Why Facebook Marketing Is Essential For Your Restaurant

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Even in spite of Facebook’s terrible IPO it’s hard to deny that the social media site has done anything but change society. It seems like half the world is on Facebook and with nearly a billion registered users that number isn’t too far off. Just about everyone who owns a computer uses Facebook and some people are downright addicted to the website.

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Now, many businesses and restaurants are setting up Facebook pages for their company. From McDonald’s to the local diner, your favorite restaurant is most likely on the ubiquitous social media site. Having a great social media strategy can raise revenues and build up your brand so it’s easy to see why so many businesses are signing up.

Some business owners and corporate leaders are setting up pages simply because everyone else is doing it. While this might be good enough of a reason to get off of the sideline and onto the site, there are great opportunities for savvy business owners who learn how to maximize their presence on Facebook.

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There is no one definitive list in regards to the benefits of Facebook but there are some general points that you should consider. If you are trying to decide whether or not to set up a Facebook account for your restaurant (or other small business) consider the following:

1. Facebook is Great for “Word of Mouth”
Perhaps no other social media site is as effective in regards to word-of-mouth advertising. This is especially true of fans on your Facebook page, with over half of consumers stating that they will recommend a product after they become a fan on Facebook. In fact, if you think about it, most people will only become your “fan” if they like your restaurant. Thus, just the simple action of “liking” your business can be viewed as a recommendation. And when people become fans this information is made public to their friends and family on Facebook.

2. Fans Convert to Customers
…And customers convert to fans! Facebook is a great way to spread awareness about your restaurant or small business. When people see your Facebook page and the associated restaurant they may become interested and swing by to taste the food. Meanwhile when your pre-established customers come across your page there’s a great chance they will “like” the page and blast your brand to their friends and family in their network.

3. It Helps Build Relationships With Customers
Customers love to see “behind the scenes” photos of restaurants and special occasions, such as birthdays and anniversaries. They also love to see the people behind the curtain, including managers and owners. This helps customers build a personal relationship and connection with your business. Instead of seeing you and your staff merely as workers, customers start to view you as friends and personal associates. And who would most people rather buy from? A trusted friend or a stranger on the street?

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4. Can be Used to Promote Your Promotions!
Facebook is a great platform for promoting sales and promotions. And promotions, in turn, are a great way to promote your Facebook page. One popular option is to tie a coupon requirement to liking your page. Let’s say you own a pizza parlor, you could offer people a 50% discount on pizza in exchange for simply “liking” your restaurant’s page. This rewards customers and helps you build up your fan base all at once. One study has suggested that nearly 60% of people become fans in order to secure a discount so the method is tried and proven!

5. Will Increase Your marketing Results
Facebook has a whole array of tools that you can use to target highly specific customers. Using Facebook ads you can target people within a certain geographical area, such as your hometown, and also people who fit a certain profile. Continuing with the pizza parlor example, you could target people who “like” pizza on their profile. You could also target users who are a part of the networks of your current fans. After all, friends and family tend to share interests don’t they?

So Join Up now!
It’s easy to see that pretty much every business can benefit from a Facebook page and a smart social media strategy. If you are not on Facebook already, you should set up an account soon. If you have already set up an account but are having trouble maximizing your results, don’t worry there are plenty of places you can seek help from!

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