There was once a time when having sound marketing practices meant that
a restauranteur took out an ad in the local paper, hung a banner at a baseball
game and purchased 30 seconds of radio airtime. With the advent of social media, however, this has changed
drastically. In fact, over 30 million
small businesses used Facebook for marketing as of June 2014. There’s a simple reason behind this: it works. By undertaking the following easy and low-cost tactics, restaurant
owners can use Facebook to increase their success.
Lay It All on the Table
Laying it all on the table isn’t referring to bar tables; it means to
be completely transparent with customers online. One of the few negative things about Facebook
is that upset customers can come and publicly complain for all to see. Some restauranteurs delete these comments,
but that only shows a lack of care. It’s
important to acknowledge these customers.
By replying to upset customers and explaining how their issue is going
to be fixed, it allows a restaurant to get an angry customer back into the
restaurant booth. Additionally, other
visitors to the page will now see that the eatery takes customer service
seriously, and this is always good for a restaurant.
Post Food Photos
While a restaurant’s Facebook business page does wonders for customer
service, that’s definitely not all it’s good for. Fans follow a page because they want to see
what the owners have to say or want to show them. And as it turns out, some of the best things
to show a page’s followers are photos of delectable food.
Make sure that these photos are taken with a high-quality camera and
look visually appealing. They should be
so well put together that they could be featured on television. Customers will remember the time they had
this amazing dish or decide that they have to try it. At that point, many will actually share the
picture with their friends, and this does wonders in filling the chairs of a
restaurant with new guests.
Offer Special Promotions
One of the best ways to fill up a dining room, and even the outdoor
restaurant furniture, is to offer money-saving promotions. This was true long before the advent of the
Internet, and it remains true on Facebook. Whenever a restauranteur needs to bring in a little extra business, they
can simply throw up a status announcing that all appetizers ordered before 7
p.m. will be half off.
Additionally, many restaurants make use of Facebook’s "check
in" system. Users can actually
check in at the location they’re at, and this allows their friends know that
they’re currently enjoying a great meal at a fine eatery. By offering a discount, free drink or
anything else simply for checking in, restauranteurs give customers a good
reason to come in.
Ability to Target Customers
Although targeted Facebook advertising isn’t free, it can do wonders at
filling up the bar tables in a restaurant. This is because, for just a few dollars, restauranteurs can focus their
advertising on a targeted demographic. From selecting the age of people who will see the ads to showing
marketing to only those within a certain city, the targeting potential is
Video stores died out when they didn’t adapt to the digital movie
revolution, and the same can happen to restaurants who don’t take advantage of
Facebook’s full potential. Even if a
restauranteur doesn’t engage in the aforementioned methods, they’ll quickly
learn that their competition is, and this is never learned the easy way.