2.32 billion: the number of Facebook users in the world, or the equivalent of almost one in three humans. No need to prove how essential a marketing tool the social media platform is. If well-mastered, it can turn into a powerful engine to drive new customers to a restaurant and keep them coming back.

Here are a few answers to the most frequent questions we hear from restaurant owners. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, feel free to contact us or leave us a comment with your question.

1. What should you post on your restaurant page?

Pictures of your dishes, of course, but not only, because no matter how appetizing they are, they could quickly bore your followers.

Sharing the behind the scenes of your restaurant, pictures of your team, funny anecdotes, info on the restaurant’s history, the location, inspirational quotes... can be a way to connect with your followers and engage with them. Sharing content from other pages not necessarily linked to the restaurant can also reinforce engagement on your page, and to gain time by using existing content.

The restaurant La Maison Plisson alternates between pictures of their food, quotes, and light or informative videos:

2. What tone should you strike?

To reach your goals, we don’t advise you to take on an aggressive, commercial tone on your Facebook page: it would turn into an advertising display which would turn off your followers. We recommend you share 80 percent of entertaining content (photos of food, the preparation in the kitchen, short team videos…), 15 percent of informative content (a new menu, new opening hours, punctual closures…), and 5 percent of commercial content.

For example, the Big Mamma and Bella Napoli restaurants recently took advantage of the approval of the Neapolitan pizza into UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage to share original content on the subject:

3. At what rate should you post?

Posts shouldn’t be too frequent: it’s not a question of flooding your followers’ news feed; you don’t want to run the risk of their unfollowing you. Be careful not to post too infrequently either: they could wonder whether the restaurant’s closed! Posting between 2 and 7 times a week is a nice medium.

4. At what time should you post?

Anytime between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., your posts have the best chance of being seen and generating engagement. It may be a good idea to suggest a lunch offer!

5. What format should you prefer?

Photos

Facebook posts with images generate 2.3 times more engagement than text. If a text is accompanied by an image, people are 65 percent more likely to retain the information three days later. Pictures play an essential role: their quality is paramount. You have to make sure nothing inappropriate is lying around in the background; every detail counts!

Videos

Sharing videos is a great way to arouse people’s interest, since this type of content is very appreciated. When a Facebook page publishes a video, the audience’s engagement rate is on average 10 times more important.

For example, the short 16-second video posted by Big Mamma on their Facebook page was seen over 16,000 times, racked up 406 responses, and was shared 14 times. The engagement rate of this video is much higher than the average rate generated by the page’s other posts.

Polls

Feel free to set up polls, they’re very easy and quick to make. Users appreciate this type of fun, interactive content. Polls show that the restaurant is interested in its customers. They reinforce the bond between them and generate engagement on the page. It’s smart, for example, to mobilize your followers to pick a new dish for the menu among a few options, and to invite them to come and try them at the restaurant to give their opinion. You can also rely on your followers to improve your service and make your customers come back again and again. Asking their opinion on a new opening or a new item on the menu is a way to ensure the success of these new things. It’s what O’Sign Café Restaurant did before launching its Sunday brunch:

6. How do you turn followers into customers?

You can add a call-to-action button that leads people to a booking page (on your website or a third-party platform like TheFork or Resy. Your followers will be able to book a table online without leaving the Facebook app.

It’s possible to set up special deals via the online booking system (let’s say, four meals for the price of three). To benefit from the offer, you can pick criteria like having registered a reservation between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The idea is to communicate about the offer many times before it’s activated in order to create anticipation. Temporary deals can help generate a sense of loyalty in your followers by playing on the feeling of privilege they confer.

7. How do you generate engagement on your restaurant page?

Liking users’ responses is essential. The more clicks, likes, comments, shares, and views there are, the more visible the restaurant will be.

We recommend you not revealing all the information in one post. To generate maximum traffic, you have to compel the user to click on the link to your website. If the information is fully shared, then there is no incentive to click and see it.

In addition to polls, contests and giveaways are also a great way to favor user engagement. The restaurant Get Out is a proponent:

We also advise you to regularly interact with your audience, like customers’ comments, reply to them, and react very quickly to their private messages. Always respond, even if it’s just to say thank you.

8. How do you use hashtags to increase your visibility?

Hashtags are very useful, and not only on Twitter. They can redirect to your restaurant page users searching for the same keywords you’re using.

9. Why should you collaborate with influencers?

Influencers are people who’ve gathered audiences of thousands of people on one or more social media platforms. They share their day-to-day, their interests, their latest finds with their followers. Collaborating with influencers whose audience matches your target customer base is a way first to make a bigger name for yourself, but also to make people want to come and try your restaurant and thus to bring in new customers.

Anaïs from Parisianvores regularly shares appetizing videos of her favorite restaurants, and as a result offers them a platform to be seen by all her followers.

To pick the right influencers to work with, there are 3 main criteria to consider:

  • the pertinence of the content compared to your restaurant (eg. don’t seek out an influencer who shares only vegan recipes if you want them to highlight your cheese or meat dishes).
  • the reach, meaning the number of people you will potentially be able to reach thanks to the influencer’s community.
  • the resonance, or the engagement rate of the influencer (number of likes, shares, comments, views…).

10. Why and how should you use Facebook Ads?

Mastering ads on Facebook can allow you to considerably increase your revenue: by reaching new customers and making those who already like your restaurant come back. We’ll soon share with you an article on building successful Facebook ad campaigns step by step.

Bonus: beware of spelling and grammatical mistakes!

They give the restaurant a bad rap and can make you lose credibility, especially with users who aren’t in the habit of making them...

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Flavien Brion

Malou - Food Influencer Marketing

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