The holiday season can bring a boost in business for restaurants, as customers leave their homes to shop, meet up with friends, or enjoy a great meal out with family. December also brings holiday office parties, which increasingly rely on food from local restaurants and caterers.
How do you get businesses to choose your restaurant for their holiday celebrations?
Traditional methods such as paying for local ads and mailing flyers to local businesses can still be effective. However, many businesses realize that today’s customers get most of their information online. Restaurants interested in reaching out to consumers are more likely to find them on social media, but getting the word out can be difficult with so much competition.
In recent years, Facebook traffic began moving toward Groups, where members find others who share their interests. With groups, Facebook members can interact directly with people who share interests. Groups has 700 million active monthly users, making it a great addition to any marketing campaign. On a local level, restaurants can reach customers through community groups, whether it’s a group that represents an entire city or a popular neighborhood. Here’s how your restaurant can use Facebook Groups to get the word out about your venue this holiday season.
Make It Exclusive
Facebook doesn’t currently allow businesses to join groups, so it is best to join a local group you are interested in. Groups are almost always available for local neighborhoods, sometimes representing a city as a whole. Once you’ve joined a Facebook Group, read over the page rules and note any restrictions about promoting your business. If you do promote your restaurant’s holiday offerings, make sure your post stresses the value to group members. Offer an exclusive deal or discount specific to that group. In doing so, you’re more likely to be seen as helping members rather than trying to make money off of them.
Maintain a Presence
Focus on interacting as an active, supportive member of the community. Respond to any comments on your original promotional post and interact on other posts in a helpful, friendly manner. Avoid getting involved in any negative discussions, especially if they involve other local businesses. If you monitor the page long enough, you’ll likely find someone requesting restaurant suggestions. It is at this point that you can speak up and let them know about your special deals.
Share Photos of Events
As your restaurant begins hosting events, encourage attendees to share photos on their personal pages, as well as in groups. Upload your own pictures of various events to your own Facebook page. You can even share those photos to the group! Just make sure you focus on showcasing the local group that celebrated the holidays with you, rather than using it to promote yourself.
The holiday season is a great time to show local customers what your restaurant has to offer. With the right marketing approach, you can encourage businesses and organizations to host their parties through your business, which will introduce your food to local residents who might not have tried it otherwise. The key is to use Facebook Groups to establish your presence as an active and supportive member of the local community.