How to Use Facebook to Market your Restaurant, Cafe, Hotel or Bar - By Ken Burgin
Facebook is the hot new way to connect with people. It has millions of members worldwide, and thousands of them are
within your area. It’s an excellent way to link with customers new and old.
Your customers are already using it, you just need to make a connection - and it’s not just teens (and it’s not a dating site).
Join for free and add information about your business in your profile. Then create a Group (like a fan club) for your cafe, club
or bar, and invite people to join. Use it to promote events, menus and everything you do on a website. It can even help with
What is Facebook? As they say on the site: ’Facebook isn’t just one big site, it’s made up of lots of separate networks based
around things like schools, companies, and regions.’
In hospitality, we’re in the business of socialising, looking for new customers and staying in touch with those who’ve already
visited. So it makes sense to join a group that has more than 30 million socially active members.
How to Get Started
Sign up and create a Facebook Account
Go to Facebook.com, click on "Register" and fill out the online registration form - it’s short and free. Add information and a
photo you like - not the one taken at 2am at a party, but showing your friendly ’business face’. Add links to your website and
enough personal details to be real, whilst still protecting your privacy. You chose to be in the hospitality business, which
means a life in the public eye - it’s just an extension of that.
If you’re the key person in your business - owner or manager, create a profile with a good quality photo, then ask friends,
colleagues and suppliers to be friends. Keep it bright, cheerful but not crazy - this is business! Ideally, it should be an Open
Profile (like mine) so anyone can see who you are. Note the great possibilities of being able to show your web address.
Find Friends and Connect with people
Now that you have an account, connecting to people is easy. Use the search feature to find friends who are already using
Facebook and request to be their friend. Once you have two or more contacts, you can expand your network by locating
friends in common and contacting them.
The shortcut for finding friends is to import your email list and see from that if your friends and colleagues already have a
profile. WARNING: if you find there are hundreds of them, do not invite them all at once - you may be banned. Do just a few
at a time and be selective.
Set up a Facebook Group for your business
Starting a Group in the name of your business is as easy as point and click. Add your business name, address and website.
Add some photos and upload the logo to use as your badge. Ideally, make it an open group that anyone can join - it’s just like
allowing almost anyone into your cafe or bar. You can always remove them if they are too ’noisy’ - you’re the boss. Promote
your Profile and your company Group on the business website and in your email newsletter. Mention it in printed material:
’We’re on Facebook - just search for Cafe Troppo and join the Group.’
Group examples: Cafe Magnolia ---- Ottawa Restaurants ---- Top Sydney Restaurants
Club Indochine ---- Debbie’s Pizza ---- Golden Sheaf Hotel ---- Wild Oak
Upload and share photos
You can add an almost unlimited number of pictures and albums. You can add comments to the pictures or the names of
people. You can also mention and share the photos with a web link or by e-mail.
Promote your Events
This can be done in several ways. You can add events to your individual Profile or to a Group.
To add events to your Profile page, use a service like Upcoming which promotes your events to a wider event, then add a
’feed’ of this information on your Profile page. You can also do this with Google Calendar. This is not difficult - also point
Add Events to a Group with an Events page. Everyone can then be notified or find it when they are browsing. See the Events
we’re hosting at the Cafe Troppo Group (right hand side).
If you are writing a blog/diary of events and ideas, you can also feed this through your Profile page. There are many good
add-ons you can use to show what an interesting person you are!
Start Conversations on your Profile page and in your Group
Encourage visitors to write a comment on your ’Wall’ or in a Discussion Group - you may want to kick start the discussion
with a question or a comment and ask a few close friends to add something. Spelling and typos may add some variety! These
can be either
Join other Groups and Share Ideas
There may already be a restaurant or club Group in your city, or a Group that would be a great fit with your customers’
profiles. Join, but don’t be obvious and flog your product - it doesn’t impress. Add comments to discussions others have
started and share useful information on the Group’s Wall. Keep an eye out for mentions of your business.
Encourage Staff to Participate
They can be your great evangelists, and chances are they already belong to social networks like this. Encourage them to join
and have their own profile. They’re ultimately free to say what they like, but offer some tactful suggestions of how they
should comment - clean, friendly and avoiding abuse or negative references to the company.
Promote Products, Services and Events with Facebook Flyers
These are an effective way to advertise on the site. Generally your flyer appears on the left-hand side.
Keep Track of Comments, New Members and other changes
Facebook now has "News Feeds" that allows you to automatically watch activity on your network. When you login to
Facebook you will see an update of all of the actions your contacts have taken. And if someone adds a new photo album or
replies to an event invitation, you’ll be notified.
Article by Ken Burgin of Profitable Hospitality - add me to your friends on Facebook!
Profitable Hospitality offers management and cost-control systems (Manuals & CD-ROMs) for restaurants, cafes, hotels,
bars and clubs. The systems are based on the extensive consulting and operating experience of CEO Ken Burgin, and enable
busy owners and managers to set up complete operating and cost-control systems in minutes, not months. Profitable
Hospitality also runs regular management training workshops in the areas of kitchen profit & efficiency, restaurant
marketing and functions management. A free monthly e-newsletter keeps you up to date on the latest industry management
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