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If Your Guests are on Facebook, You Should Be, Too

Does your restaurant have a Facebook page? Are you updating it regularly and taking advantage of all of its features?

If not, you may be missing out on reaching new customers. Americans spend an average of 35 minutes every day on Facebook, and they log onto the social channel up to eight times in one day.

Facebook is still one of the most popular social media channels and a useful marketing tool for restaurants. Here’s how restaurant managers and owners can leverage it to attract new diners and retain current ones.

Update Content Regularly and Make it Engaging

We’ve all visited a brand’s Facebook page at one time that didn’t seem to have much activity going on. While it can be tough for small business owners to find the time to update social media pages, posting regular content will show you care about your followers and that you keep up with technology.

Try to aim for at least one post per day, and up to two or three per day, if possible. Experiment with posting times to find the ones that attract the most engagement. You can entice followers by posting a picture of your lunch special around noon and a favorite dinner entree around 6 PM.

But your posts shouldn’t only be made of food photos. There’s a lot you can share to engage your followers. Some content ideas that you can try include:

  • Contest promotion. Ask people to like, comment on, and share the post to be entered to win a gift card to your restaurant
  • A short video or collection of photos showing the kitchen staff in action making meals
  • Employee highlights that include a photo and description of what makes that employee important to your restaurant
  • Positive customer feedback and customer content your restaurant has been tagged in
  • Marketing content for entertainers performing at your restaurant
  • Promotions of special events, such as happy hour and trivia night
  • Highlights of anything your restaurant does that serves the local community or helps the environment, such as donating food, your emphasis on recycling, etc.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to sharing relevant content for your restaurant. Just try to make sure each post is accompanied by a photo or video. Posts with something interesting for people to look at tend to be far more engaging than those comprised of just copy alone.

Post Your Menu and Invite Reservations

Facebook’s menu app allows you to post your menus so that visitors can see what you have to offer and decide on what they’d like to eat ahead of time. Just remember to update it when you make updates to items and pricing.

Add a “Book Now” button to your cover photo which will take people directly to your online reservations page.

Ask For Reviews

Although managing good and bad reviews can be a balancing act, enabling them on your Facebook page shows you’re transparent and willing to acknowledge your diners, even those who had an unsatisfactory experience. If possible, acknowledge every review by thanking the person to take the time to post them.

For negative reviews, tell the reviewer you’ll be reaching out to them via private message or leave your email address for them to contact you and invite them to discuss their visit further with you.

Leverage Facebook Advertising

Facebook advertising is extremely versatile. You can target Facebook users by several demographics including their location, interests, age, and more. Investing even a small ad budget toward Facebook ads can help you reach local diners.

You can also choose to “boost” certain posts to reach more followers and users.

We’ll discuss Facebook ads in-depth in a future post.

Facebook is an Important Part of Your Marketing Strategy

Facebook remains an important part of any business’s marketing strategy and even more so for restaurants, whose customers expect them to be active on the site. Keeping up with new Facebook features and apps will also help you further grow your page and followers.

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