Facebook is the perfect marketing tool for restaurants, but that doesn’t mean you can simply set up your page and start enjoying success immediately. There are specific tactics that will pay off, and fortunately these are easy to do so any establishment can take advantage of them. So set up a Facebook Page for your restaurant and start using these tactics to boost your reputation and send more customers your way.
Make Sure Your Posts Are Relevant and Interesting
Posts should be relevant to what you do, so always make sure you consider your target audience. What do they want to read about? This is an area where you may want to consider getting advice from a dedicated restaurant social media agency who can help you to come up with a strategy.
In general, you don’t want to limit yourself to just posting about your restaurant. Instead, you can go further than this by posting general information about food and drink that is related to your restaurant, as well as posting links to interesting articles as well as press stories about local events. You could also provide recipes and discuss the history of your cuisine, and because this is evergreen content, it will get read for longer.
Always Respond to Comments
You have to be engaged if you want to be successful on Facebook, and that means not only writing regular posts but also responding to comments. Your customers will love it when you get back to them, even if it is just a quick ‘thank you’ for mentioning your restaurant—a kind word and recognition goes a long way.
But what about dealing with negative comments? Never just leave them, and make it your aim to always reply in a professional manner. Make sure you address their concerns and answer any questions they have, and don’t be tempted to delete negative reviews and comments. You need to be transparent and to focus on responding honestly. This will demonstrate that you care about your reviews, which will rub off positively on other customers.
Present Photos of Your Food
As a restaurant, you have the perfect opportunity to use images of your delicious food. For example, if you add something new to the menu, present it to your Facebook crowd with a colorful professional image. Try to regularly post items on your menu and your drinks to add color and to tempt your followers. You could even encourage customers to take their own photographs of your food when they visit.
Run Occasional Promotions
Promotions are an excellent marketing tool, but don’t be tempted to run them all the time. If you constantly discount your meals, you could unwittingly lower the value of your offering. Stick to providing occasional promotions offering reasonable discounts, and use these to encourage customers to come back regularly.
This can also be a useful way to see how much impact your social media activity is having. By providing a special promotion to use on a particular day, you can see how much business it generates and get a good idea about how much impact your Facebook activity really has on your business.
Encourage Customers to Check-In
Because you have physical premises, you can encourage your customers to check-in on Facebook. This will then show up to their other friends, providing you with more exposure. You could even encourage your customers to check-in when they arrive by providing them with a reward in return.
Experiment with Paid Ads
All of the above tactics are free, but you may want to try out paid advertising as well. Facebook provides a number of opportunities for paid advertising, including Promoted Posts, and this can help you to get even more exposure.
Keep Testing Your Performance
The only way to enjoy long-term success is to work out what you are doing right and wrong, and to make the necessary changes. Track your performance using Facebook Insights, which is a free tool, and find out about your interactions to get a better understanding of what is working for you. Then experiment with various factors including the timing of your posts, the content, the images you use, and more, to get even more from your Facebook activity.
Use Facebook to Find More Customers
Restaurants are in a great position to take advantage of Facebook for promoting their businesses. If you are not yet on Facebook, make setting up your page a social media priority for this year. And if you already have a presence on the site, make sure you are using the above tips to get the most out of your activity and get more customers.
Elaine Tate is a small business marketer. She likes to write about her experiences online. Her articles are available mostly on marketing and SEO websites