5 Things Customers Want on Your Restaurant Facebook Page

Top 5 Ways to Keep Customers Coming Back Online and In Store

Facebook is by far the most used social media website by adults here in the United States, and many adults use the outlet to look up information about restaurants.  Some restaurant owners just seem to have a knack for engaging customers on the website while some just can't seem to figure it out.  What makes a great facebook page and what are the best small business owners doing on facebook that you aren't?  Read on and you might find that it's not as complicated as you think!  

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

People buy with their eyes, and they generally don't take the time to read paragraphs of information about your restaurant.  It's unfortunate, but it's a reality we face with such hectic lives and busy schedules.  Your customers want to see your storefront, your dining room, your food, and even some of your employees.  The more you share, the more prospective customers will feel familiar with your restaurant.  Be sure to take interesting, good quality photos and include a short caption with each.  This puts a little context to the photos and helps people to understand quickly the message that you are trying to convey.  Of course, high quality photos taken by a professional are wonderful, but you can take a very nice picture with a simple smart phone.  Personally, I'd rather see "real" pictures that aren't photoshopped because it conveys to me that this restaurant is proud of its food and storefront and the graphics don't need to be altered.  To see an example of what I believe to be interesting "real" photos, check out Armenti's Pizza facebook page.

Also Check out 10 Ways to Increase Sales Through Social Media!

Menu

The classic takeout menu at the cashier is a great way to bring back customers, but what if those customers don't hold on to the menu, or what if they don't have it with them at work when they want to place an order on their way home?  Better yet, what if they have never been to your restaurant and want access to your menu?  The fact is, people won't carry your menu around with them all the time and new customers need a way to find out what items you offer.  You can pay for a professional package to host your menu and make it look amazing and interactive, or you can do it for free.  Something as simple as snapping a picture of your menu and posting it to facebook will work, however that won't be as effective as creating a shortcut on your main facebook page that says menu.  There are many apps and websites who will do this for you for free, just search for "free facebook menu" and comb through to find one that works for you.  To check out a clean and simple menu option, check out Colarusso's Coal Fired Pizza of Dickson City facebook page.

Giveaways

Nothing keeps customers coming back to your facebook page quite like a giveaway.  I don't think it's a coincidence that the restaurants with the most followers, get the most likes, and have the most comments on every post have periodic giveaways.  If you want to see a great example of a small business providing effective giveaways, check out Andy's Pizza of Peckville's facebook page.  They gave away free pizza every Friday for several weeks in a row.  They did a fantastic job of engaging customers and generating interest through a giveaway.  One thing that amazes me about Andy's facebook page is that every time they post a photo, which they do often, the "likes" pour in from everywhere and they immediately get to the top of news feeds.  Combining these giveaways with interesting photos is one specific recipe for success that I have seen.  By the way, to create an effective giveaway promotion, a business doesn't have to spend a ton of money.  Something as simple as a pizza, a $10-$20 gift certificate, or a free entree given away on a consistent basis will generate excitement and a strong following of engaged customers.

Inside Information

A loyal customer is every restaurant owner's dream, but these type of customers are difficult to come by.  A loyal customer is one who feels a strong connection to a place and returns often because he or she loves the food and enjoys the service, but I don't believe these two important facets make a person come back religiously time after time.  At least for me, one thing that keeps me coming back is when a restaurant owner lets me inside their little restaurant family by connecting with me.  The old-fashioned way to do that is to sit down and chat with every customer to build a relationship which is very important, but takes a great deal of time and effort.  Facebook offers an opportunity to let people behind the curtain to let you know who you are and what your restaurant is about.  If you have a special product or secret that no one else has, I recommend talking about it on facebook and let your customers know a little about it.  I also think it's a great thing to let them know about you.  For a fantastic example of a restaurant owner that has become a local celebrity through facebook (as well as his personal touch) check out Joe's Pizza of Nanticoke facebook page.

5 Star Rating

For better or for worse, restaurants are now all graded on the five star rating system, and when people glance at ratings the number of stars really matters.  There is ample research available to suggest that each half star is worth a considerable amount of dollars in terms of sales.  Facebook now uses the five star rating scale for restaurants, and it is in your best interest to have as high of a rating as possible.  There are many ways to raise your rating both online and in-house, but the simplest way might be to call on your customers to help you out.  Of course this needs to be done tastefully or it could backfire.  For an example of how to ask for help, check out Basilico's Pizzeria of Dickson City's facebook posts.

Consider implementing these five elements into your facebook page and be consistent with them.  I guarantee you will grow your facebook following which will translate into more traffic into your store.  This means more sales for you and more that you can do for your customers.  Please consider following my model pizzerias used in this post because learning about what works and what doesn't starts with seeing what other people are doing.  You too can have a great facebook page that customers love!

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