Tips to Utilize Facebook to Drive Your Restaurant Marketing

Social network web site surfing concept illustrationWhat are the different ways a restaurant can advertise through social media?

Social media has been one of the hottest topics in marketing for the last few years and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  Having a strong social presence is going to be important for any brand but there are ways to utilize these platforms for your restaurant brand no matter how big or small you are (and no matter your budgets).  Luckily, anyone from McDonald’s to the little mom and pop diner down the street can take advantage of Facebook’s paid advertising offerings.  Facebook offers a multitude of different campaign objectives that are a great fit specifically for restaurant marketing.

Looking to drive restaurant visits?

There’s two great options for you if you’re trying to get consumers into your restaurant – the Store Visits objective and the Reach objective.  Both options give you the opportunity to promote your location, show your restaurant on a map, and have CTAs like “Get Directions” or “Call Now”.  Giving the consumer the information they need to get to your location is a great starting point for driving restaurant visits.

The Reach objective is more focused on driving awareness and reaching as many potential customers as possible while the Store Visits objective is focused on actually confirming that someone who has seen your ad visited your location.  This reporting aspect of this offering isn’t available for all advertisers but can be great validation for your advertising efforts if your brand can take advantage of it.

Looking to drive online orders?

Facebook’s Conversion objective is simple to implement and can increase your reach for online ordering if your restaurant offers that feature.  With the placement of Facebook’s pixel you can gain great insight to some of your on-site metrics and then optimize your Facebook campaign to those metrics.  For example, you can track online orders and pass back the revenue to determine which of your ads is driving the best ROAS.

Outside of tracking purchases, you can also set up the pixel to track any online actions that are important to you.  If you want consumers to visit your store locator once they are on your site, you can set up the pixel to fire when they land on that page.  All of these metrics will be available to you within the Facebook UI to help tell the overall social marketing story for your brand.

Looking for your customers to engage with your brand?

Some restaurants like to focus on getting new page likes, post likes, comments, and shares from their audience and can use the Post Engagement objective to optimize campaigns for these actions.  This starts with having great content to share that people are going to want to engage with.  A timely message around an upcoming holiday or a great image of your top-selling menu item can really resonate with social audiences.

Facebook has a long list of other campaign objectives and is always working to bring new ideas to advertisers so it’s important to stay up to date on new social trends.  In addition to Facebook, all of these objectives are also available on Instagram which is growing in popularity especially among millennials.

About Sean Baker

Sean Baker has 18+ years marketing the restaurant industry. He is the President/ Partner at IMM, a digital ad agency located in Boulder, CO.
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Use Your Restaurant Marketing to Drive Online Orders

online orders.jpgHow restaurants can drive additional transactions without actually getting butts in seats

While getting butts in seats is a goal of every restaurant, not all consumers are looking for a sit-down dining experience. Luckily, many restaurants now offer online ordering (OLO) as a dining option. Having a great OLO program can not only drive more transactions for your restaurant, but it can also tailor them to changing consumer needs and bring in new customers. Here are a few ways you can improve your restaurant’s OLO program.

Get the Word Out

Many restaurants don’t make it well known that you can order their food online. With the change of consumer habits, digitally advertising this offering can provide major benefits. There are two approaches you can take here: increase awareness and drive online sales.

First, make sure people know that you offer online ordering – use search link extensions to talk about online ordering, use standard banner ads, find influencers to blog about their OLO experience with your restaurant and more. The options are pretty endless, but the point is that you need to get the word out that you offer online ordering before people will start ordering online.

Once there is some awareness around your offering, use strategic advertising tactics to drive orders. One of the hardest parts of restaurant marketing is proving that it is working and that your efforts are getting butts in seats. OLO changes that because you can attribute orders to the creative, advertising channel and targeting strategy that helped drive that order.

Set Yourself Up for Success

It is important that consumers can easily order online or else you risk turning people away from your OLO program. Your website should mimic the in-store ordering experience and be easy for everyone to use whether they are digitally savvy or not.

Many restaurants are also turning to mobile apps to improve their OLO experience. In an increasingly mobile world, consumers are already well-versed in using apps. It’s important to remember that your mobile app should provide added value to the consumer (save their order for next time they want to make an order, for example) and not exist just because you think your restaurant needs an app.

Offer Delivery

Even though online ordering provides convenience to consumers, there are some people who are going to be looking for an even higher level of convenience through delivery. Currently, most OLO programs still require the consumer to pick up their order in the restaurant. Offering delivery can set you apart from your competitors, but keep in mind that it’s not a profitable option for all restaurants.

Recently, mobile ordering app developers OLO launched Dispatch, an offering that allows restaurants to take advantage of delivery service without taking on the burden of funding a delivery driver.

With Dispatch, restaurants can run their online ordering program exactly as it is today with the simple addition of a checkbox for delivery at checkout. The user then pays ahead, enters their delivery address, and is shown local delivery service providers. The restaurant wins because they can easily take advantage of delivery service through their current OLO site and the consumer wins because they can take advantage of delivery service from more of their favorite restaurants.

So, if you’re thinking about beginning an online ordering effort, or if you already have a program in place, there’s always room for optimization and improvement. Because, after all, butts in seats still count even if they’re at home.

About Sean Baker

Sean Baker has 17+ years marketing the restaurant industry. He is the President/ Partner at IMM, a digital ad agency located in Boulder, CO.
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