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Restaurant Marketing, Customer Acquisition, Automation

10 Best Practices for Restaurants on Facebook

Social-media is one of the most important platforms in product marketing these days. And Facebook, with more than 1.4 billion users worldwide, allows you to target your audience and may bring you real results, if you nail your marketing strategy.

Facebook allows users to aim marketing/advertising strategies at specific demographics, locations, interests, behaviours and connections through their filtering system. You can target custom audiences or zero in on what they call “lookalike audiences,” which lets you find more people similar to your best customers.

There is no arguing that Facebook is one of the most important tools for advertising, but this may be especially so for small- to medium-sized enterprises with limited marketing budgets. Restaurants are a great example of businesses that could really benefit from having a great campaign on Facebook.

The interactive nature of social media, along with its seemingly-endless reach in terms of audience, Facebook may literally make or break a restaurant. So what are some of best practices to bear in mind before launching your brand new restaurant advertising campaign on Facebook?

Make sure everything looks perfect

This may seem like a no brainer but we’ve all seen one too many ads that were put together in a rush. You only get to make a first impression once. Make sure all your graphics, fonts, colours, styles, design and layout look perfect. Invest in professional photography and ensure that your Facebook page and the ad convey a consistent branding message.

Give some things away for free

Practically everyone loves to eat and a lot of people love to learn how to cook signature dishes of their favourite restaurants. Without giving away your top-secret recipes, you can provide your clients with tips and how-tos to help make home-made versions of their favourite dishes at your restaurant. YouTube is a great tool to provide this kind of content and, don’t worry, your clients will still want to have that dish at your place — let’s face it, no one can learn how to cook like a professional chef via a three-minute YouTube tutorial.

Yet… Don’t give too many things away

Everyone loves a good restaurant promotion. But one of the things that entice people to buy into a brand is exclusivity. We want some things at a bargain but we also want things that are a little bit hard to get. No one wants to eat somewhere where they feel everything is 1-for-1. It makes consumers doubt the quality and the restaurant may appear a little desperate.

Share your good news

If you’ve had a great restaurant review in the press, make sure you share that with your Facebook audience. There’s nothing like a good press review to help boost interest in restaurants and sales. Hyperlink the story to your landing page and ask your Facebook friends to help spread the good news around.

Accept and deal with your bad news

Being on social media is great on the one hand, but it makes you a merciless target when it comes to criticism as well. And social-media comments spread like wild fire – uncontrollably quick and may burn through everything. Be prepared that someone will have something negative to say about your restaurant, be it your food, service or general ambience. Makes sure you respond to each negative comment in a fair and level-headed manner and try your best to diffuse the negative press.

Encourage people to check-in

Facebook ads don’t have to just end at bringing people to the restaurant. When they reach your place, try to encourage your customers to check-in on Facebook. Put in a line on the menu to remind people to check-in and maybe even put a card on the table to give them a nudge to do so. A simple Facebook check-in poster on the wall may prompt your customers to give you that extra helping hand in promoting your restaurant.

Use great visuals to draw people in

Don’t just provide a hyperlink to your menu. Invest in some professional photography to provide mouth-watering photos of your signature dishes. A picture speaks a thousand words so make sure you get your photos done perfectly to entice customers to check out your restaurant.

Don’t forget your landing page

For whatever reason, you might decide to invest heavily into your ads and skimp out a little when it comes to your landing page. Bad mistake. Make sure your branding is consistent in both your ads and your page. Remember, Facebook gets over 900 million visits every day. You can’t afford to do one thing right and another haphazard.

Try new technology – chatbots!

Chatbots are the new apps. They are robots that simulate human speech that can help customers get the information they need by chatting on a chat platform such as Facebook Messenger. Don’t be behind the times. Chatbots are the way of the future and they will give the impression that you are providing a very personalised service at minimal cost to you.

Be active and provide a good mix of content

People lead busy lives and our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. If you don’t update your page on a regular basis or just have a couple of ads sitting on the landing page forever, people will lose interest very, very quickly. Be an active Facebooker and think about providing a good mix of content, be it promotions, educational videos, polls or menu updates. If you don’t have anything interesting to see, people will lose interest and move onto a page that will catch their eye.

Facebook, through its main page and Messenger, is one of the most important online advertising platforms out there today. Online media marketing, if planned and executed well, will give you a lot of bang for your buck and could keep your restaurant visible to a lot more people literally everywhere, for much longer. If you are interested in how to succeed for your restaurant business, take a look at our one secret to keep a buzzing restaurant business.

And one more important tip: After launching restaurant your campaign on Facebook, don’t forget to give ample attention to follow through. Update your landing page regularly, keep content interesting and engaging, and invite your followers to interact (tweet, Like, Love, etc). Use trending and relevant hashtags and remember to add plenty of visuals of your best dishes – first bite is with the eye, after all!

Digital marketing strategist and co-founder of Chatobook. He consults client in digital marketing and business strategies. A poker expert if he can maintain his poker face.

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