Leslie Park Lynn is a 15 year restaurant industry veteran.
Facebook is and remains a very popular and effect marketing tool for restaurants. It’s flexible platform offers many different ways for restaurants to connect with customers and engage them in their brand. With all the digital clutter in the marketplace you need get creative and transcend the ordinary of what people see on Facebook everyday. Let’s have a look at 3 different ideas you can put to work to gain the attention of those you wish to attract to your restaurant.
Visual content on Facebook such as short videos, GIFS and looped videos have transcended static photos on Facebook in terms of engagement and interest. As a restaurant you have the ability to target your customers with rich and interesting content such as action in the kitchen, events and recipe and cooking demos. Buzzfeed and 12 Tomatoes are excellent examples of companies that have utilized video to promote and advance their brand. You can promote your own branded visual content not only on Facebook but also on your restaurant’s website and other social media as well.
Live streaming video is now coming on strong on Facebook as well. Facebook live and aps like Periscope enable you to create spontaneous, live video that captures the attention of your followers in a completely new and engaging way.
This article from Video Brewery has lots of great information on how to make your videos engaging and effective. Bottom line, short, entertaining videos get the most looks. Go longer than 30 seconds and nearly ⅓ of your viewers will click away. The good news is that about 80% your target customer will remember your video after 30 days and almost half of that percentage will take some action after viewing the video. Thats pretty impressive stuff.
Everyone loves to win something. Some of the world’s craziest, most effective promotions have been centered around contests. It’s an evergreen concept in getting people involved in your brand and Facebook offers the perfect platform for utilizing it.
Whether it’s centered around submitting photos, recipes, a modern day scavenger hunt or some other innovative idea contests have the potential to drive a large increase in engagement not only your followers but also those potential customers they are connected to. You can create a simple contest on your own through just posting about it but Facebook offers a contest application that can help you put together a more effective and professional looking contest. It’s simple to use, very affordable and offers tracking and analytics to help understand effectiveness.
Contests are one of the best ways to collect user generated content for your website and social media pages and can help you build likes, followers and your email list. Having a contest that has a voting component, such as “vote for the best photo” encourages submitters to share the contest with their friends in order to gain more votes. This article from Social Media Examiner can give you some great tips on creating more effective Facebook contest. And here you can find some great ideas to get you started.
In our crowded digital landscape communicating with our target market in precise, easy to digest bits is becoming more and more difficult. One way to break through the digital clutter is to use emojis in your marketing messages. While this idea may seem silly at first glance consider this: emotion wins against promotion at a rate of 2-1. What Twitter sought to accomplish by limiting their messages to 140 characters, emojis can accomplish in just a couple of images. And, a whopping 92% of online users believe that emojis express their emotions and feelings better than words. Recent marketing studies by Wordstream have revealed that ads containing emojis have a 4-1 better click through rate than those that are entirely text based.
Leading brands have embraced the idea of marketing with emojis in a big way. Dominos, in their quest to make themselves and their ordering system accessible on every platform now allows customers to order pizza by texting a pizza emoji. And Budweiser has employed emoji created images to promote their brand for over two years now. Taco Bell was able to get 33,000 supporters on a change.org petition to lobby the Unicode Consortium for the release of a taco emoji and succeeded. You can read about their efforts here.
The great part about these three ideas is that they are simple, easy to implement and allow you to get creative with your marketing on Facebook. And creativity is one of the driving forces behind highly effective marketing. Facebook is a great avenue to utilize in marketing your restaurant and by adding in a few new tools you can expand your reach, better engage your followers, promote your brand and, ultimately, grow your revenues.