How can Facebook help you increase your restaurant’s turnover? In this article, we will emphasize on the importance of your restaurant’s e-reputation, focusing on the top social network : Facebook best natural weight loss supplements. What is it? Why should you include it in your everyday communication strategy? And what are the keys to a winning communication with Facebook?
More than just a social network which convinced billions of users throughout the world, Facebook has become a strategic communication tool that restaurants shouldn’t overlook. The international social network is now the world’s most visited website, overtaking the number 1 web browser Google. A fantastic opportunity for brands and businesses who have tried it out and now communicate via their professional Facebook Fanpage.
Facebook 101 : quick overview for beginners
The Facebook profile
Launched in 2004, Facebook is an online social network which enables people to interact with a community of people or “Friends”, – to use Facebook’s official terms – sharing their daily thoughts and feelings, pictures, articles, music or videos. So let’s take the example of John Smith. After creating his Facebook profile, he will be able to create his own community by inviting people – mostly friends and relatives – to become “Facebook friends”. Those people will have access to all of John’s publications, and will be able to directly react to those either by sending John private messages or “Inboxes”, or by directly writing a message on his “Timeline”: a virtual window of his Facebook profile.
Each Facebook user will be able to “share” other users’ publications with his or her community of friends. Everytime he will log onto his Facebook account, John Smith will be able to browse through his newsfeed, which will show him all information recently shared or published his friends. Just to give you a rough estimate, the number of Facebook “friendships” reached 140.3 billions by the end of 2013.
A Facebook page for your restaurant
Let’s now see how a restaurant owner or manager can use this social network to promote his business. Since the restaurant is not an actual person, it is advised not to create a Facebook profile per se, but a Facebook Fanpage, more adapted to professional businesses. A Fanpage enables a business to publish any type of content, but unlike Facebook profiles, those content will reach “fans”, not “friends”.
As a “fan”, “John Smith” will always know what the restaurant Chez Jean-Pierre is up to, but the restaurant won’t have any access to John’s personal information. A rather reassuring aspect for the average Facebook user, who does not necessarily want someone he does not personally know to browse through his photographs or find out where he spent his last holidays. There are to this day approximately 42 million Facebook pages with at least 10 fans on Facebook. The more fans a page will have, the more visibility it will have on the social network’s search engine.
How to interact on Facebook?
“Like” One of the strengths of this social network is that it makes all kinds of dynamic interaction extremely easy, and it entices people to share their opinion or feelings. The “like” button is simply a way to show one’s enthusiasm or approval over a Facebook post.
“Comment” Each post, whether it is a simple status, a picture or a video, gives a Facebook user the possibility to publicly express his or her opinion. A simple way to interact freely and to and even ask questions regarding a given post, whether it was published by a personal profile or by a professional page.
“Tagging” In any kind of publication or comment, a Facebook user has the possibility to “tag” one or several of his or her “friends” : those people will automatically receive a notification from Facebook and won’t miss out on the post you wanted them to see.
“Check in” Litterally like “checking in” before boarding an airplane: each Facebook user, if he or she wishes to, can let people know where they are at a given moment, thanks to the beauty of geolocation. Enjoying that ice cream cone at a trendy Café? A simple check-in and all your Facebook friends will know where to find you !
Facebook is always coming up with brand new features to make the social network evolve constantly, and people seem to enjoy it!
How to get more “likes” or “fans” on my restaurant’s Facebook page?
The standard way
- A Facebook user already knows or has heard of your restaurant : he can simply use Facebook’s search engine, find your page, and become a “Fan” by hitting that precious like button.
- He or she does not necessarily know the name of your restaurant, but sees what you’re up to thanks his Facebook friends who share content they find useful or interesting: video, article, fun facts or photographs. If they find that content appealing, it is very likely that they will like your Facebook page and become a fan. All information published via your professional page will naturally reach him through his general newsfeed.
You can also find a great number of tools, tricks and apps which can make your Facebook page more visible.
- The “page promotion” tool. This feature can be extremely useful if you wish to increase rapidly your number of fans
after creating your page. Facebook actually enables you to appear as a “Suggested Page” in the newsfeed of Facebook users which correspond to your target audience. For example, if a Mexican restaurant owner wishes to attract more students, he can target his page towards people aged from 18-28, currently studying and fond of Mexican food. Facebook will do the rest, and depending on how much you are willing to spend – from $50 to several thousand dollars – , your page will appear on their newsfeed as a suggestion.
- Trackin “Delivery. Made easy.” This solution allows restaurants which offer a delivery service to optimize their entire delivery process. With Trackin, a restaurant’s clients are automatically notified via text and/or email when their food leaves the restaurant, and they receive a link to track the delivery guy in real time on an interactive map, thanks to geolocation. What’s in it for you? During a delivery, Trackin invites people to rate the service of the restaurant, and to share their experience on different social networks, including Facebook. You gain more fans on your page, and gain visibility on the web.
A Facebook page for my restaurant: why?
Sure, your name is mentioned on the town’s “where-to-go”” guide, you’re listed on all the restaurants directories online you have even tried to promote your business through group buying websites. So you’re probably wondering : how can a Facebook page help my business?
#1 A more direct way to address your customers
With your own restaurant Facebook page, you actually have the luxury to update your customers on your activity in a more direct way. This makes things a lot easier and simpler for your customers, who won’t have to go far to get information about your business. All the info comes directly to them: new products, events or simply your daily mood: you are completely free to reach your customers with the type of content you prefer.
#2 Build a community around your restaurant
By regularly publishing powerful content on your Facebook page, you will quickly see your number of fans rise – thank you “Sharing” button. Trick: the most shared content are the ones that trigger some sort of emotional or physical response: laughter, joy, empathy or even hunger! A beautiful photograph, one of your secret recipes or even a short-term promotional offer: your fans/customers become ambassadors of your restaurant by making those type of content go viral.
Don’t forget: each new “like”/”fan” is a potential new customer that you can address directly. Try to avoid content with no real added value: the first reason that make people “unlike” a page is their lack of interest in what the page has to say.
#3 Stay in your customers’ minds at all time
You probably already know this, but a relationship with your customers is not so different from a romantic relationship. Never think you have completely won them over otherwise you might lose them. You should work hard on it! By regularly appearing on their newsfeed, keep in mind that your customers will think of you and your products when they are craving their favorite dish.
Careful though: don’t become a “spammer”: too much information and your fans might get sick of it. “Too many publications” is the number 2 cause for unliking a Facebook page. For a professional page, it is usually advised to publish from 3 to 5 times a week, as long as each content can be of interests for your fans: don’t just publish for the sake of publishing!
Using social media for your restaurant: how to succeed
Ok, we have established the fact that Facebook is a fantastic marketing and communication tool. It helps you reach more customers, and improve your customer loyalty. In other words: if you use it well, Facebook can boost your business in no time! Although the number one social network is rather easy to use, we’ve decided to give you a few tips to help you improve your online communication!
#4 Define precise and strategic goals before creating your page
Creating a Facebook page for your restaurants without setting yourselves some strategic goals beforehand is not the best way to start. If you want to have your own page, because that is what everybody seems to be doing, think twice before you create it. “I have a Facebook page ! My customers will see that I live with my time” – So what?
You need to focus on your needs, and set some priorities. What do you want? Do you need to change your brand image for the customers that already go to your restaurants? Do you want to reach Facebook users that have never heard of you? Simply start by asking yourself: where am I and where do I want t take my business?
#5 A picture is worth a thousand words: good photographs make a difference
Keep in mind that a professional Facebook page is the reflect of your restaurant. Low quality images won’t do your brand image any good! Using professional photos is more than recommended! No need to spend a fortune for that: use your network to find someone with a good quality camera and photography skills!
Photographs can be used to glorify your premises, your staff as well as the dishes you serve too your customers. High quality and tasteful photographs encourage people to share your publications, and therefore increase your visibility on the web. People tend to like it when things get visual: 300 million photos are updated everyday by Facebook users.
#6 Talking about yourself is good, talking about others is even better
Sure, the aim of your page is to present your restaurant, highlight everything it has to offer: quality products, excellent customer service, cosy atmosphere, you name it. Careful though not to talk only about yourself. It is often advised to vary the type of content published on a professional page. “Here’s what I’m up to ! + What are you guys up to + Look at what those guys are up to” seems to be the right combo !
So a restaurant owner wishing to highlight its delivery service can share original videos on this topic, even if it does not necessarily have anything to do with his own restaurant. See the example of that Australian restaurant Jafflechutes, which makes sandwich “delivery” so much fun:
#7 Interact with your customers
Asking your customers about their opinion on your restaurant s is a good way to appear more reachable and accessible: it can only do good for your image. Encouraging customers to give you feedback and suggestions on your activity turns them into real stakeholders in your activity, and it makes them feel like they are part of a community. This is called crowdsourcing: it enables you to know what your customers want and need, and it can quickly become a source of inspiration for your activity.
#8 Good grammar and spelling ARE important for your image
Even if it seems quite obvious to the majority of you, many businesses can lack attention when they publish on their Facebook page, and can let a few typos and grammar mistakes go through. Even if it’s small, a syntax or spelling error makes you lose all credibility online. Don’t rush when you publish! Simply proof read everything before you make it public.
#9 Make your fans feel exclusive
Don’t think the job is done when a potential customer has hit the like button of your page! If he or she does not share your content, and does not talk about you to his friends or relatives, it would all have been for nothing. What you need to do is make them feel important and exclusive. You like my page? Here’s how I can reward you! Don’t hesitate to publish promotional offers only via your Facebook page, or organize funny competitions to make them win free meals or discounts on your menu! Those type of content will not only engage them, but also encourage them to share your content with their friends, and therefore make you gain visibility.
For instance: “50% off for the first people who will like the last photograph we uploaded”
#10 Turn your satisfied customers into opinion leaders
Sure, you are used to customers who, after a very pleasant meal, tell you they’ll let their whole group of friends know about you and your delicious products. Facebook surely did not invent word-of-mouth, it just made it simpler! It is up to you now to cease this opportunity and to make this word-of-mouth go faster!
For example: you can promote a photograph contest via your Facebook page. As a task, invite your customers to publish a funny picture of themselves at your restaurant. The customer whose photo will get the highest number of likes can win a dinner for two at your restaurants. To get those precious likes and optimize their chances to win, your customers will be encouraged to share their picture and therefore automatically promote your restaurant.
Internet users like games and contests. 35% of Internet users even say they “like” a page because it regularly promotes competitions, and 42% become fan because they hope to get promotional offers.
A Facebook page for my restaurant…A few figures!
1 billion users
42 million pages which have at least 10 fans
3.2 billion “likes” and “comments” everyday
17 billion geolocated posts
300 million photos uploaded everyday
1Like. 1 Fan. 1 Customer