Social networking giant Facebook, with a $100 billion dollar valuation and over 900 million users, should now be more than ever, an essential part of any company's social media marketing.
The world's largest social network gives brands the potential to showcase their products, services and website to an audience of millions and for free. Small businesses are increasingly recognising and taking advantage of this huge marketing potential.
Facebook Facts 2012:
Just in case you're still wondering why you should bother. Let me quickly dazzle you with some Facebook Facts:
- As of May 2012 Facebook has over 900 million-users.
- Facebook's has 526 million daily-active-users.
- Facebook tops Google's weekly traffic in the U.S.
- If Facebook were a country, it would be the 3rd largest.
- 1 in 7.7 people in the world have a Facebook account.
- Facebook Hosts 125 billion friendships.
- 3.2 billion Likes and Comments are posted daily.
- The average user has 229 friends.
- Facebook is valued around $100 billion.
- Facebook hosts 42 million 'Pages' with 10 or more likes.
As a bar or restaurant owner you may know that you should be using Facebook to help promote your business, but perhaps are not quite sure what specifically you need to do. Well have no fear, we're here to help. Here are 5 useful tips for how bar and restaurant owners can make the most of Zuckerberg's billion dollar brain-child.
5 Top Tips For Marketing Your Bar or Restaurant On Facebook
1. Claim your Places page
Facebook Places Pages are for businesses that have a physical location. They have a small difference to other business pages, which is that they use the 'check-in' concept.
Facebook allows customers to 'check-in' to tell their friends that they are at particular venue! This is a great tool for social media marketing as your customers are spreading the word about your venue through word of mouth!
A places page may exist for your business, even if you or someone else from your company didn't create it. This is because when someone checks into a place that doesn't already have a Page, a new Page gets created to represent the location.
If you haven't already created a Facebook business page for your venue. DON'T BOTHER! Simply claim your Place's page and use it as your business page.
If you have already created a business page. Don't worry, you can merge your current page with your Place's page, once you have claimed it.
I have created a resource just for claiming your page. Check it out here.
2. Your Page Design
The new Facebook 'timeline' layout, allows you to design and showcase your business page more than ever before. There are a few things you need to do in order to make your page nicely presentable.
a. Cover Photo
Your 'Cover Photo' is the image that sits across the top of your page. This image is very important as it sets the tone for your page and is the first thing that a user/fan will see when they land on your company's Facebook page.
Make sure this photo sells your company/brand, perhaps showcasing your venue or the food and drink you sell. It is said that users pay more attention to the cover photo then any content on your timeline.
b. Profile Picture
Nestled next to the cover photo is the traditional profile picture. This is the thumbnail that will accompany the brand’s comments and posts, therefore if you have a funky cover image, the profile picture is the best place for your company’s logo.
With the sheer success of the image-based social network Pinterest, it proves that people like imagery. Although Facebook is not focused around sharing photography, the 'timeline' is much more image-focused than earlier iterations of Brand Pages, so get your camera out.
If you run a hotel, restaurant or bar and take pride in the visual presentation of the establishment then share some photos of the layout and presentation. This could also work for your awesome cocktails and mouth-watering dishes.
If you are a little worried about your photography skills, then download the Instagram app as it will help you make beautiful looking photos which you can then upload to Facebook.
3. Interact and Communicate with Customers
Although it is a business page, remember to be human and genuine. A laid-back and soft voice always works wonders. Remember not to simply promote and throw marketing material at your fans.
Make sure to reply to customers and encourage conversations on your timeline by asking open questions. If a guest has left a nice comment, make sure to thank them as well as 'like' the comment and perhaps offer an incentive to come back again or tell their friends about your business.
If a customer has spoken badly about your business on their Social Media accounts, make sure to reply to them publicly and apologize for their bad experience. By making a public reply to your critics you will be seen by others to be concerned about your customers, and also give others with a more favorable experience of your business, the opportunity to defend you.
4. Pay Attention To Check-Ins
Customers often will check-in at venues on Facebook. People do this to let friends know where they are, and even boast that they are out having a nice time in a venue (I know this is what I do when I'm at an amazing bar)
This is a great tool for Social Media Marketing as your customers are spreading the word about your venue through word of mouth. It is good practise as a venue manager to acknowledge each check-in and thank people who do.
The more check-in's you have on your Facebook Page, the more popular and well-established you look as a venue. Why not offer an incentive to check-in? Sometimes bars and restaurants reward people who check-in by offering them a free drink or dessert!
5. Facebook Competitions
Competitions are a highly effective form of generating buzz and engaging with your audience online. Not only can a social media campaign increase your fans and traffic to your website, but a well thought-out competition can significantly push awareness of your brand, as well as boost revenue in your venue or store.
People love winning, whether it’s a simply a drink, a free meal or a free night's stay at a hotel. Prizes don’t have to be outrageous, but they should be on-brand and relevant.
Keep the Facebook contest as simple as possible to get consistent results and a lot of submissions, and make sure you abide by Facebook Guidelines. If you do run a promotion it's a good idea to change the cover photo to promote the contest and make sure to post about it every day, as well as 'like' and share entries to create more buzz.
Facebook Not Twitter!
Remember Facebook is not a micro-blogging service like Twitter, status updates should be posted much less often. Therefore, I recommend not linking up your Facebook and Twitter to to syndicate the same content.
You should update your status no more than 3-4 times a week. Anymore than this and users can become annoyed at the spam and 'unlike' you. Try and make this content different to the tweets you share on Twitter.
How To Get Your Likes Up
When someone 'Likes' your Page, it means they will get to see your Facebook updates. Therefore, it is important to try to get as many 'likes' on your pages as possible. You can increase this by:
- Promoting your Facebook Page on your website.
- Promoting your Facebook in your Twitter and Pinterest bios.
- Use promotional material in your venue.
- Reward people for 'liking' you - Prizes, money-off etc.
- Promote and target new fans by implementing a Facebook advert - this isn't as expensive as you think.
Don't worry about this a great deal. As you start to use Facebook for marketing your 'likes' on Facebook will start to grow organically. It is then up to you to engage and communicate with people on Facebook, to increase this figure.