What is the best way to utilize Facebook for your restaurant?

Anna Tauzin is the National Restaurant Association’s manager of digital innovation and serves as a multimedia thought leader, leading digital, web and social strategy development. On NRA’s “Manage my Restaurant” resource site, she offers ways to engage guests through social media and technology.

The largest social network, with more than 1.15 billion global users, is Facebook. The behemoth network is only nine years old and attracts users from a wide range of demographics, gender, race and age levels.

The brilliant thing about Facebook, from a marketing standpoint, is that users provide all of the data that allows you to target them. Steve Governale, industry manager of restaurants at Facebook, said, “We’re not reliant only on behavioral data or cookies to infer who people are or what they’re interested in – we understand people based on information they share, in addition to standard targeting features available across the Web.”

Additionally, Facebook has the largest share of mobile engagement, meaning you can target users before they get out of bed, during their morning commute or while they are watching television at night – those times they are not at their home or office computers.

“Beyond just responding to posts on your wall or sending out text-based updates, push yourself (or your social media team, if you are blessed to have one) to publish more interesting content such as photos (try using Instagram), blog content (Tumblr), promotions and events.

Photos, as always, are the most eye-catching items to post. When listing your daily specials, include a photo of each dish. Do you have seasonal ingredients sitting around the kitchen? Post a close-up photo of those and challenge readers to guess what it is. Share photos of beloved regulars with the chef, especially on a birthday or anniversary.”

To take your page to the next level, consider doing the following:

  • Put your standing menu in a tab
  • Include a Facebook Offer when customers check in at your location
  • If you have one, list the link to your mobile application prominently

Visit the NRA for more details on how to make Facebook work for you.  And, make sure to like NM Restaurant Association on Facebook!