The keyword to keep in mind when creating a restaurant marketing strategy for Facebook is branding. Your restaurant’s branding is the thoughts, feelings, and experiences that people associate with your restaurant. For more on branding, refer to our Learning Center article, “Restaurant Branding”. Before you start marketing your restaurant on Facebook, you should already have a clear idea of what your brand is. Facebook restaurant marketing should always be approached as a means of articulating your brand message to your target customers. For more on how to identify and appeal to your target market, see our Learning Center Article “Target Marketing.”
The following are some “Do’s-and-Don’ts” regarding how you market your restaurant using facebook:
Do Reply to Every Comment
When customers care enough to tag your restaurant in a post you should always reply with a message that is “on brand” (reinforces your brand values). It makes people feel special. Like they’re talking to a famous person!
Don’t Delete Bad Reviews
Taking ownership shows integrity and gives you a chance to make it up to unhappy customers. It also shows others who visit your page that you care about making things right. No one expects everything in life to be perfect, but we do expect problems to be handled with professionalism.
Do Post ALL The Time
Every post and reply that your write on Facebook is an opportunity for customer engagement and restaurant brand-building. It’s also a matter of keeping your name and logo in the forefront of people’s consciousness. If someone is seeing your restaurant’s name come across their screen three times or more a day, it’s going to affect their behavior the next time they are hungry!.
Don’t Post Only Promotions
To fuel a successful Facebook marketing strategy, not everything you post should be a promotion. Find other ways to provide your Facebook followers with interesting content that reinforces your brand. Things you might consider sharing are recipes, how-to articles, stories about your local community, music that you like, tourist information or inspirational stories. Remember that to get shares, (and links back to your page) you need to post content your followers find value in. By providing valuable content they will share your posts with their friends, and so on. That’s the viral power that allows you to reach thousands rather than hundreds of people with your facebook marketing campaign.
Do Promote Your Restaurant
Great photos of your food, stories about how your ingredients are locally sourced, personal profiles of your extraordinary staff, photos from community events that you host — the ideas are endless. Be transparent about your business and what you do. Share your joy with your followers and let them see behind the scenes. This increases the personal intimacy between your customers and your brand, building a deep loyalty
Don’t Give up!
Building a Facebook following is going to take some time. Keep at it, because this is how exponential growth works. Two shares become four, four become eight. That’s how 200 can become 2000 overnight! Because building your restaurant’s Facebook presence does take time, planning and consistency, consider finding someone to help you specifically build your social media marketing strategy. This could be an employee or an outside marketing firm, but the point is that if you want to see the rewards of Facebook restaurant marketing, you must dedicate some amount of resources to building your presence.