Have you considered investing in Facebook marketing to promote your restaurant? 

If not, you absolutely should. According to Business Insider, restaurants which invested in Social Media Marketing saw up to 60% increase in revenue as opposed to the ones which did not.  

In this article, we will share with you some practical ways to make you stand out from your competition and  exponentially grow your Facebook presence.

With over a billion active users, Facebook is making itself one of the most attractive platforms for restaurant marketeers. This is in part due to the fact that everyone needs to eat, and with the right Facebook marketing strategy your restaurant could be their top choice.

But with such intense competition on the platform, how do you make sure you stand out? The answer is simple. You need to be taking advantage of a number of proven marketing tips and tricks that will get you one step closer to achieving your goal of growing your business.

In this article you will learn 24 Facebook marketing ideas and strategies you can implement right now to 3x your growth.

1. Use relevant hashtags to reach more people

Hashtags are an easy and convenient method to make your posts discoverable. If you run a small Facebook page, it’s difficult to reach a broad audience. But, by using popular hashtags, or hashtags relevant to current events, you can solve this issue and increase the probability that people will find your page. This might seem very simple but major brands across the globe have used hashtags to successfully ramp up their sales. 

2. Recycle successful content to win the market

As a restaurant on social media, there might be a lot of pressure to consistently post fresh and engaging content. One of the most pivotal yet overlooked content strategies is taking pre-existing content and either reusing it or recycling it to create a new piece of content.

Your followers aren’t online 24/7, so odds are the vast majority of them haven’t even seen the original post. This is the perfect opportunity to repost a picture or blog post that didn’t do too well the first time, or to repost a successful picture from a while ago to replicate the results. So, this is how you can use previously successful content to further strengthen brand image and boost sales.

3. A treasure trove of promotions: Facebook Ads

When it comes to online advertising, Google Ads aren’t your only option. Facebook has a highly advanced and effective ad manager that can help your restaurant reach massive amounts of potential guests while staying within the campaign budget. You don’t need a budget in the thousands to achieve success, anything from $40 to a couple hundred is enough to reach a decent sized local audience. Hence, make good use of Facebook ads to increase followers as well as sales.

4. Respond to your customer’s queries ASAP to build loyalty

Restaurant Facebook pages are oftentimes the first place people browse through when wanting to learn more about a restaurant. By swiftly responding to questions and comments left on your Facebook profile including: your posts, cover image, profile photo and chat-bot, your page will display a message that says “Responds quickly” to anyone who is on your page. This increases how likely guests are to leave comments. And a higher number of comments, can also give you an opportunity to engage with your followers more often and build brand loyalty. 

5. Optimize Bookings by using modern technology

Booking widgets provide restaurants with a simple and easy to use method for receiving online reservations. By using a unique link across your social media pages, you’ll be able to tap into the full booking potential of your restaurant. Features that are built into these booking widgets such as automatic SMS reminders or automatic SMS reschedulers help to reduce no-shows and over bookings. Hence, they help you optimize bookings at your restaurant and ensure cost effectiveness. 

These links can be used in place of the conventional “Book Now” button on Facebook.

 6. Claim your URL to set yourself apart

As soon as your page starts to amass likes, Facebook allows you to change your URL to a custom one. This is perfect to make concise and shareable links that can be strongly associated with your restaurant. A custom URL will not only help build brand loyalty but it will also help your brand stand out from the competition. 

7. Include a like button across other platforms to increase page traffic

If your restaurant has a website or blog, adding ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons across your platforms is a great way to redirect traffic back to your Facebook restaurant page. Try using interesting call to actions like “Want to see more from us?” or “Check out our latest deals” to encourage people to visit your page.

8. Don’t forget to spread the word through email marketing

If you send a lot of emails on a daily basis, try adding your Facebook link to your email footer to grab a few more profile views from potentially interested people. What you need to remember here is to not spam the user’s email inbox but to provide genuine value to them by sharing useful tips. For example, a restaurant can send users tips about healthy eating and recipes. Following these tips can help improve email open and click rates.

9. Go the extra mile by staying active on weekends

Social media marketing is a time consuming job, and this means posting content over the weekends when number of active users are at their highest. If you don’t want to be online on your days off, Facebook also gives you the option of scheduling posts for future dates. A couple of minutes every week means you have a constant flow of engaging content for your followers.

10. Use custom Facebook tabs to add value to your brand

Facebook allows you to add custom tabs on your profile. This is a perfect way to update your page with some custom landing pages to increase email subscribers, entries to a give-away, or even try out your restaurant. By adding useful information to your Facebook profile you are providing value to all page visitors, which could help establish your credibility.

11. Post Videos to increase engagement

Scroll through your Facebook feed, and the one thing that will stand out is the sheer number of videos that are being shared on the social network on a daily basis. Posting interesting and engaging videos on your Facebook page is an easy way to connect with your followers. Try a number of different types of videos to see which works best. Once you figure out the type of video that works best for your brand, you can keep leveraging it for successive campaigns  Most importantly – make sure your videos are shareable.

12. Use Facebook Live to connect with customers more effectively

One of the newest additions to a plethora of social media sites is the ability to broadcast live video. On Facebook this is the perfect way to show off a launch, a special event, or even just a tour of your restaurant to your followers. This can be an incredible way to connect with your followers and even to answer their most pressing questions.

13. Figure out when most customers are online and post only then

Facebook insights will tell you when your followers are online. Use this to inform your content posting strategy and post when you know most of them are online. This will increase engagement on your posts. The stronger the engagement, the stronger your brand image will be.

14. Pay special attention to the quality of your content

Social media is an image driven medium. Posting high quality photos along with your content will only increase engagement from your followers. Using top quality photos will add value to your brand by showcasing to your followers that this is a high quality brand. More importantly, you need to be consistent in posting high quality photos.

15. An updated Facebook profile photo is more relatable

Your Facebook profile photo is the image that is representative of your entire company. While it is a great way to increase brand recognition, it can also be used as another form of Facebook marketing. Updating your profile and cover photos to reflect special events, offers or competitions is an easy method of getting it in front of more people.

16. Pinned posts are likely to get more attention

Facebook allows you pin posts to the top of your feed. Use this to pin recent blog posts, competitions, and special offers so it’s the first thing people see when they come across your Facebook page. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many restaurants pinned their new and updated health policies to the top of the page. The purpose once again, is to make the buyer’s journey as convenient as possible. 

17. Include a simple CTA for effective results

Oftentimes it can be difficult to increase engagement on Facebook, but with one simple change you can increase the likelihood that users will interact with your posts. Calls-to-action are the bread and butter of social media marketing and adding statements like “Share this post!” or “Comment below with your favorite dish” are simple ways to entice your followers.

18. Think deeply about what and how you will post

If you are a restaurant wanting to increase customers through Facebook, you might be wondering how often to post about your venue. Your followers aren’t interested in being spammed with only promotional content.

Instead try to balance out your posts by following the 60/30/10 ratio. 60% of your content should be interesting and valuable, 30% of your content should be something your followers would want to share, and the last 10% should be promoting your restaurant. Remember, these percentages are not set in stone and you should experiment with the ratios which work best for your restaurant.

19. User generated content gets more attention

The best way to reward your loyal followers is by sharing photos or videos they take when visiting your restaurant. This not only encourages customers to post more content in hopes of being shared, but it also keeps your profile updated with interesting content. Lastly, it also demonstrates to your followers that you are taking an active interest in their content.

20. Make your Facebook Profile as informational as possible

The most crucial aspect of running a Facebook profile for your business is ensuring that your profile is complete. One of the first things that potential customers do after discovering your restaurant is going through its Facebook profile for more information. Make sure as much useful and relevant information is available as possible.

This includes:

  • Adding a menu
  • Adding operating hours
  • Contact information
  • Specifying cuisine type

21. Influencer Marketing can be a major driver of sales

A proven tactic to create a mass appeal for your restaurant is to partner with influencers. Inviting social media influencers is the quickest way to get word out to the public of your restaurant. Social media influencers, often including bloggers and vloggers, are people who have garnered thousands or perhaps millions of online followers.

One picture or tweet through their social media accounts can result in hundreds of potential customers wanting to visit.

22. GIFs are sure to catch users’ attention

Your followers are most likely scrolling through Facebook on their phones, it’s also highly likely they aren’t interested in watching videos on Facebook while busy. This is the reason posting GIFs is a great idea.

GIFs are short video snippets that don’t have sound and don’t take minutes to fully load or watch. They are the perfect way to get a small point across to your followers while providing entertaining  content.

23. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box

If you are just starting on Facebook, it might be hard to get your posts in front of a larger audience. By tagging other major pages in your post you increase your reach. If one of these larger pages likes or shares your post, it will show to their entire following too. One such example could be to tag a major food review magazine in your posts. And if that magazine responds, you could potentially multiply your reach. 

24. Share content from Instagram

If Facebook isn’t your thing and you are more active on Instagram, you can set your Instagram photos to automatically share on Facebook. This creates a steady stream of content on Facebook based off of your other social media platform. So, even if you’re active on only one social media platform, you will be active on all of them.

Why restaurants cannot survive without Facebook Marketing?

According to a Cornell University study, 59 percent of chain restaurants and 79 percent of independent restaurants use Facebook for marketing purposes. It’s a growing marketing tactic that over a few short years has helped restaurants gain greater brand recognition and attract new customers.

Although it’s usage and adoption rates are growing fast, as a restaurant with limited budgets it’s important to understand the return on investment Facebook provides. In this section, we’re breaking down the benefits of Facebook and the steps you can take to make it successful in your restaurant.

1 – Increased Revenue

When used properly, Facebook can be a great opportunity to increase sales. In fact, according to Marketing Charts, 41 percent of businesses already depend on Facebook to drive revenue.

One of the best ways Facebook can grow revenue is through direct messaging. Today, restaurants can reach out to customers, making it easier to sell a product or offer a service. Similarly, customers can reach out to restaurants if they have any queries or concerns, such as; menu, event inquiries, working hours, and much more. By having additional options for communication, restaurants can broaden their audience to be more far-reaching.

In order to see optimal results from direct messaging in your restaurant, we recommend leveraging technology to optimize the process for customers and team members.  With the right messaging platform, when a customer posts a query, your team members can be alerted immediately. Customers are all about quick responses, so the faster you respond the more satisfied they are.

In addition, an optimal messaging platform will be able to route messages to specific departments according to the  nature of the customer’s quest. Having that process in place makes it easier for teams to answer questions and it reduces the wait time for customers.

Another highly used strategy to increase sales via Facebook is using “Calls To Action” (CTA’s). Using an aesthetically appealing image and a button that allows you to message team members, you can inform the customer of promotions and encourage conversations with teams that could lead to more sales. In addition, CTA’s allow you to reach prospects that aren’t following your page or that are outside of your community, giving you an increased opportunity to bring customers into your restaurant.

2 – Stronger Brand Advocacy

Having a Facebook profile dedicated to your restaurant is a great way to build brand advocacy. Whether you like, comment, or message a customer on Facebook, it allows you to interact properly with them both on and off the restaurant premises, so you can further nurture mutual relationships.  

The first way that Facebook supports brand advocacy is through direct conversations. Getting to know the customer on a deeper level, and vice-versa, makes it easier for your restaurant to better understand their needs and offer them value. For example, if Father’s Day is coming up and a regular customer is always connecting with you on Facebook, you can send them a message on Facebook Messenger a few days before to inform them of “Father’s Day dinner specials”. This shows your customer that you care about them, while also encouraging them to visit again.

Remember, when having a one on one conversation you should always be open and friendly. It’s important to listen to what customers are saying and respond promptly. You should be able to listen to customer sentiment and understand how the customer is feeling, so you can address negative experiences quickly. By having their experience rated from “Not satisfied” to “Completely satisfied”, you can acknowledge, respond, and recover those who are not.

Lastly, you can also build brand advocacy with Facebook by always responding to queries on a timely basis. Time to respond is everything in the restaurant world, especially when it comes to upset customers.  According to Tech Crunch, failure to respond to a customer via Facebook on a timely basis can lead to a 15% increase in the churn rate. A technology platform can help by notifying teams immediately and decreasing time to respond, further driving satisfaction and loyal customers.

3 – Social Interaction is the way to go

With over a billion Facebbok users around the globe, this social media platform has become the preferred method of communication between consumer and brand.

For customers, Facebook is convenient because it’s easy to navigate and it’s fast. For many, it’s integrated into everyday life so it’s worry-free and isn’t a pain to adopt. Having the ability then to connect using Facebook will not only satisfy the customer’s needs but help you drive loyalty for future conversions.

This is especially true if your restaurant is trying to target large demographic groups such as Millennials – who are social media mavericks. In fact, in 2016, 5 out of 6 millennials connected with companies on social media networks. Similarly, some 88% of 18 to 29-year olds indicate that they would use any form of social media. It’s a large preference and it’s important to use if you want more customers and an overall greater penetration.

Social media platforms are quickly shaping up to be the new preferred form of communication that businesses need to use in order to effectively communicate with customers. Carrying a range of capabilities, from building brand advocates to maximizing revenue, social media should be a strategy you adopt into your restaurant if you want limitless growth.