There are several reasons why restaurants should leverage upon Facebook’s features. With a platform that’s constantly churning out new features, restaurants stand to benefit just by providing organic content or reposting user-generated content.
Free referrals sound too good to be true but when you really look into the features that Facebook has available, you’ll know that there’s plenty of word-of-mouth traffic going around. How this works is by having your diners and customers “check-in” to your restaurant’s location and to like your business page. “Checking-in” turns into a post that easily gets seen by 150-200 friends of the person who posted, while it informs their friends that they were there at the physical location. Liking a page ensures that your diners remain engaged with your business even after they leave the location. Any updates from your business page will appear on their feed and if they were satisfied with the service from dining in at your restaurant previously, any update from your page will likely pique their interest for future visits or orders.
Key point: Why leverage on free referrals? Facebook friends are generally acquainted with one another and that’s something you’ll have to keep in mind. Credibility is greatly enhanced when friends see posts from each other’s feeds and greater trust in the opinions of those in their network.
Have all your information readily available
Besides having your own website for your restaurant, having another platform to house your information is a plus. Why? Because we all know it’s not as easy updating a website as compared to a social media platform. On top of that, content from your own website is less likely to go viral as compared to something that’s already on social media.
First and foremost, fully complete your business profile on Facebook under the “Pages” feature. Include the basic information like your opening hours, rest days, address, and contact information. The fewer clicks it takes to know more about your establishment, the better.
If your restaurant accepts reservations, add a “Book Now” button to make it easier for potential diners. At the same time, make sure to have your menu uploaded onto your account. Other attributes of Facebook that you should make use of include adding your cuisine type, services that you provide like “Take Out” or “Good for Groups” to give potential diners an idea of what you have to offer. You could also include the price range of your menu under the additional information on your page as well.
Extending your reach
If you do have multiple locations, Facebook makes it simple to indicate all locations under the main organisation page. Location matters a lot to people that value convenience, hence, when you clearly state the availability of your restaurants in certain regions, people that were once unaware that you had an outlet there could start visiting your store.
One major benefit is that you will not be required to create new unique content for each and every individual location’s page, even though that is possible if you want to. Content can be shared across the pages and yet your audience could target more people because of the vicinities of your various locations. Another benefit is that if you have location-specific menus, it would work really well. For example, if one store location is located near a university campus, you could set up a promotion for students of that university and encourage them to dine in or order from you. This feature allows you to specifically target customers’ demographics, needs, and preferences.
Increase “traffic” during slow times
There are plenty of media and content that you can play with to create more enticing offers for your customers. Now that Facebook has the ability to monitor your busy hours and slower hours, perhaps it’s time to do something to increase your diners during slower times.
One good way to do that is by creating “online coupons” in the form of posts. Let’s say there are fewer customers on a Wednesday night and you want to incentivize and bring in business. Perhaps you could make a post promoting a 1-for-1 dining experience between 7pm to 8pm, and customers are required to show that they’ve liked your page as well as this post in order to redeem the promotion in-store. That way you can continue to increase following for your page while retaining information of your customers to retarget them in the near future. It’s a win-win situation for both sides.
Quick way to provide customer support
When we talk about Facebook, of course, we can’t miss out on Facebook messenger. While it lacks the features of a proper chatbot, it is rather sufficient in providing the bare minimum to engage your customers and answer queries on your behalf. Rather than having customers calling in all the time and having staff to answer the phone when they could already be busy serving customers, this Instant Messaging functionality helps to increase your front-of-house operational efficiency. You can include Frequently Asked Questions on your Messenger so that queries can easily be answered without you having to manage them.
If you happen to come across a negative review posted on your page, you can also take the time to personally message the customer and express your sincere apologies as well. Not just for negative reviews, if you want to personally thank someone for frequenting your establishment, this is a great way to do so.