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Facebook Marketing for Restaurants: Promote

(Part 3 of 3)

You’ve defined your addressable market on Facebook and developed a rock-solid content strategy that will connect with your audience. Now, read on to learn how to develop a deep understanding of the opportunities to maximize distribution across Facebook. The methods of connecting with your ideal Facebook audience fall neatly into two categories: paid advertising and earned media.

Paid Advertising

Facebook Ads

Facebook’s own advertising system can be an inexpensive means of connecting with your customers. Although the cost of online advertising is still fairly low, as it becomes more popular, the costs are rising. It’s becoming increasingly important to target the most relevant audiences possible.

Given the network’s in-depth user profile and behavioral data, Facebook knows a great deal about its users. It makes that information available to its advertisers through a series of filters. Target your ad by location, age, gender, and various other demographics. Further refine your audience by segmenting based on their hobbies and interests, the applications that they use, or the pages they like. You can even target the friends of your existing Facebook connections. No matter who you target, always include the “Like” button in your Facebook ads to make it easy for new fans to connect with you.

Multi-Channel Marketing: Bringing Offline to Online

Finding inventive ways to bring Facebook into offline life is one of the fastest growing trends among advertisers. Much like pushing a loyalty card or email opt-in, driving a Facebook like gives your restaurant another way to communicate with your guests. Consider incorporating your restaurant’s Facebook page into your other marketing channels. For instance, promote a Facebook contest through television, print and banner advertising. Add QR codes to your point-of-purchase displays, and provide a reason for your guests to connect with you from their mobile phones while in the restaurant. Drive those already on your email list to find you on Facebook with a dedicated email campaign.

More than 2 million websites have taken advantage of Facebook’s API, including features such as the “Like” button and Recommendations plugin on their own website. Guests that utilize these functions while outside of the Facebook network are a highly desirable group:  they have 2.4 times the average number of friends and generate 4 times the page views of a typical online visitor1.

Earned Media

Just as offline public relations can broadcast your restaurant’s message and increase credibility, on Facebook you can use available third-party media sources to enhance your messaging efforts.  Identify and connect with the industry’s influencers, including reporters, critics, and bloggers. Traditional news journalists are spending more time in social media searching for story ideas, trends and sources, which makes them fairly easy to engage. Likewise, bloggers spend almost 10 hours a week on social networks, twice as long as the average user.

Targeted 1:1 Communication

Facebook is an open environment. You have the option to reach-out to any user you choose, so look for means of identifying high-priority members. An excellent place to start this work is with any unofficial pages that might have been created on behalf of your brand:  let them know you value their efforts, and encourage them to link to you and engage with your official site. Also, tactfully communicating with fans of your competitors is another option for gaining high-value insight and driving customer conversion.

Viral

Viral distribution is one of the most valuable opportunities offered by Facebook:  no marketing activity carries more weight with consumers than the advice and recommendations of their friends. Facebook is full of information, and 78% of social media users consider what their friends have shared prior to making a purchase decision2. It’s easy to use this knowledge on your Facebook page and other media messaging.  Include opportunities to share information wherever you can, from requesting likes and shares in your posts to adding a refer-a-friend tab to your page.

More importantly, understand the psychology that drives sharing. Most social media is about broadcasting: it’s people looking to speak to an audience about their likes and interests. These users don’t want to peddle your restaurant’s coupon to their friends. They want the appreciation from their friends that they found a great deal and had the kind thought to let them in on it.

Conclusion

Fishbowl’s simple three step process of Prepare, Produce, and Promote will serve to focus your brand’s approach to succeeding on Facebook. The time and energy you spend researching, planning and understanding your audience’s preferences will prepare you for success; but it’s the monitoring, execution and rapid adoption that will pay dividends.

Fishbowl offers a number of solutions to help you along the way, from industry leading email marketing, guest database management and analytics products, to our expert consulting and project management services. A leader in online marketing for restaurants, we have helped our clients generate billions in sales via email and social media audience.

 

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