Over the last few years, the internet has become an integral part of any marketing strategy, regardless of the type of business you have. It can be a particularly powerful medium for restaurants; people need to eat, and unlike some businesses which may never have the same customer again, you have an opportunity to make every customer a repeat one. Facebook in particular can be a very powerful tool for building loyalty, and leveraging your current customer’s positive feedback into getting new people into the door and at the table. Here are some tips for using the ultimate social media tool for the benefit of your establishment.
Engage with Fans
Social media platforms like Facebook are about– you guessed it– being social. If you want to successfully market your restaurant on this site, it is vital to engage with fans. This includes responding to reviews—on a somewhat related note, do not delete negative ones, use them as an opportunity to engage and show fans that you care about making things right. Always respond to questions and comments. Facebook can be a powerful way to get vital customer feedback and besides simply responding to fan comments, ask your own questions. For example, if you want to change your menu design, asking the very people who eat at your establishment which designs they like best is invaluable feedback on an integral part of your restaurant. If you are thinking about adding new items to the menu, you can ask what people would like to see more of, or you can hold some sort of vote on new additions.
Considerations for Deals and Promotions
Facebook is a great place to announce special coupons, promotions and the like. Everyone loves to save money and it can be a great way to get people into your restaurant. But, you want to be careful about how you go about this. Too many deep discounts or free giveaways may alter perceived value of your food and make people less likely to pay full price once the particular promotion is over. Buy one get one free is usually a good route to go. If you offer a once-weekly special discount to social media customers through online only codes or a ‘’word of the day’’ for example, it might be good to track the different codes and times of day you are advertising to get a good idea of when you are getting the most attention on social media; this can help you fine tune your posting strategy.
Facebook Check In
The Facebook check-in app for mobile phones can be a great tool for restaurants. You can entice new customers by offering some sort of promotion or discount that can be redeemed by ‘’checking in’’ on your Facebook page. It is also a great way to reward customer loyalty—for example, you may offer a free meal after X number of visits, which of course, is claimed upon check-in. This help your customers do your marketing for you, as these activities will show up in the news feed of all their friends. This will pique interest and bring more visitors to your page, who may also be interested in the deal or learning more about the offerings of your restaurant, which they are now interested in trying. This app can also establish trust and credibility, which has become known as ‘’social proof.’’ It may also help your SEO efforts—ranking organically for keywords relevant to your business is an integral part of internet marketing success. You can set up one-time deals, loyalty deals and group deals; if you are interested in learning more about how to use this app, click here.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about all things restaurants; she recommends you visit MenuShoppe for a great selection of menu covers and interiors.