12 Tips for Successful Facebook Marketing for Restaurants

A complete Facebook profile may seem obvious but always check to make sure you are at 100% completion.

More than 1.6 billion people use Facebook, and everyone one of those users need to eat. That means that Facebook is an excellent place for your restaurant to stand out. With the right marketing strategy, your restaurant could be their destination of choice. Are you taking full advantage of all that Facebook has to offer? Utilizing the supplied tools can get your content in front of your customers. Here are 12 Facebook marketing ideas to add to your restaurant’s digital marketing campaign so you can grow your customer base and boost sales.

1. Complete Your Facebook Profile

The most crucial aspect of running a Facebook page for your restaurant is ensuring that your profile is complete with relevant information that your users are seeking. One of the first things that a potential guest will do after discovering your restaurant on Facebook is looking for more details. Make sure as much information is available as possible. 

Here is some specific information your customers may be looking for:

  • Contact Information
  • Operating Hours
  • Menu
  • Specific cuisine type and dining style (quick service vs. full-service)
  • Making a reservation with a “Book Now” button

2. Get A Vanity URL

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to find a website or Facebook page and struggling to type out the entire URL filled with complex symbols and a mass of numbers. To provide smoother customer experiences, create an easy to remember website URL for your restaurant’s Facebook profile. To do this, log in to the admin section of your page, click on Edit Page -> Update Public Info -> Username. Change it to your restaurant’s name.

So, instead of it looking like this: facebook.com/pages/Pizza-Stop/106207289611955, it would look like this: facebook.com/pizzastop.

3. Show Behind-The-Scenes Content

Humans are curious creatures. They like to see what’s going on behind-the-scenes at your restaurant. It makes them feel unique and important. Getting an inside look into how you make your food and where it comes from is appealing to customers. Post pictures or videos of your chef talking about their culinary inspiration, talking about local farms that ingredients are from, or showing how they prepare the actual dish. Strap a camera on your wait staff and do “a day in the life of” video.

Not only is behind-the-scenes content engaging, but it also appears transparent, and guests will trust you more, increasing customer loyalty.

4. Use Location Targeting

Before setting up a Facebook ad campaign in your digital marketing strategy, configure your targeting options to ensure your ads are showing to the right people. You don’t want ads of your Michigan quick-service restaurant showing up to people living in Waco, Texas.

Facebook makes it easy to configure location targeting. All you have to do is enter a specific zip code of your restaurant’s location on Facebook’s Ad Manager platform. You might want to add some nearby zip codes to cover areas where people would be likely to travel from to dine at your delicious restaurant!

5. Post Videos

Posting exciting videos on your Facebook page is a great way to engage with your fan base. As a restaurant owner, how do you make your video stand out? Hundreds of videos are scrolling through your customer’s feed! Get creative! Give customers a tour of the restaurant and the kitchen. Introduce your employees and have them share their favorite holiday tradition, be it St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, or New Year’s Day.

If you have a video idea, but you aren’t sure if it’s going to work, ask yourself, “would I stop scrolling to watch this video?” If the answer is yes, then try it out! As you gauge your customer’s response, you’ll be able to create more content that appeals to them.

6. Set Up An In-Store Call To Action

Your restaurant needs to have a system in place to direct your customers to all your profiles on all social media platforms. Current customers have the most valuable ‘likes’ as they are the ones who have tried our restaurant and will come back and refer you to their friends. Encourage guests to visit your Facebook page on a check receipt or a sign next to the cash register. You can get as creative as you want with this!

Make sure you have an enticing call-to-action to lure customers into liking your page. Statements like “Like this post!” or “Comment your favorite dish” are simple ways to get your customers to engage with your brand.

Keeping a personal interaction with your patrons can make the difference between one visit or repeats.

7. Share Interesting Facts

People love to know crazy facts about the brands they love. If your quick-service restaurant sells tacos, start a contest where people guess how many tortillas you use in your recipes in a year. Get creative and come up with other unique food facts that relate to your restaurant’s cuisine or culture. Have one of your servers track their steps and ask customers to guess how many steps your waiters take per day or share how many customers you served last year.

Prizes always encourage followers to engage more with content. Offer a discounted meal or free menu item to the customer who guesses the right answer. Make these contests a regular content on your feed, and you’ll have fans coming back and interacting with you every month!

8. Encourage User-Generated Content

Every restaurant will claim to have the best cheeseburger and fries or steak and mashed potatoes, but nothing drives the point home more than having past customers acknowledge that claim. Do what you can to encourage user-generated content. Encouraging user-generated content isn’t too difficult since plenty of people stage full-on photoshoots of their food before they even take a bite. They just need a gentle nudge to share it.

Place signs around your store that encourages customers to share their picture with your branded hashtag. When someone posts excellent content, ask if you can share it on your official page and give them a shout out for their phenomenal ability to capture the essence of your food.

9. Respond To All Interactions As Promptly As Possible

Respond to all comments and messages that customers leave on your profile. It shows that your restaurant is engaged and cares about its customers. It also gives you a chance to answer questions that your customers may have about your food. Clarifying whether or not something is vegan, diabetes-friendly, or gluten-free can be the key selling point that drives someone to visit your location rather than your competitors. Answer questions, address concerns and acknowledge when people take the time to post on your page.

Don’t just stick to the positive comments; make sure to address the negative reviews as well. It’ll show that you care about the mistake that was made and are being proactive in amending the situation.

10. Use Quizzes

People naturally want to answer questions, and quizzes are one of the best ways to get people to respond to your posts. Quizzes show that you value them and their opinion and empowers customer loyalty. Here are some questions you can ask in your quizzes:

  • Beer, wine, mixed drink, or margarita?
  • How often do you eat dessert? Offer choices.
  • What’s the perfect amount of time to marinate chicken?
  • What’s your favorite home-cooked dish?
  • What would you like us to add to our menu? Offer choices.

11. Write Mouth-Watering Captions

Captions are everything on Facebook, so make sure you spend extra time building a copy that will make your customers hungry just reading it! Live it up and pretend you’re on Top Chef with your descriptions. Replace generic adjectives like “delicious, good, tasty” with “juicy, tender, and zesty.” “Grandma’s flakey pie crust” sounds a lot more enticing than “homemade crust.”

While the saying is that we eat with our eyes, don’t miss the opportunity to use text to get your potential customer’s mouths watering. When in doubt, dust off your thesaurus and see what juicy captions you can craft.

12. Keep Up With Your Restaurant’s Facebook Analytics

Last but not least, make sure you don’t waste your newly implemented marketing strategies. Facebook offers in-depth analytics and insights so you can stay up to date with what is working for your restaurant.

We recommend keeping a document and tracking your analytics weekly with notes on what you did differently. Did you post more content on a particular month? Did you run a discount to get more shares or followers? Write it down so you can refer back later and see what worked and what didn’t.

Facebook is the most notable social channel only because it has the most extensive available audience of active users to target your restaurant’s message. Let your creative juices flow right into your content, and you’ll be drawing more diners to grab a seat at your table.