Why Does My Restaurant Need Facebook?

Does my restaurant need a wesbite?
••• Does my restaurant need a website?. William Iven

I am often asked by small business owners if they have use Facebook for their business. After all, they have a website, isn't that enough? Often restaurant owners don't know how to use Facebook effectively for their business and they don't feel like they have time to do daily posts. But the truth is, social marketing in places like Facebook and Instagram and even Pinterest are increasingly necessary.

The good news is that setting up a social media schedule isn't hard and once you have a system in place, it is easy to keep your social pages updated and engaging. 

Social Media is Important for Restaurant Marketing 

As a restaurant owner, you already wear several different hats as a restaurant owner – manager, chef, bookkeeper, HR rep, etc… and I don’t blame you for not wanting to add social media guru to the list. Some people are more comfortable in the front of the house, while others prefer to be behind the scenes. But as the owner, you have to be comfortable with everything. But you’re not tech savvy? Unless you are planning on retiring in the six months, or less, you had better embrace the internet. The good news is that making the jump to online advertising and marketing will take a little time to establish. However, once you have a website, Facebook page (preferably both) building an online reputation takes a few minutes each day.

I’m sure the last thing you want to be spending time on is Facebook and Twitter. After all, how can tweeting and posting pay the bills? Whether or not you like the Internet, most people do and use it as a go-to resource for all their informational needs. Restaurants are no exception. Online is akin to a telephone.

You wouldn’t have a restaurant (or any business) without a telephone, would you? (Please say, No Lorri, of course not!) That is the direction of business in the 21st Century. Websites are an expectation, as are Facebook pages and whatever else comes along. Read more about how to make a restaurant website.

How to Start Using Social Media

Knowing where to start with social media is key, if you try to jump into tweeting, posting, liking, pinning – all at once, you’re going to be over your head in new media. First, decide what you goal is. Why do you have a Facebook page? To communicate with existing customers? To attract new ones? Are you promoting menu specials? Upcoming events? All of the above? Next, what do you want from your customers? To come in and eat, obviously. But you also want them to spread the love of your restaurant. You want people to like your status, pictures and links and share them. To essentially create a ripple of word of mouth advertising. You can’t buy that (well, you probably could, but it would cost you more than your restaurant advertising budget).

How to Use Facebook at Your Restaurant

Facebook is probably the easiest way to start building an online advertising campaign.

From there you can expand to Twitter and other sites. Facebook has leveled the playing field when it comes to marketing and promoting a restaurant. It used to be standard practice to pay a good chunk of change for newspaper ads, radio spots or TV commercials. However, with the advancement of online advertising and the mobile revolution of smart phones and iPads, people are connected instantly, all the time. This is why it is important to include social media marketing in your promotional campaigns. Check out my handy guide, complete with ideas for restaurants and how to use them.

So what if you really, really, really hate the internet? Find someone on your staff, college kids are good, they’re pretty smart, tech savvy and still work for cheap, to update your statuses.