At this point, you have probably already set up a Facebook fan page for your pizzeria or restaurant and are now looking for ideas to customize your page, build the value of your promotions, and increase the quantity and engagement of your fans.
Below we have compiled a list of ideas, grouped by objectives, to help give you some new ideas to accomplish your Facebook goals. We don’t expect that you can get it all done in one day, so we recommend bookmarking this page for future reference.
- Decide what you would like to get out of Facebook – Create goals. Are you trying to build awareness, develop relationships, promote deals and specials, or create brand evangelists? To get you started, here are ways NOT to use Facebook.
- Prepare an editorial calendar – Get a yearly calendar and schedule posts and promotions according to your goals – don’t forget to include video, event and picture updates.
- Create a Vanity URL – for example, instead of facebook.com/pages/yourbusiness/123456789 you can have www.Facebook.com/BurkeCorporation which makes it easier to direct people to your page- how to create your vanity URL
- Crown a Media Maven – make one person in charge of keeping to the editorial calendar and goals you set. Instructions to add an additional administrator.
Get Found (and Shared)
- Utilize your address book – Send email invites to everyone on your email newsletter list to fan your page, then you will show up in their feed, which will reach even more people. Who better to be your fan then a current fan?
- Optimize keywords in the “About” and “Info” tab – Since facebook pages tend to rank highly in search engine results, add words you think your fans will search for in both the About and Info tabs. For example, a Pizzeria in Des Moines, Iowa should make sure to put the words Pizza, Calzone, Breadsticks, Des Moines and Iowa in both tabs a couple of times each.
- Add Photos with Captions – Take a lot of photos; and when you add photographs, put your keywords (eg. Pizza, Your Restaurant’s name, Your City and State), as well as your customers’ names in the caption (with permission). People are more likely to share photos of themselves and their friends.
- Add Events with Descriptions – Similar to photos, fill your Events with your keywords and be sure to share your events with your fan list.
- Link to your website everywhere – Link to your Facebook page on your website – better yet add a badge or fanbox – and put your vanity URL on all of your promotional materials including boxes, flyers, coupons, in-store signage and advertisements.
- Have your fans invite their friends – Add a “Tell your friends about us” box to make it easy for your fans to invite their friends to like your page
- Create Facebook Ads – Segment your audience and split test your ads to play to different demographic interests. For example, run two different campaigns for women in your city between the ages of 30 and 50 – one for a family pack of two large pizzas with free breadsticks and another for a ½ price medium one-topping with the purchase of any large specialty. Put the final coupon codes behind “Fan-only” tabs so they are required to like your page.
- Add Facebook Connect – Have visitors login on your site with Facebook Connect so their comments are posted to both your site and their Facebook wall feed. Likewise, use Facebook Connect on your Facebook page to syndicate your content to sharing sites like Digg and Technorati to help your content go viral. For even more detailed information, check out the Developer Blog Video.
- Make it easy for people to share their opinions – Add a Facebook Social Plugin Like Button to every one of your pages and menu items so that people can see their friends’ favorites.
Brand Your Page
Create and Manage Content
- Create tabs – Give your fans multiple tabs to engage with – try having a tab with Facebook only specials, a promotion for a new crowd sourced pizza, online ordering, or a place for your fans to write reviews.
- Add applications – Add applications to help you create promotions, gifting, contests, quizzes, and sign-up forms to gather email addresses for your email newsletter.
- Offer a discussion board – Encourage your fans to stick around and chat with a discussion board; periodically get on and add questions of your own for instant and low cost focus groups.
- Syndicate content – Have your page automatically pull in any content you add to your blog or YouTube page
- Schedule your messages – Schedule a week or month’s worth of promotions and messages and monitor all of your social media accounts in one place with Sendible, TweetDeck, or Hootsuite. Don’t forget to check your page often to respond to your fans in a timely manner.
- Don’t forget about SEO – Have your Facebook content work for you in multiple ways – use solid keywords often, imbed static URLs with solid anchor text, use attached links instead of raw URLs, and encourage fans to comment and like content in your stream to help your Facebook page come up more often and with higher rankings in search engine results.
Increase Your Fan Engagement
- Choose your landing tab – Don’t have the first thing your potential fans see be the boring About tab, instead have your page default to one of your customized tabs (see Use iFrames or FBML under Create and Manage Content)
- Timing is essential – Rather than randomly selecting a time for your posts, pay attention to when your fans are online the most. (See Pay Attention to Analytics in Final Thoughts)
- Engage fans individually –Respond to fans individually using their names in the post to give them credit and make them feel important.
- Send your messages directly – Although most of your updates should be to your Wall, occasionally send out your best promotions or coupons to your loyal fan’s Facebook inboxes.
- Ask for feedback – One of the simplest ways to engage your fans is to ask for their opinions. Host polls or ask questions in your wall updates and discussion board – make sure you respond in a timely manner both online and in-store.
- Post open-ended updates – Try “My favorite thing about [insert your restaurant’s name] is”
- Mix it up – Post a mix of text, photos, videos, events, polls, discussions and more to keep from becoming stale.
- Feature your fans – Take pictures in your restaurant and have your fans tag themselves.
- Create “fan-only” content – Even better, have your landing tab be a “fan-only” tab – here are 40 great examples – this way they will have to fan your page before they can see your best offers.
- Encourage fan created content – Try running a contest and encourage fans to submit their own images, videos and opinions – make sure to promote online and off and give a good prize. However, make sure you follow the Facebook Promotions Guidelines or your page could be suspended.
- Target groups – Run a friendly contest among different community groups. For example, have all of the local little league and soccer teams post photos and the one with the most likes gets a free pizza party. Or have your fans suggest where your charity dollars go and the top 3 most liked get this year’s sponsorship dollars.
- Geo-target – If you have more than one location use geo-location to build custom messages and content based on your fans’ individual locations.
- Create branded “gifts” – Create virtual “gifts” that your fans can post on their friends’ walls – the more creative, funny or outrageous; the better.
- Feature games – Online games, quizzes, trivia and puzzles are all incredibly popular – build a few into your custom tabs to entertain your fans.
- Pay attention to Analytics – Facebook provides simple analytics with insights but you can also add Google Analytics to your page for more detailed information
- Block unwanted fans – If people are too self-promotional or offensive you can block or ban them from your Facebook fan page.
- Be accurate - Keep your contact information and content updated, specific and correct – for example, if you change the prices or promotions in store or on your website make sure to update your Facebook page at the same time.
- Delete your page – Just remember, if you delete your page you can’t get it back but why would you want to now that it is so awesome.
- Remember: Facebook is a community, treat it like one. Don’t always just promote your business – make an effort to engage your fans in discussions and fan-created promotions. Be a good neighbor.
- Make it useful, controversial or entertaining – Don’t forget your audience and remember to fan us at www.facebook.com/BurkeCorporation.