Are you using Facebook to promote your bar or restaurant? If not, you’re missing out. Facebook has proven to be a valuable marketing tool for millions of small businesses— and bars and restaurants are among those that can benefit the most.
If you have a personal Facebook page, you’ve probably noticed the posts that get the most attention are usually about food, drinks or bars. Everyone likes to find out about new and cool places near them—and everyone has opinions to share. That means bars and restaurants are a natural for Facebook. Try these five tips to take advantage of Facebook’s marketing muscle.
- Create a Facebook business page. You’ll want a business Facebook page separate from your personal page. Visit Facebook and you’ll be guided through the simple steps. Include key info such as your bar or restaurant’s address, phone number, hours of operation and website. Then jazz it up by adding elements like photos (of your bar or restaurant, your regular customers, popular dishes) and videos (of events at your location or a bartender mixing a signature cocktail). Facebook lets you easily create surveys, ask fun questions or take polls on customers’ favorite dishes.
- Engage users. Give users reasons to not just “like” you, but also interact with you. Promote your Facebook page in your emails, on your business website, in your marketing materials and with a decal in the window of your bar or restaurant (you can get these from the Facebook site). Let fans comment on your page and respond when they do. Visit the Help Center on Facebook to find out about apps (applications) you might want to add to your page. The more you engage users, the more likely they are to tell others about your business.
- Post regularly.Many businesses start off with a bang on Facebook but then their presence dwindles to a few sporadic posts. Just like no one wants to drink in an empty bar, no one wants to visit a deserted Facebook page—so commit to posting regularly. Here are some ideas for posts: Today’s special, upcoming events, new menu items, seasonal drinks, contests, a secret word that gives users a 10 percent discount if they say it to their server…you get the idea. Time your posts with key dayparts-for instance, around 11:00, when people are making lunch plans, is a good time to post lunch specials and 3:00, when people’s energy is flagging at work, is a great time to post happy hour items. There are plenty of great platforms out there to help with posting. Try RevSocialmedia
- Consider advertising.Facebook advertising is great for local businesses because it allows you to micro‐target users. For example, you could set parameters so your ads appear only to men in their 20s within a 5‐mile radius of your brewpub who like craft beers. You can pay on a pay‐per‐click basis or pay when people see the ad, set spending limits and adjust them any time.
- Keep learning. Facebook is constantly changing, so don’t get left behind. Search online and visit sites like Mashable for articles and webinars on using Facebook for business. Also learn by watching what other food‐service businesses are doing on Facebook—for instance, Starbucks has one of the biggest Facebook fan bases around.