In what can be considered a sort of social media arms race, brands and businesses are in a hurry to ramp up the number of fans they have on Facebook and Twitter. Restaurants in particular are slowly, but surely joining in the race. While some are better at utilizing Facebook pages and all of its features, there is still a large percentage of restaurants that are still in the ‘make or break stage’ of Facebook.
By the ‘make or break stage,’ we refer to the time period in which a brand may become frustrated at poor results which may discourage them from moving forward with social media. Rather than feeling like your efforts are wasted and that there is no hope, consider the following tips on how restaurants can increase their Facebook fan base and presence.
When you walk into an Apple store, the experience in itself is part of their value proposition. In the same sense, consider your Facebook fan page as your very own Apple store. Everything from your Facebook timeline to your Facebook Cover page image should be optimized and branded for your business.
- Facebook Cover Image
- Facebook Timeline (milestones, highlighted stories, visibility)
- About information
- Photos (visibility, organization – albums, captions)
- Page permissions (admins, posting permissions by fans)
Fan Page Badge
Using Facebook’s creative center and tools, you are able to create a Fan Page Like Box that can be embedded onto other websites and blogs. Aside from allowing fans to see your Facebook Fan Pages’ latest updates, it can also be customized to show photos, different border colors and any embed size.
Get visual, get fans
One of the biggest mistakes that a business can make with their Facebook Page is to neglect the visual component and storytelling that Facebook makes possible. Using Facebook’s Photo sharing features, consider posting images of dishes off your menu, your restaurants environment, special events and even your happy customers.
Remember: A user is more likely to engage with an image that grabs their attention than a page full of only text.
Paid Advertising: Facebook Ads
If you have a budget, Facebook ads can be a good option for driving traffic to your Facebook page.
Before you jump in though, we provide a word of caution: Facebook ads are only as effective as the work that goes into it.
If you are new to Facebook ads, take some time to familiarize yourself with the the terminology and process in setting up your Facebook ads (CPM, Audience, Location, Friends of Friends, etc.). One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make is thinking that Facebook ads will immediately drive traffic and engagement, which is false. Facebook ad campaigns should be optimized for your audience and targeted so that your marketing dollars are spent wisely.
Helen Keller once said ”Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Using that same message, remember that social media in general is a team effort. Educate your staff on the proper way to use social media and even your own customers on how they can connect with you on Facebook. Even before going to customers and telling them to follow you on Facebook, it’s important to first get your own team to ‘buy in’ otherwise you will be a 1 man team.
What steps are you taking to increase your Facebook fan base and presence? What has been the most effective strategy? Let us know in the comments below.