Everyone has to eat. More than 1.6 billion people use Facebook. So, that must mean that Facebook is a great place for restaurants to be.
If your restaurant isn’t on Facebook yet, it’s time to take the plunge. And, if you are on Facebook, are you using it to your advantage?
In this article, we look at 10 awesome Facebook marketing ideas for your restaurant so you can leverage the social media giant to grow your customer base.
First, let’s take a look at “how to do Facebook” as a business.
Social media is a great way for your restaurant to engage with your customers while building customer loyalty. (tweet this) When you add social media to your restaurant’s marketing strategy, you can increase awareness and motivate diners to walk in the door.
Engaging your customer is more than offering specials and deals. It’s about creating a relationship with your customers, enticing them with your food.
First, you want to think like your customer. If you were joining the conversation on your Facebook page, what would you want to know? What would you care about?
Now start imagining what different types of your customers look like. What is their demographic? How old are they? Do they own or rent? What are their interests? Lucky for you, Facebook Insights can help you out with some of this information.
It will be easier for you to market to your customers if you know their personas.
Next, decide on the tone you’ll take on your Facebook page. Are you the neighborhood hangout? Or, do you meet the needs of families? Perhaps you’re a fine dining establishment, or you might be fast causal. Whatever your niche, find your tone – playful, serious, educational or a combination.
Lastly, remember that Facebook is a social platform, and the most successful restaurants using Facebook for their restaurant marketing are leveraging the social atmosphere. They are sharing interesting and engaging content, mouth-watering photos of their food, tips and tricks and more. Then, they pepper their posts with a few coupons or outright sales pieces.
Now that you have a basic look at Facebook marketing, let’s look at 10 awesome Facebook marketing ideas for your restaurant.
Social media users are interested in things of value, and what could be more valuable than a recipe or cooking tip?
You can show your followers that they are important to you and even that they are part of an exclusive club by sharing a recipe. Now, this doesn’t have to be recipes for your signature dishes, but your followers will still appreciate it as coming from you.
You can get creative and call it “Weekly Recipes from our Recipe Vault.” Videos are a great way to do this as videos get two times the views on Facebook.
When you provide posts that engage your followers while offering them something for free, they come to trust that you won’t always be throwing the sales pitch at them.
Here are some ideas:
This is a terrific way to build engagement on your Facebook page. Pick one fan per week and highlight them on your Facebook page.
Consider inviting the fan of the week into your kitchen to “cook” with your chef. Take photos and post them on your page. You could also forgo the cooking session and take a photo of your Facebook Fan eating in your restaurant. Highlight their favorite dish and even offer it to them for free.
Facebook marketing like this is certain to boost your engagement.
Questions are a great marketing tool as they have the potential to instantly spark conversations. People naturally want to answer questions, and this is one of the best ways to get people to respond to your posts.
This again shows you value them and their opinion. Here are some questions you can ask in your quizzes:
For example, let’s say you serve breakfast foods, and omelets are your specialty. You could start a contest where people guess how many chickens it takes to lay all the eggs you use in a year.
Get creative and come up with other unique food facts that pertain to your restaurant. Try things like, “How many cans of whip cream do we use in a month?” Or, “How many steps do our waiters take per day?” You could get creative with this one and have your servers track their steps.
Another interesting idea would be to strap a camera on your wait staff or kitchen staff, and do “a day in the life of” videos.
Host a fan recipe contest on Facebook. Invite your social media followers to submit photos and recipes of their favorite desserts. Offer to make your favorite five desserts and showcase them at your restaurant one weekend.
Get involved in your community and share information and photos of your favorite charities. Encourage your Facebook fans to participate.
Invite your exclusive group of Facebook fans to meet up at your restaurant at a specified time on Fridays. Make it fun to attend by offering food, drinks, sneak peeks at new menu items and drawings.
Consider highlighting a business or school each week. Say what you appreciate about them and why you chose them. You might even throw in an offer for your Facebook fans who work at these companies and give them a discount on a specified day.
People on social media are voyeurs. They like to see what’s going on behind the scenes at your restaurant. It makes them feel special and part of the in-crowd. Post photos of your employees hard at work, or use your smartphone or tablet to create humorous, interesting videos with employee dialogue.
For example, on Mother’s Day, host a look-a-like contest and let your fans vote on the winner.
We’ve discussed some awesome Facebook marketing ideas. You’ve learned that showing content that is interesting and engaging gets more shares.
The last thought we want to leave you with is to be consistent. If you’re going to implement these Facebook marketing ideas, you must be present on Facebook – every day if possible. Aim for one post per day. You can even schedule your posts in advance.
Do remember, though, to check back in on a daily basis. Facebook is an in-the-moment social network, so if a customer comments or shares your post or asks you a question, you want to reply promptly.
Put someone in charge of managing your Facebook marketing so it’s always taken care of.
Create a marketing plan for Facebook. Plan out your posts and your marketing ideas. Start by the week or the month, but make a concerted effort to work your plan.
Consistency and interaction are the keys to making Facebook marketing work for your restaurant. (tweet this)
Lastly, check out the Facebook paid advertising options. Studies show that mobile ad spending will make up 75.9% of all digital ad spend by 2020, reaching nearly $84.5 billion as more people realize the power of social media advertising.
Whether you’re creating ads or boosting posts, you’ll find this a successful way to get your message in front of more people.
When you leverage Facebook for your restaurant, you want to share links to your website. At Restaurant Engine, we build responsive, mobile-friendly restaurant websites with dynamite online menus.