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5 Fool-Proof Tips to Promote Your Restaurant on Facebook

By Nicholas Rubright of Apito POS


Facebook is still the biggest social network out there, but organic reach is a thing of the past. Still, whether you're opening your restaurant or are trying to draw new business, promoting your restaurant on a platform with an audience of billions is a must. Fortunately, Facebook has a great ad platform that works well for businesses of all types.

When it comes to running ads on Facebook, it's very easy to blow through hundreds, if not thousands of dollars with no return. Thankfully, there are moves you can make that will reduce the risks involved with running ads.

But first, you need to understand the basics.

The basics of Facebook advertising for restaurant owners

Facebook ads are powerful for all types of businesses. In fact, Facebook gives businesses the opportunity to potential reach their 2.4 billion monthly users - and it works. According to a 2018 study, 75% of U.S. consumers have found products to purchase through Facebook.

With such a massive audience, Facebook is able to give restaurant owners the ability to create ads that are very targeted to highly customizable audiences. When creating an ad, you can target users by geographic location, age, gender, specific interests, and more.

Additionally, you can set the duration and budget of your ad. You can run an ad at, for example, $5/day indefinitely, or set a fixed duration and budget of $200 over the next 7 days.

Finally, you create your ad. This can be in the form of an image, video, or carousel of images. If you decide to use images for your ad, make sure you follow Facebook's 20% text rule.

Now that you have a better understanding of Facebook's advertising capabilities, let's dive into the 5 Facebook advertising tips.

1. Retarget your current customers

According to HubSpot, you're 60-70% more likely to sell to existing customers than to new ones. This is no different than when running Facebook ads.

Think about it - if you throw up an offer for customers who already love your food, why wouldn't they take advantage of it? If they already enjoy your restaurant, they'll be the most excited to see information about new menu items or coupons you're offering.

To retarget your existing customers, simply upload your email list, text messaging list, or online ordering list to Facebook's ad manager to match this information with their profile. You can also run ads to target users who've already liked your page on Facebook.

Once you have your customer list uploaded, simply create the ad that best expresses your offer and run it!

2. Find new users to target

Facebook has some great tools for expanding your audience size - Audience Insights and Lookalike Audiences.

Audience Insights is a tool that analyzes the people in your current audience to give you insight into their geographic location, demographics, lifestyle, and more. This can help you see, for example, if tourists or natives are visiting your restaurant, and can help you refine your advertising efforts.

Lookalike Audiences is exactly what it wounds like - Facebook automatically created an audience that looks like the ones you choose. So if you upload your email list, for example, Facebook will find other users that have similar traits to the users on your email list.

Combined, these tools can help you expand on the number of users you're targeting.

3. Reach new customers from scratch

If you're opening a new restaurant, chances are, you don't have access to an email list, text messaging list, or loyalty program subscribers.

If this is the position you're in, you'll need to target Facebook users from scratch. Over time, you can use the data from the performance of this ad to use the techniques mentioned above.

If you're running Facebook ads with no existing data, choose your targeting options carefully. Choose people in your local market who fit the demographics and interests of your target audience.

Let's say you run a bar. You might want to target an audience over the age of 21 who live within 15 miles of your location and have an interest in the beers you serve. This audience can be saved for future advertising efforts.

4. AB test every ad

AB testing is the process of running 2 ads at a time and running with the best performing one. It's unlikely that the very first ad you run will produce the results you want, so it's important during the early stages of an ad campaign to AB test in order to reach campaign goals.

AB testing can involve testing 2 entirely separate videos for your ad, changing the copy and keeping the video the same, or running the same ad to different audience segments.

In any case, I recommend you AB test in a way that makes it clear what variable resulted in the change of your results. Usually, the best things to test first are the call-to-action, images vs. videos, and the ad copy.

5. Retarget website visitors

If people visited your website after seeing an ad or promotion you're running, you can retarget this audience on Facebook with the Facebook Pixel installed.

Without getting too technical, the Facebook pixel is a piece of code you put on your website so Facebook can save your websites activity to a users browser and run retargeted ads to them based on their activity.

You could easily use this to run ads targeting users with offers that are specific to the page they visited. For example, if the user was looking at a pepperoni pizza, running an ad showing them an offer for this specific flavor can deeply personalize the ad and improve the results.

Nicholas RubrightNicholas Rubright is a digital marketing specialist for Aptito - a user-friendly restaurant POS system that runs on iPad. Outside of the restaurant industry, Nicholas spends his time playing and writing music.

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