800 million people are active users of Facebook, all of them eat and you can be certain that most of you target market are using Facebook to stay in touch with friends and family in your area. The power of Facebook is not just that you can interact with new potential customers directly but that they can recommend and promote your restaurant, your food to their friends. Instead of sharing information, it comes as a recommendation, making customers more likely to act on it. That is the power of Facebook for restaurants.
Educate your Fans
People who you want to target in your area are going to be passionate about food, and eating well. They are however on Facebook as a recreational activity, they want to be entertained. This is where YouTube comes in. Embed content in your posts, that offers an entertaining guide to cooking well. Establish a pattern. Every Friday, you’ll post a Recipe for the weekend, and a video on how to cook and prepare it. Go for content that is informative and amusing. This video of Gordon Ramsey making Venison Sausages being a prime example.
Target consumers with ads
As a business your restaurant will probably engage in targeting customers via local newspapers or fliers. Facebook Ads allow you to target customers within a specific geographic region. You can even refine this targeting down to city and zip code level. I believe that restaurants need to increase their ad spend in this area over traditional print media. When a person in the locality likes your page, you have a way of keeping in contact with them indefinitely.
Let Customers know you are on Facebook
The first step should be to start letting your customers know that you have created a presence. Let the demographic that already visits you, be the first to know of your page. If you send out a newsletter, add in a link to the page. Place a Facebook button on your website and blog. Ask your staff and friends in the locality to share you page with their friends. Have a “ Follow Us on Facebook” added to all email signatures and also to your business cards.
The best way I feel to use Facebook is to think of it as an informal chat with customers, it is very much a soft sell tool. Think what you look at, when you are on Facebook. You want to see posts that make you style or that are genuinely interesting. Post after post about tonight’s special deal will only alienate fans.