Out in full force

Facebook currently boasts nearly 2.3 billion active monthly users. If you own a restaurant, advertising on this platform clearly gives you a chance to reach many potential customers.

These tips will help. Simply putting up a few ads and hoping for the best isn’t as effective as strategizing properly. After all, a Facebook advertising agency doesn’t simply post ads and expect success. It takes a carefully thought out plan to give yourself the best chance of achieving your goals. By keeping these points in mind, you’ll design a much more effective marketing campaign.

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Create an Audience from Current Customers

Facebook advertising is useful because it allows you to create custom audiences. This ensures your ads are seen by the right people.

As a restaurant owner, the “right people” may be your existing customers. They’ll certainly be interested to hear about new items or promotions you’re offering. Use any contact lists you have (email list, order lists, etc.) and upload them onto Facebook to create a custom audience.

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Find New Customers

You can also use Facebook ads to target potential customers based on location. Obviously, you don’t want to market to users who live thousands of miles away from your restaurant. You can easily narrow down the location to advertise to users who live nearby when creating a new custom audience.

For the best results, you might also want to identify other factors that make someone a potential customer. With Facebook ads, you can also target users based on gender, interests, age, and more. Review the audience you created with your current customers to determine what factors you should focus on when creating your new audience. The Audience Insights feature makes doing so easy.

You can even simplify this process with the Lookalike Audience feature. This automatically generates a new audience that’s similar to one you’ve already created.

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Split Your Ads

Once you’ve created an audience for new customers and an audience for current customers, make sure you run every ad twice: one run for each list.

Monitor how each ad performs. Running them for both audiences isn’t just about reaching as many users as possible. It’s also about learning how certain types of ads perform with certain audiences.

For example, an ad about a new menu item might appeal more to current customers, while one about a discount might have a greater impact on your new audience. Tracking ad performance in this capacity helps you plan stronger campaigns in the future.

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Retarget Customers

Does your restaurant offer specialized services aside from basic dine-in or take-out? For instance, maybe you also offer catering for popular events. Perhaps you have a page on your website for people interested in having a graduation party catered.

There’s a good chance people who visit that page won’t be ready to choose a party caterer just yet. They may simply be researching their options.

You can get an advantage over the competition with the Facebook Pixel. This line of code tracks website visitors and lets you create audiences based on them. For instance, you could insert the Pixel into the page where visitors learn about your catering services. Then you could leverage the information the Pixel collected to create an audience from people who visited that page. This is a smart tactic when designing a campaign to promote those kinds of services.

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Promote Other Channels

Leverage your Facebook ads to promote other marketing channels as well. For example, when a user clicks one of your ads, link them to a page on your site where they are asked to opt-in to your email list.

You can also use your email list to boost the strength of your Facebook ads. Maybe you send an email offering a special coupon. Install a Pixel on the coupon page so you can track which followers clicked on the link in your message. Create a custom audience from them to use next time you run Facebook ads promoting coupons.

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Adjust Conversion Settings

If you’re promoting a coupon that can only be redeemed once, you’re wasting your money if the ad reaches customers who have already redeemed it.

Luckily, Facebook allows you to adjust conversion settings to ensure your ads only reach people who haven’t yet taken a desired action. Keep this in mind any time you’re running an ad campaign based around a conversion that can only happen once, like redeeming a coupon or signing up for your email list.

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Don’t Worry About Facebook Followers

There’s no harm in having a strong Facebook page with many followers. It simply gives you more opportunities to stay in touch with your customers and develop your brand.

That said, you don’t need many followers to run Facebook ads. If your main goal is simply to advertise, focus most of your attention on ad campaigns and less on managing your Facebook page. Consider that the time you spend managing a page could be better spent designing new ads.

Remember these essential points when marketing your restaurant on Facebook. Again, you can reach a lot of customers on this platform. These tips will help you do so.

Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing (of course).

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