Facebook started back in 2004 as a social network for college students. Today, it has over 2 billion users worldwide. Facebook is not just for looking at cute cat videos or searching for old high school classmates; it has become a useful tool for small business marketing, as well. Facebook is easy to use and can help you connect with customers and reach new ones. Many places have realised it and are using social media to promote restaurant.
First, let’s cover the basics. Here is some Facebook terminology to help you get started.
This is your Facebook profile, where you can upload a profile picture and cover photo (a background photo for the top of your page). It’s referred to as a Timeline because it can include important milestones and other events and is organized chronologically.
Once you’ve filled out your profile, it’s time to start searching for friends. A small business page doesn’t have friends, it has ‘likes.’ But more about that later. You search for people you know at the top of the page in the search box. Facebook will also suggest ‘People you may know.’
This is where you will see posts from your friends, and businesses and brands that you ‘like.’ It is also the first page that will appear when you log on. Facebook has an algorithm that determines which news is most important to you, so you won’t necessarily see all of your friends’ posts. If you want to see posts in chronological order, you can click the ‘sort’ option at the top of the news feed and select ‘Most Recent.’
A status update can be anything from a comment to a photo to sharing your location by ‘checking in.’ For a small business, like a restaurant, this is where you would share your daily specials, menu updates, and basically anything interesting or engaging about your restaurant.
As we mentioned earlier, there are different parts to Facebook. Facebook offers a profile, group, or page, but to have the last two, you must first have a basic profile. A Facebook group is a group page designed for a discussion. For example, Chicago Foodies could be a group where people that live in Chicago can share information about the food culture of the city. Most small businesses, however, would opt for a ‘page.’A group or community is for people wishing to discuss and learn about a common interest, like food in Chicago. A page is more appropriate for businesses. It is a public profile for your business that anyone can ‘like.’
How to Create a Facebook Page
You will first need a Facebook profile to create a page. Then, choose the heading Facebook Page. Here you will be asked to choose a category. Choose Local Business. Next, you will be asked to complete the profile of the page. Add as many details as possible, your address and contact information being the most important. Choose a photo. This would most likely be your restaurant’s logo. The cover photo could be a shot of your restaurant, inside or outside, or even of your staff.
How to Get More ‘Likes’
The easiest way to get a few ‘likes’ in the beginning is to share your page with friends and family. Encourage them to share your Facebook page with others, by sharing your posts. When you are logged into Facebook, you can ‘like’ as yourself or you can ‘like’ as your business. Make sure that you are ‘liking’ as your business. This can be confirmed or changed at the top of the screen where is says ‘liking as.’ You can also gain more ‘likes’ by ‘liking’ other similar pages. Say you own a café. You can ‘like’ other businesses in your area. Their posts will appear on your news feed and you can like and share them too. If you are engaged with other people’s posts, they may become engaged with yours.
How to Engage Your Audience
Visuals, like photos, are the easiest way to get people to notice your posts. You have to make your visual content stand out, like by showing good food photos. It is also important to get people to interact by ‘liking’, commenting on, or sharing your posts. The more interaction you have, the more of your posts show up in other news feeds.
A Restaurant’s Guide to Facebook
Post regularly. You should post a combination of photos, videos, and links. Ideally the links you post will lead them to visit your website or complete a specific action. When people visit your page, they want to see that it is being updated regularly. Next, post content that speaks to your target market. If you own a café, you shouldn’t be posting information about last week’s football game (unless you have a sports themed café). The content should be relevant for your audience (i.e. your customers). Try posting about special coffees, links to where your coffee comes from, as well as special offers.
Facebook is a simple, free social media tool that can help you market your business. Using Facebook, in combination with other social media applications like Twitter, Yelp, and Instagram can advertise your business on the internet and help bring in new customers.