“Be my Friend on Facebook!”
– Why Facebook alone is not a sufficient strategy.
As a kick off to our restaurant marketing tips, we`ve noticed an increase in restaurants setting up Facebook Fan Pages. Compared to the cost of designing a website it appears to be a no-brainer. Facebook pages are free.
Marketing with social media is a hot topic at the moment, but as a marketer I see some huge limitations in the “strategy” if Facebook is a restaurant`s only online presence.
Websites for restaurants should still play a central role in bringing in new customers.
When the statistics indicate millions of people are on Facebook, it sounds attractive. That`s because when placing a restaurant advertisement in newspapers or magazines, we often expect to pay more when readership is high. If Facebook is free and there are lots of people using it, then I guess old logic tells us that we get something for nothing.
When examining the benefits of social media for restaurants here are my thoughts on Why Facebook alone is not a sufficient strategy:
- The only people who will find your page will be Friends or existing customers (who I assume eat at your restaurant anyway), and their Friends. Good from the “Friends of Fans” perspective, but what about people who don`t know either of these 2 groups?
- Facebook pages are only Searchable on the internet by Business Name, not numerous keywords. For example – type in “seafood restaurant, Melbourne” – what chance do you think your Facebook page will come up if you specialize in this type of cuisine? Facebook is not SEO friendly.
- Facebook doesn`t display the things people want to know quickly. The user has to know to click on “Info” once they reach your Welcome page.
- Restaurant finder websites such as Dimmi, and de Groots best restaurants, and restaurant review websites such as Broadsheet don`t like linking to Facebook. They prefer proper websites.
In point 3, I highlight the word quickly because that`s what people want when they search online. What are your opening hours, menu & prices, images of décor? Sure you can put that information on wall posts, photo albums, info page etc, but who`s going to scroll through the entire history of your Fan page? Especially if they search from a mobile phone.
Most people only glance at the Wall, and then leave if there`s nothing interesting.
My Top 3 Tips for Effective use of Facebook:
- Use Facebook Fan Pages – as a complementary tool to your restaurant website. Not in place of.
- Use Facebook – to broadcast latest promotions or events
- Use Facebook – to “converse” with your Fans. This is one advantage Facebook DOES have over websites. But note – creating a community and conversation can be hard work!
Stay tuned for more restaurant marketing tips!