You may have recently noticed a change in your restaurant’s Facebook results, specifically in your reach (the number of people who are exposed to your posts). The numbers are going down – for all business pages, not just for restaurant pages. And unless you pay for an ad on Facebook, it is getting more and more difficult to get your restaurant Facebook posts noticed – Facebook even admitted as much when discussing the Facebook changes in December, 2013.
Fear not, all hope is not lost!
Here are some tips to be seen:
Start Offline for Online Engagement
Because of the limited reach online, you are less likely get new followers directly from your posts. But it’s your lucky day – you can still get your customers to follow you! And the more new followers you get, the more exposure you get. Read these tips on gaining new followers for your restaurant Facebook page, such as:
- Get your servers involved – they can take photos and promote the page to guests
- Include your Facebook page on all printed materials such as menus, carry out bags and cards
- Stream your page onto a flat screen in your bar or waiting area and post timely information and pictures involving the guests in that area
Give Guests a Reason to Talk About You
Your best Facebook followers will be your passionate customers – those who love your food so much they have to snap a photo of it; the family that dines with you every Sunday; the person who carries out the same favorite dish every week. When customers love you, they love to talk about you. This is your chance to make sure you are talking back to them, interacting with them, seeking them out, and encouraging them to tag your page in their posts. This increases your exposure online to their friends and also to your other followers. You may be surprised at how much a simple request like that can increase engagement with your restaurant Facebook page.
Don’t underestimate the power of Word of Mouth for restaurants. Always strive to create more loyalty, more passion and attract more returning customers. You have to give your customers a reason to talk about you and interact with you on Facebook – beyond your fantastic food.
Analyze Your Insights
Facebook provides a multitude of information, but there are two main numbers to look at for this purpose: reach and engagement. Download a full report of all your posts and look at which are getting the top reach and which are getting the top engagement (i.e. clicks, likes, shares, comments) – and most importantly, which are top in both. Is it a certain kind of post (i.e. photos, videos, links, text only, etc.)? Is it consistently the same kind of subject matter (i.e. your food, your specials, your community, your customers, etc.) Look for trends and then capitalize on them – for example, if you get your highest reach and highest engagement with photos of your food, then be sure that you are posting more of them.
Consider Paid Ads
There is a saying: Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. Just because we are mad that Facebook is limiting our reach in order to get more paid advertisements, it is not a good reason not to consider paid advertisements for your restaurant Facebook page. Consider your objectives and your target before investing in paid ads, it isn’t the right solution for everyone, but it is one sure way to get your content in front of Facebook users. Just think through what that content should be and what you want it to accomplish.
Don’t Give Up
The rules change every day, so keep the posts coming. Your loyal fans will still seek out your page and your information, so keep it up to date!