Facebook is one of the world’s most frequently visited websites, given its easy-to-use format, lack of membership fees, and platforms for promoting everything from schoolyard bake sales to election campaigns. But it is also a great tool to launch your business – especially anything relating to the hospitality industry – with a posting format that favors large, high-resolution images over text. Potential customers can quickly and easily feast their eyes on the dishes you have on offer, putting a rumble in their tummy while giving them a good idea as to where they should get their next meal.
When promoting your restaurant on Facebook, the most obvious thing you’ll need to do first is create a designated Business page. This is fairly self-explanatory, requiring all of the information you want customers to know about your restaurant – but properly utilizing this page isn’t quite as straightforward. To help you maximize your restaurant’s business potential, here are some strategic tips to lengthen your reservations list.
Make your first post as eye-catching as possible
The first post of your business’s Facebook page is your mission statement. Why will customers want to come to your restaurant over anyone else’s? Do you specialize in a unique type of cuisine? Is your décor a feast for the senses, and are your tequila daiquiris out of this world? Whether it’s with a photo of your staff all together inside the restaurant, a look at your state-of-the-art kitchen, or a sunny shot of the restaurant’s main entrance, make sure your inaugural post stands out.
In the accompanying caption, quickly explain who you are and do your best to really sell what you have on offer. Make it as clear as possible why you are worth your customers’ patronage and the unmatched dining experience they can expect. Ask your friends to share that post around and spread the word, and your business will be off to a good start.
Post frequently, and strategically
So much online activity is dictated by the economy of attention, so you need to secure your place within your users’ newsfeeds. Sharing posts every three days, revealing new menu items or exciting general updates relating to the restaurant, is the best way to become a regular point of interest. Of course, ensure your photos are eye-catching, but just as important is that your updates are relevant: try to curate your content, offering necessary and engaging updates from which you feel your customers would most benefit.
Try not to go overboard in your posting frequency, as posting more than once a day may begin to look like spam in a person’s newsfeed – they may simply unfollow your business page. The name of the game here is simplicity and honesty, so be sure to let customers know what is happening and broadcast it as clearly as possible.
Engage with your audience
No matter what stage of your business you’re at, never underestimate the power of customer goodwill. If a consumer of your product feels that they can communicate with their supplier, that their queries and opinions are valued, this is a prime way to strengthen brand loyalty. An occasional buyer becomes a repeat customer when they feel their input matters, so whenever Facebook users comment on your posts – be they positive reviews or flat-out complaints – always endeavor to respond to what they have to say.
Audience engagement is a vital means of establishing trust within your consumer base, as it demonstrates your accountability as a business owner should you fail to deliver on certain promises. It also humanizes your business if customers know their comments will be recognized and that they are not wasting their time in sharing their thoughts. Engage with customers and reward their brand loyalty.
Post well-lit, sharp images that honestly show your product
As mentioned up top, around 70% of a post on Facebook will be taken up by the photograph itself, giving you just two lines of display text to seize the viewer’s attention. Yes, you can post a long and beautifully descriptive caption, but the simple fact is that Facebook users will likely continue scrolling through their newsfeed unless the image itself is gripping enough to make them view your complete post.
Again, it comes back to simplicity and honesty. Whatever you’ve photographed, and however you describe it, need to be completely truthful. If you say your ribeye steak is lean and loaded with flavor, and if you upload a photo of an appropriately succulent-looking piece of meat only for the actual product to be a gristly and tasteless cut of beef, then you can expect some very displeased customers. Keep the description informative, attractive, and succinct. Think of these food photo posts as elevator pitches: here’s the food, here’s why it’s fantastic, come see for yourself.
Where possible, always photograph your food with a DSLR camera – and preferably a 50mm prime lens, as they offer gorgeous clarity for subjects occupying the foreground in sharp focus – but a modern smartphone will also suffice. Make sure the food is well-lit and as beautifully presented as possible, while still resembling what the customer will genuinely receive when they order it.
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With an online inventory exceeding 2,600 items, you really are spoilt for choice on every kind of ingredient you could ever need for your restaurant – and we even provide the option to bulk buy, literally giving you more for less. Take a look through our produce line today and see what you’ll need to liven up your restaurant’s new menu.