“Everyone Poops”, announces the classic children’s book of the same name. This is a brilliant thing for restaurants, as it means that everyone also eats. And currently almost 2 billion of these food loving people – over a quarter of humanity and a far greater percentage of the developed world – can be found on Facebook.
Facebook has the greatest potential of any of the marketing tools available to restaurateurs. On top of the incredible user numbers, the platform boasts a number of other marketing selling points that are entirely unique. But while the possibilities of Facebook are seemingly endless, they are unreachable if you don’t use the platform in the right way.
So what are the best marketing practices for restaurants on Facebook? Let’s take a look at a few of the basics.
1) Identify Your Brand Persona
Before you begin your Facebook journey you need to identify the type of persona that you want your restaurant to offer up on the platform. Facebook, and social media in general, gives businesses a fantastic opportunity to humanise their brands. This makes your restaurant far more accessible to followers – they feel a deeper connection to you than might otherwise come from a business/customer relationship, and thus will care more about your success.
Your brand persona will influence the type of content that you post and the voice that you use on the platform.
2) Engagement Drives Engagement
The main aim for restaurants on Facebook is to get healthy engagement from the things that they post. But while many brands will take a reactive approach to engaging with their followers – replying to messages, posts, and comments – the truly successful brands will practice proactivity.
By encouraging conversation on your restaurant’s Facebook page, and then driving further engagement by actively participating in the conversation that is generated, your reach will stretch far further than what it would if you were being purely reactive. This could be as simple as asking your followers something like “what dish would you like to be included on our menu in the future?”
3) Offer Your Followers True Value
Why would someone follow your restaurant on Facebook? This question should always be at the front of your mind, as everyone follows you for a reason. For the most part, your subscribers will be looking for something of worth in return for their “like.” Offering value to your followers, usually by posting content that is either entertaining, educational or saves them money, is paramount.
4) Be Your Own PR Machine
There’s nothing wrong with a little humble brag on Facebook. You’ve worked really hard to enjoy the good reviews that you currently do, so what’s stopping you from posting them? If a famous food reviewer gives your restaurant a glowing critique, or even if a particularly eloquent TripAdvisor user says something really nice, use these priceless bits of content to prove your excellence to your followers!
5) Post More Than Just Text
One of the most basic of Facebook basics is the need for content to be posted with rich media, rather than just text. It’s long been known that posts with images perform far better than posts with just text (Kissmetrics tells us that photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts), and the figures are even higher for video content.
As a restaurateur, you’ve got the advantage of being in an industry that is built for content creation. A photo of a well-presented meal is social media gold, all you need to do is mine it.
6) Maximise Your Reach through Paid Advertising
Facebook has more information on its users than many of us would like to admit. But while it might all seem a little 1984 on the consumer end, this wealth of information is a boon for restaurateurs. Facebook advertising allows you to select a very specific section of the population to advertise to – super relevant sets of eyes that you can treat to your finest pieces of content. And you need only spend a few dollars to get in front of thousands of users, making it well worth the investment.
Marketing your restaurant used to be a costly, inefficient, time-consuming exercise. But with the help of Facebook, you can market your restaurant more effectively, more efficiently and cheaper than ever.
Everyone poops. Everyone eats. And anyone who’s anyone is on Facebook.