The importance of maintaining a Facebook page for the benefit of creating a personal rapport with people. By Abbey Brooks
Running a successful restaurant business is definitely not for the faint hearted amongst us. It can be an extremely stressful, but rewarding, occupation that requires a heck of a lot of dedication and planning. The world recession has put paid to thousands of restaurants worldwide and as a result the owners need to be very careful about the way they operate these concerns. The good news is that everybody needs to eat, and the even better news is that social media can help you to reach these potential customers. Facebook is definitely the bad boy of social media, and when we say “bad” we mean HUGE! Over 700 million active users spend many hours a week telling the world and his wife about what they ate for supper last night. Just imagine reaching a tiny fraction of that audience with your own business promotion! Well you can do this if you follow some simple guidelines, and this is what our article is all about!
For the purpose of this article we will assume that you already have a Facebook account and a reasonable amount of buddies on this social media. Restaurateurs are a sociable bunch and you”ll possibly have some business contacts as well as customers amongst your friends list. Your first plan of action will be to create a Facebook Fan Page for your restaurant, this is simple enough and you should choose attractive photos for your profile picture and cover page. Invite your Facebook buddies to come and “like” the Fan Page, once they have done this, they will be linked thereafter.
After a short while you should have attracted a moderate following and should ensure that you reply to every comment in a timely fashion. It only takes ten minutes a day but it shows that you are interested in your followers, and that counts for a lot! You need to be ready for some less than favourable reviews and therein lies the rub.
No restaurant has ever had 100% positive reviews and yours will be no different in this respect. When you receive a negative post or comment, you should treat it as an opportunity to offer a positive solution. Do not go crawling to the offended customer, but offer a reasonable explanation and try to win some trust back. This will display a transparent quality that is very commendable in the restaurant business. Other posters will see this as a plus point rather than steer clear of your establishment. It is all too easy just to delete these remarks, but you are only fooling yourself.
Nobody enjoys being ignored and that goes for double on a social media platform. No matter how trivial the comment may be, please ensure that you reply or at least add a “like” to the post. In order to engage your followers, you need to be accessible whenever they want to make a point. A little kindness goes a long way and treat all of your followers with the same dignity you would expect in return.
Nobody expects your secret trademark recipes to be included on your Facebook Fan Page, but surely a few cookery tips wouldn”t go amiss? Post some videos of your chef”s attempts at some classic dishes and ask your followers to upload a few of their own. Once you have some regular contributions, you will see a proper community start to develop.
You are in business because of your love of food and this is something many restaurateurs seem to forget. So why not make a celebration of your best dishes and show them to the lucky followers? You can make a little game out of this and post various meals and ask your followers to guess what they are. Offer a discount or even a free meal to the first one who guesses correctly. By making your Fan Page a fun place to be, your followers are more likely to remain loyal.
Ask your followers to spread the good word by sharing your page to their own Facebook friends. The one with the most shares can be given a selection of prizes as a show of thanks. A small outlay can have incredible results. Just remember not to be too generous as you are running a business here!
Hopefully you should increase your revenue and popularity once you have followed these guidelines. Just remember where you read this first and don”t forget to send us a few bottles of your best red!