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Six tips for using Facebook to market your restaurant

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By Diane Chiasson

Facebook hit a landmark recently by announcing that they had hit one billion users worldwide. In the restaurant business, this news means that it is now more important than ever for restaurant owners and operators to have a Facebook page for their businesses.

Whether your restaurant is part of a large national chain or a small, local business, the ultimate goal of every restaurant is to get your customers to return as often as possible, and also to recommend your restaurant to all their family and friends. The tools that Facebook offers make these goals easier to attain.

Your Facebook page should offer a mix of useful content, entertainment, and enable you to connect and build relationships with your customers. Diane Chiasson, FCSI, President of Chiasson Consultants Inc., a restaurant and foodservice consultancy firm in Toronto, provides a few tips on how to succeed with your Facebook page:

1. Respond to comments

The best way to build relationships with your customers is to respond to all the comments and questions that are written on your Facebook page. A response will immediately generate a bond between you and your “fan”. Whether the comments are positive or negative, try to respond within two hours, even if it’s just to say thank you.

2. Don’t delete negative comments

If someone leaves a negative comment on your Facebook page, don’t take offense or rush to delete it. Most people would be more impressed if you offer a quick and honest response with an answer on to how you plan to resolve the situation. Use the negative comments to improve on your business practices, as well as regain the trust of your customers.

3. Use photos and a great description

The term “food porn” is becoming increasingly popular, with people ogling photos of food. Post your food porn photos of your new menu items or signature dishes to tempt your Facebook fans to come in and eat your food. Make sure you include a delicious description to go along with your photo.

4. Give fans useful information

Your Facebook page doesn’t need to be all about promoting your restaurant or your specials. You can also use it to educate your fans. Post recipes from your chef, or post videos of your chef giving a demo on how to cook food. Create a series to entice your fans to visit your page more often. If you don’t have the time or the resources to make the videos yourself, post interesting videos you find on YouTube, or elsewhere on the Web.

5. Reward your fans

Your Facebook page should reward your fans for “liking” your page. Rewards will help you get them to recommend your business to their friends. Use a coupon app that allows you to create a coupon that only your Facebook fans can redeem. Some apps also generate QR codes so that your fans can scan the coupon with their phones.

6. Use the applications available to you

Check out the admin section of your Facebook page, and use the quizzes, polls or discussion boards to create more activity and buzz on your page. Make the most of what Facebook has to offer by taking the time to investigate what is available and how you can take advantage of these free applications.


About the author:

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years. She is recognized as one of the best restaurant consultants in Toronto. Her company provides innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655, or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com.

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