Facebook For Restaurants: What’s Not To ‘Like’?
With over 500 million users and more than 250 million people logging in each day,
There are more people on Facebook than there are people living in the entire United States! The reach that can be achieved on this one platform alone is therefore extraordinary, which is why it has become so attractive to anyone looking for an audience. Statistics showed that in 2013 there were already over 2 billion connections between local businesses and Facebook users. Plus those local business pages received, on average, 645 million views and 13 million comments per week… So you can see the appeal!
What gives restaurants a distinct advantage over other businesses using Facebook is that out of all of those hundreds of millions of users, every single one of them has to eat, and that makes for a huge target audience. This is not to say that by giving your restaurant a Facebook page thousands of users will flock to you as soon as they get hungry. But by having a representation of your business somewhere where so many potential customers frequently go, you significantly heighten your chance of appealing to them. Much like the practise of putting a poster up in a busy shopping centre to direct hungry shoppers to your restaurant, a Facebook profile does the same but with a much wider reach.
By creating a specific business page for your restaurant, café, or eatery you have the opportunity to customise your profile much more than ordinary personal profiles permit. With different landing pages and tabs allowing you to feature various promotions, events, menus or even locations for your business, you are able to offer significantly more information and content for your customers to engage with. Furthermore, in opting for a business page you are not limiting the extent of your restaurant’s influence because business pages are filtered onto fan’s news feeds just as personal profiles are. Due to the way Facebook algorithms keep the most popular posts at the top of news feeds where more people can see them, posting engaging and entertaining content is key to your page’s success.
Facebook For Restaurants, Now What Do You Do?
As discussed in Social Media For Restaurants: An Introduction, social media is predominantly for communicating with your audience, with Facebook in particular you can choose from many different ways to do this.
- Connect with users – This is the main, and most effective, form of interaction on Facebook. For businesses the more ‘likes’, and therefore fans, you have, the more news feeds you feature on and therefore the wider your influence.
- Posting content – Allows you to post pictures, articles, reviews, ideas and designs for your fans to see. They will be able to respond through ‘liking’ (a virtual thumbs up), or leaving a comment. By posting interesting content you are giving your audience something to engage with, this can be shared outside of your fan base to reach a wider audience (if they like it!) This can be in the form of an update announcement, daily greeting or promotional offer. For restaurants in particular, sharing pictures and videos of your delicious food in its preparation or finished stages can rouse interest in your menu. Plus as mentioned above, due to Facebook’s algorithm, the more interest your post receives the more timelines will feature it.
- Advertise – This is a paid option but incredibly worthwhile. As a business you can create an advert and highlight the kinds of people you would like it to reach. Facebook then only shows the advert to those people, so you can effectively reach your specific target audience with ease. So, for instance, if your restaurant is looking to attract a more youthful clientele, you can create an engaging advert around your new, fashionable menu and post it to those under whichever age you choose within your local area.
- Drive traffic back to your site – Although social media algorithms are separated from other search engines, you will still be able to drive traffic back to your site through offering links alongside the content you post on Facebook. So, if you take bookings online but not through your Facebook page; be sure to include a call to action to make a booking with an active link to your booking page when posting a picture of how delicious the food is! Always be as helpful to the user as possible and this will show in your results.
- See the results – This is something you cannot do with a poster in a shopping centre! Having a business page means that Facebook will provide you with page metrics which offer an insight into how effective your Facebook marketing has been. After 30 people have liked your page you will be able to see how people are responding to your individual adverts and posts. This is a very valuable tool as you will be able to see which content techniques and marketing tactics work best with each audience so that you can then tailor your campaign to suit!
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Tips For Keeping Effective Facebook Etiquette:
- Treat a customer online as you would face to face: Just because you cannot see them does not mean that you can get away with inefficient service. In fact, performing badly on social media can have worse repercussions than within a restaurant, for there are certainly more people on Facebook than in a restaurant to see what is happening!
- Always reply to the customer: Yes, even if it is negative! What is on social media will be seen by all so it is important to respond with professionalism and fairness. Suggest to take the conversation into a more private discussion, such as via email or phone, but make sure that you are seen to be listening to and concerned by your customer’s problems first and foremost. Remember, however, if someone has taken to Facebook to complain then at least you can use it as constructive feedback, something that is invaluable to a restaurant!
- Do not post too much: It is all too tempting to post as much as possible so that you spread the word quickly about your incredible food. Yet this will only overwhelm your fan’s news feeds and encourage them to ‘Unlike’ you. Depending on how much you have to say, 2-3 posts daily is acceptable, yet if you do not have enough to say for this do not just post for the sake of it. Find out what time of day your followers are most active online and aim to post then to ensure the maximum reach of each post. Whether you enlist the help of a social media tool or not, try and keep to a daily or weekly schedule with your posts rather than posting on impulse. This will help you to monitor the success of your content easily and give a sense of routine to your followers.
Facebook provides an invaluable social medium through which to promote your restaurant and interact directly with customers. You can choose to have it purely as an informative source, providing information on your restaurant, or use it to interact and engage with your audience. The more content you have on it the more people will use it, much like in a restaurant: the better the menu the more people will eat there!
Free Social Media Management Dashboard For Restaurants
The self serve version of the dashboard is completely free to use. Simply create a free account via the blue button. Once logged in, restaurants are able to create posts and schedule them to publish to their social media accounts. The dashboard is an easy to use tool that allows centralised control of major social networks. The pro version provides clear statistics presented as a set of interactive graphs and charts. Content performance statistics include your most successful posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Additionally, you can find out which content performs the best and generates the most clicks. (Clicks can be broken down further to see which network provides the most and at which time and what day.) You can find out what your top #hashtags on Facebook versus Twitter. There are even powerful search tools, allowing the user to find curated content to publish, such as videos, topical news and trending content.
Click on the blue button to get your free social media management dashboard and start scheduling content to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts today!
Need Help Creating and Scheduling Content To Engage Your Target Audience?
If you would like us to create engaging content for your social media accounts to help promote your restaurant across the major social networks, Facebook and/or Twitter to attract new customers and widen brand awareness, Contact us today.
Click on the following link to get more details about our Social Media Management Services.
Social media statistics source: http://tinyurl.com/krvbnd7
Photo source: http://tinyurl.com/nweoah2
Photo source: http://tinyurl.com/o8ad9n3