Sure, posting menu photos on your restaurant's Facebook page serves a purpose: people tend to want to know what they can order at your establishment, after all. But if you continuously stick to the “menu item + caption” formula, your followers will inevitably get bored, forget to call your content back, and before you know it—it’s curtains for your digital relationship.
To keep your restaurant's Facebook page from falling in a rut, we’ve collected foolproof tips for keeping your followers entertained, informed, and ready to engage.
(New to restaurant social media and marketing Check out our primer on important types of marketing new restaurateurs often overlook, and our guide for working with food "influencers.")
One of the most intriguing parts about social media is that you can virtually “stalk” someone else’s life. Restaurants can use that impulse to their advantage by taking off the filter and giving customers a look at the goods, whether that’s "story" from the Saturday morning farmer’s market or a live video of the chef in the kitchen whipping up that evening's dinner special. The more transparent you get, the more your followers will feel as though they're engaging with an authentic brand—and authenticity is crucial when it comes to growing and monetizing a restaurant's Facebook audience.
Are you debating a new menu item? Perhaps you have two logos you’re choosing between? Make it a contest, or have your followers vote! User-generated content doesn’t always mean the users have to post it themselves (although running a photo contest in which you pick a winner is another solid tactic!) It can also mean crafting a conversation in which they get to help dictate the outcome—and as a result, feel more personally tied to your brand.
Facebook actually rewards you when you post about current topics (as in puts you in front of more people)—which is why you’ll likely see a major increase in engagement if you share an article around “what people are baking during quarantine." In fact, consider checking out what’s already trending on Facebook and use that to help determine what you put up. Social media performance relies in part on participating in conversations that are dominating the national interest at the moment. So: start listening before you start talking!
All restaurants make mistakes, and occasionally displaying those #RestaurantFail moments—ranging from plating disaster to a waiter dropping 3-tier cake—can both humanize your restaurant and make it more relatable to your audience. When posting this sort of content, make sure you have your staffers' permission: the goal is not to "name and shame," but rather to give customers a look at the organic process, warts and all, of running a restaurant.
Another great way to avoid letting your page go stale? Let someone else take over temporarily! Creating partnerships and doing "takeovers" with local vendors, fellow restaurateurs, or even local food influencers is a great way to cede content-creation duties for a bit and introduce fresh perspective to your Facebook page. Another bonus: when you do this sort of social-media partnership, there's an opportunity for you to grow your audience, as your takeover partner's followers are newly exposed to your restaurant's brand. When lining up a takeover, amp up the excitement by announcing it in advance to your audience.
Pro-tip: Ask followers to tag who they’d love to see take over the account next time to nab those extra comments!
Most people on social media tend to appreciate be recognized on other social media pages. Did someone post a killer photo of your taco platter? Or did you recently receive a review that really blew you away? Share it on your page and give the creator a shout-out!
Noticed something that worked wonders for your Facebook page? Or did one of our suggested items totally backfire on you? We’d love to hear the deets! Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.