In case you missed it, we’re no longer living in the Mad Men era when advertising reigned supreme and all it took was a clever jingle and primetime ad placement to get sales.
In this day in age you need social proof, a solid website that makes you look like a credible establishment, and solid relationships with your key constituents. Shouting at people via their television screens or stuffing their mailbox with fliers just doesn’t sell anymore. However, there’s still one place that’s worth having an advertising budget for; Facebook.
Unlike Google ads, which are essentially unsightly banners across search results (that people now instinctively ignore), Facebook ads act like a native part of the timeline, which means it looks like a post that would organically show up in someone’s newsfeed.
Between the low cost to advertise on Facebook, the advanced targeting abilities and features, as well as the return on investment, Facebook ads are one of the few traditional-esque pay-for-placement advertising methods still worth the money.
According to Survey Studies, 70 percent of companies using Facebook ads have experienced more than three times the return on their initial investment.
And if you’ve heard nothing but griping about Facebook except for what a waste of time it is, we encourage you to read further, because although business pages have seen a drastic dip in organic traffic, knowing how to utilize Facebook’s ad features is a prime way to get in front of your restaurant’s target audience.
Here are a few reasons you’ll want to use Facebook ads for effective restaurant marketing:
Targeting Potential Customers
Unlike those Mad Men era days, Facebook advertising allows you to put your money and efforts solely toward advertising to people you know would consider dining at your restaurant.
No longer do you have to wonder how many people saw your ad in the newspaper or how many people actually held on to your direct mail piece rather than tossing it in the trash. Facebook’s targeting features really allow you to narrow in on the segment of the 1.3 billion users (yeah, that’s a lot of reach opportunity) that will pay attention to your ad and actually consider dining at your restaurant.
The best part about Facebook advertising is you can see in real-time how effective your ad is at reaching your target audience.
Location and Demographics
If your restaurant is in D.C. you would never go to New York City to pin up fliers, right? It’s that principle that makes location targeting the number one feature of Facebook ads.
Beyond location, you can also target people based on their general demographics such as their age, if they have kids, if they’re in a relationship, etc. For example, if your restaurant caters to folks looking for a nice date night without the kids, you can target people in relationships and with kids that live within 10 miles of your restaurant, then you would cater the message in your ad to appeal specifically toward that group.
That specificity between location, demographics and your message is the trifecta in attracting your ideal audience with Facebook ads.
To take Facebook ad targeting one step further, you’ll want to explore behavioral targeting to really drive your ad to the right newsfeeds.
Behavioral targeting takes factors in to account such as a user’s expressed interests and tastes, preferred leisurely activities, as well as other Facebook pages they like.
One way you can use this feature to your advantage is by targeting people who like the Facebook pages of your top competitors in your immediate area. If these companies are your competitors, you’ll also be trying to appeal to the same audience, so use what you know as a strategy to appeal directly to people who would also be interested in dining at your restaurant.
The minimum spend on Facebook ads is $1 per day and even though you’ll most likely spend more than that on a single ad, it truly doesn’t take a lot to see results because you can reach up to thousands of foodies with just a few bucks and a solid targeting strategy.
So before you consider spending $200 on an ad placement in a local magazine or $300 on printing costs for promotional fliers, think of the return you could have by investing that money in to Facebook ads where you can actually see the effectiveness of your ad and tweak it to perform optimally as you’re running your campaign.
Increased Brand Awareness
More “likes” on your Facebook page increases your social proof because it essentially says, “This is how many people like us, you should like us, too.”
Have you ever seen a Facebook page with only 50 or so likes? It makes you a little wary as to the credibility of that establishment and how good their product or service is, but when you see a page with a thousand likes, that sends the message of having a business that’s pretty well-received.
Of course, we all have to start somewhere with our Facebook pages, so to build up your initial following, utilizing Facebook’s “Like page” ads are the way to go. This ad looks a little different than a boosted post or an ad for a specific promotion because it shows users a button where they can like your page straight from their newsfeed.
Run a few of these “like page” ad campaigns to help grow your initial following and brand awareness so when people find your page they’ll be inclined to like it because you’ve built up your social proof.
Head spinning a little? Don’t worry, this stuff really isn’t tricky, it just takes time to learn. But we also realize you might not have as much time on your side as you would hope, especially if you’re gearing up to open your restaurant in the next few months.
We’ve seen it time and time again, Facebook ads for effective restaurant marketing works, you just have to know how to work Facebook. If you’re looking for help on how to get your online presence boosted before you open your doors, get in touch, we’d love to get the buzz going for you.