If you own a restaurant or you are involved in managing one, you are constantly looking for new ways to bring more patrons through the door. Social media can become a very powerful tool in a restaurant owner's marketing toolbox. Facebook is one of the most effective social media channels for restaurants.
Facebook is social media tool very suitable to building brand awareness for a restaurant, create and maintain engagement with potential customers, promote incentives and get more people through the doors. As mentioned in a previous post, 3 Ways for the Restaurants in the Myrtle Beach Area to Use Social Media Marketing, there is a tough competition in the Myrtle Beach area for the restaurant business. Here are a few tips on how to use Facebook effectively:
- Put a face on your Facebook presence – your social media presence should contribute to your restaurant's overall business and marketing effort. As such, you have to use Facebook to support these efforts and the best way to do it is to put the right face behind the communication on this social media channel. Have a good, long term friendly yet knowledgeable waitress or barman be the face of your social media. Or, if you want to be known for your great food, create your social media postings around your chef.
- Boost the visual appearance of your Facebook page – we live in a visual world where more than 80 of the stimuli processed by our brain are visual. Use very attractive images for your Facebook cover image and create various tabs to reflect your menu offer. Create a lookbook of your current menu items and use bright and colorful food images for the tabs and throughout the posts. Make sure the images reflect your brand and emphasize the uniqueness of your restaurant.
- Use social promotions like sweepstakes and contests of your Facebook page. They add excitement and because of their viral nature they can bring n more people both to your Facebook page and in your restaurant.
- Use Facebook ads to promote your restaurant – they are a powerful marketing tool, able to increase awareness and create more business. Many restaurant owners might still believe social media is usually free marketing, but the universal law applies here, too: you get what you pay for. Facebook has limited the number of people who are exposed organically to your posts so the only effective way to promote your offer is through ads. Done right, Facebook ads are less costly than Google Adwords and their ROI is usually better than pay-per-click search engine marketing.
- Embed videos on your Facebook posts – create and post videos about how your food is made, interviews with happy customers, special events your restaurant sponsors, etc. People love videos and they get more exposure on Facebook than text posts.
If you truly want to be successful at social media, you have to think like your customers. Millions of people spend their vacation in the Myrtle Beach area and most of them are not willing to spend their time cooking so there is great business potential for the restaurants. Learn as much as you can about your clients, vacationers in the Myrtle Beach area and locals and find the right tone to engage with them. This will improve the chances that the Facebook page of your restaurant reaches the goal of getting people to come back and recommend it to their friends. If you follow restaurants on Facebook or if you own a restaurant, leave your 2 cents in the comments section below.
Antonel Neculai is a specialist in the area of communications, public relations and social media with extensive background in internet communication technologies. Holds a Master Degree in the field of communications. Besides being a contributor to our blog and many other specialized online and offline publications, Antonel Neculai also holds the position of MIS/Database Manager with the Chamber of Commerce of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Antonel taught Communications and Public Relations classes at Coastal Carolina University for more than four years and worked as a Public Relations Specialist for the Chamber of Commerce of Romania.