Using Social Media for Your Restaurant: Facebook

Social Media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare have expanded their purpose far beyond their users posting what they are up to or their location.  It’s expanded to a necessity of everyday life.  What makes this so great for businesses, restaurants in particular, is the marketing aspect of them. Why? Because for the most part social media is easy, simple and best of all—free.

This is a part of a series on how specific social media sites can help you grow business at your restaurant—and here’s a crash course of using Facebook.

Get Started

Getting to your fan page is easy.  There are a few different ways to get your fan page–an easy way is to log in and search for your restaurant in the top search box.   Once you are there, on the right hand side find and click “Use Facebook as…” Then it’s practically like using your own Facebook page, only everything you do will appear as your restaurant.

I Have a Fan Page….Now What?

Your restaurant has specials, right? Whether it’s something special you serve on a particular day or an event. Take a second in the morning, jump on and let your customers know what they can expect and why they need to come in today. It’s like posting a sign in the window or telling everyone walking down the street why they should stop in.  Also, if you see any helpful news articles or links, share them. As time goes on you’ll notice yourself posting a few times throughout the day. The more you post, the more you get yourself out there.

How Customers will Find You

Some of it you can do then Facebook does the rest.  Do what you can to let people know you’re on Facebook, for instance posting “Find us on Facebook” on signage, your website or in your menu.  You can even get a little more high tech by including a QR code on anything printed which will send a customer directly to your fan page.  Just know it takes time and you won’t see immediate results overnight.  Don’t let this discourage you.

Interaction

Grab attention and pique interest by taking a few minutes out of your day to read what your fans are up to and respond.  Look what people are saying and if you can help them, go for it! Maybe you saw a link or video that someone would benefit from—comment back on their wall. People will appreciate it.

 

It’s More Than a Status

On Facebook, you can let your customer into your restaurant without them even stepping foot in the door.  You can post pictures or video, create poll questions, events, allow people to check-in, or even spend a little bit of money to advertise.  You can also create a landing page, which helps personalize your restaurant. Take advantage of everything available to reach your goals.

Make it Personal

If there’s anything you can take away from this, it’s to make your page personal. People love a personal connection. It makes them feel more comfortable and you can use Facebook to humanize your restaurant. You aren’t just a machine.  You aren’t just a website. Your restaurant has its own specific tone and feel and you can use your fan page to portray that and attract people.  Many times we see restaurants posting specials and deals but on top of those things, they ask questions, give helpful tips and let people know what’s new. It’s okay to be personal; in fact, your customer’s will prefer it. People don’t want to jump on Facebook to read advertisements on their wall—they already see them everywhere they go.  Be creative.  Open up a little bit and have fun. While you may find it as a nontraditional way to market, it’s a popular one that works.

Get out There!

Facebook can help boost business for both large and small restaurants and is worth the time and effort you put into it.  Just keep in mind Facebook isn’t the big picture.  It’s just a stepping stone to help grow your business.

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