
Restaurants can reach more people by have a strong presence and posting great images of food and photos that tell stories on your Facebook Page.
An photo of your team celebrating, or of a new dish is soooo much more appealing than a long paragraph about it!
9. Enable Easy Social Sharing on your Website
Yes, your website is your “home base” and social media does not replace that. Social media augments your site and by enabling fans to easily share information from your website, you empower fans to increase their social sharing and chatter about you! Using WordPress? Add tools like the Digg Digg Plugin that easily adds social sharing buttons to each page and blog post!
Be sure to add your Facebook Page “Like us on Facebook” box to your website, as well as relevant buttons including “Follow us on Twitter” and more!
10. Ask for Feedback
The best way to increase engagement and keep the social pages ticking with fresh content is by asking for feedback.
The feedback could be on anything, ranging from the band who played last night to the new breadsticks.
Make sure, however, to interact with and respond to feedback, even negative feedback. This can go miles in building trust and loyalty. As well, identify how you have followed up afterward as well so that fans and followers know you acted on the feedback!
So there you have it! 10 ways to taste great success on Facebook with your restaurant!