Did you know that almost half of people use Facebook to search for restaurants? Now imagine having your restaurant promoted on that very platform. That’s what Facebook advertising offers for restaurants. But there are a few things you need to know to make the most of this exciting opportunity.
As an experienced restaurant digital marketing and social media advertising agency, we know our way round this topic! Read on as we run through some best-practice tips for restaurant Facebook ads along with examples to show you how it’s done.
Building your audience
1. Know your customers
One of the best features of Facebook ads for restaurants is that you can target users based on a wide range of factors. Before starting your campaign, it’s best to have a strategy for which users you want to target.
If you want to attract younger customers, for example, you can set dates for when they studied at college or university. You might even want to complement that by adding interests like Asian cuisine, to ensure you’re targeting customers that love the kind of food you serve.
2. And their location…
However much someone loves your food, they’re unlikely to travel across the country to get it. That’s why location targeting is an equally important foundation to lay for your Facebook ads.
In the Facebook Ad Manager, you can add specific locations or postcodes that you want to cover. As well as the immediate vicinity of your restaurant, you might want to add some nearby areas where.
As above, consider your target customer. High-end restaurants might want to focus on more affluent areas, while student neighbourhoods could be the ideal hunting ground for bargain eateries.
3. Try a ‘lookalike’ audience
Ever wish you could clone your perfect customer? Well, now you can – sort of. If you have an existing audience that’s particularly responsive or loyal, you can use it to create a similar ‘lookalike’ audience on Facebook.
All you have to do is enter a list of at least 1,000 email addresses. Facebook uses that to get an understanding of your customer base, then finds similar users to match.
4. Entice customers with offers
Now it’s onto the content of the ad to reel in customers. And what better way than a special offer? Set menus with two- or three-course-course discounts are a classic feature in the restaurant space. Or go one further and throw in a freebie.
Whether it’s a free dessert when ordering a main or a complimentary drink, it’s a great way to get people’s attention and make them feel like they’re getting something.
But that’s not all. Research suggests that half of people will spend more on a purchase if it comes with a freebie, so you could see a few higher-priced mains being washed down by those free glasses of wine.
5. Showcase your selling points!
Facebook advertising for restaurants isn’t just about getting your name out there. You want to show what sets your restaurant apart. This can be easy to forget amongst all the complexities of Facebook ads.
Think long and hard about your unique selling point, then incorporate it into every element of your ad campaign – from perfectly captured images of mouthwatering food to well-crafted copy that packs a punch.
The example below shows how to do this well. Phrases like “finest & freshest”, “authentic Italian” and “cooked with flair” show what Piccolino has to offer. All three of those points are echoed in the image of a freshly made pizza being flame baked using an authentic wooden peel – that’s the tool used to move the pizza around!
6. Show off your atmosphere
Of course, it’s not just about the food itself. 75% of people are willing to pay more for a unique dining experience, which shows the importance of atmosphere to your potential customers.
Videos are undoubtedly the best media to achieve this, immersing potential customers in the highlights of your restaurant’s ambience – like our team did for The Show at Restaurant Bar & Grill venues.
Facebook has a range of placements, which allow for different video lengths, though shorter videos are more engaging on mobile devices – so you’ll need to make the most of the time you do have with top-quality content.
7. Think outside the box
Food, atmosphere and special offers are undoubtedly the top three things customers are looking for. But there are a few other ways you can catch their attention with Facebook ads for your restaurant, such as:
- Good press – Whether it’s a great review or an industry award, sharing positive news about your restaurant can make customers want to visit. After all, nobody wants the fear of missing out.
- User-generated content – UGC is a great way to show authenticity, promoting photos taken by your customers, or even their own Facebook posts!
Timing it to perfection
8. Schedule like a specialist
Timing is everything in a restaurant. But it matters for your ads too. Facebook makes it easy to schedule ads, so they’re promoted to customers when you want them to. But it’s up to you to decide when those times are.
Some of this is down to trial and error, although an experienced paid social media agency can help you fast-track that part of the process. However, you’ll also need to consider the context of your post, such as:
- When are your target audience most active on social media?
- Does the offer you’re advertising have any time restraints?
- Are you advertising for an immediate response (something for today’s lunch break) or more long-term (Valentine’s bookings for next month)?
9. Always plan ahead
The best Facebook ads for restaurants are always planned weeks or months in advance – so yours should be too. By working in advance, you can decide whether you want to drive demand during peak dining periods or secure a steady stream of business to compensate for quiet days – then design and builds ads that achieve those goals, using all the strategies we’ve already covered.
Related Reading: Recipe for Success – 7 Digital Marketing Tips for Restaurants
Need a hand with Facebook restaurant ads?
Facebook advertising can be an invaluable tool for restaurants. But it requires a wealth of experience and expertise to really get the most out of it. As a specialist Facebook ad agency, Hoopla Marketing can provide all of that and more for your restaurant business.
Our expert restaurant digital marketing agency will plan, design and build Facebook ads and ongoing campaigns to drive customers to your restaurant or multiple sites throughout the UK. Contact our team to talk more about your project. Or learn about the different strategies available to you in our Social Media Advertising Guide.