Almost 12 percent of the world’s population is an active user on Facebook, according to the site’s statistics. Half of those people, it says, check the website on any given day.
Those are impressive numbers and you could be reaching a good number of them when consumers ‘like’ your restaurant.
Every time a customer dines with you and then clicks the ‘like’ button on your Facebook page, all of that person’s friends receive a notification that they’ve done so. The average user, according to Facebook, has 150 friends.
There’s nothing quite as sweet as free advertising, but how do you get customers to ‘like’ your restaurant?
Dave Gonyor, CEO of That’s Biz, a Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based company that provides online marketing options for restaurants, offers some tips:
- Provide something to consumers who ‘like’ your restaurant. “People are practical and are looking for special offers,” Gonyor explains.
- Consumers want information quickly so make your Facebook page easy to navigate. One of the top reasons people visit a restaurant’s Facebook page is to check out a menu so make it a one-click process to get to it on your website from there. Also make the tab to click to get to the menu stand out. “It must be very visual,” Gonyor explains. “You only get seconds with people. People have got to know what to do by looking at that image; there can’t be thinking involved.”
- If you do a lot of take-out or delivery, include a tab on your Facebook page that takes consumers directly to the page on your website for ordering.
- Use your wall to interact and have a conversation with customers to engage them. Asking questions on your wall helps engage customers and that means your wall posts will show up in more people’s newsfeeds—and thus, more free publicity for you. But be careful what you say and think about the image you want to portray, Gonyor advises. Steer clear of touchy subjects like religion and politics.
- Local restaurants can and should be involved in the local community—hold contests for games of school sports teams, for example. Then let everyone know about that through your wall. “Think in terms of a conversation with a friend. If you were to tell them about a local event or fundraiser you may be supporting you would do that in a way that would be informative and express how you enjoy helping organizations,” Gonyor says. At the same time, he advises, ask the organizations which are benefitting from your generosity to visit your page and comment, like, post or share their appreciation and to help increase your exposure.
- Have a clear tab on your website that takes consumers directly to your Facebook page. Include links in your email marketing to Facebook, too.
- When you create a Facebook page you are given the option of creating what’s called a ‘vanity URL,’ such as www.facebook.com/yourvanityurl. This is a great idea as it’s another way for people to find you, Gonyor says. “Make it simple,” he explains, “and don’t put punctuation in.” If a chain has multiple locations and each one has a Facebook page the town can be added to the vanity URL, such as www.facebook.com/davesrestaurantchicago.
By Amanda Baltazar