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Building Your Restaurant’s

Digital Identity Facebook Tips

Facebook - The King of Social Networking

• Most popular social networking site in the world • Adults 35 and up are fastest growing user demographic • Engaging, dynamic format keeps people coming back for new games, features, and user-created content • Share photos, news, videos, recipes, links and more!

Facebook is a social networking website that allows users to join networks organized by city, workplace, school and region. People and businesses can also add friends, send them messages and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves.

• More than 750 Million registered users, more than one in every 13 people on earth

Chances are, your customers are on Facebook. You need to be, too. It’s free, and updating your status with daily deals, bar specials or chef’s nighly creation takes just a few minutes.

• 71.2% of the U.S. web audience is on Facebook.

First, create a personal Facebook page. Then you’ll be able to establish a Facebook page for your business. People can “LIKE” your restaurant by clicking the LIKE button. This appears on their profile page as a status update which can be viewed by their entire network of friends (depending on their privacy settings.) Your status updates will be simultaneously posted to everyone who LIKES your business. You can also purchase small ads on Facebook, very specifically targeting your customers by age, sex, or geography.

• More than 300 million users log onto Facebook any given day • More than two-thirds of Facebook users are outside of college • The fastest growing demographic is users 35 and older, who represent more than 30% of the entire user base • 57% of users are Female, 43% are male • The average user has 130 friends on the site • Over 50 billion photos have been uploaded • People spend 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook • More than 250 million active users access Facebook through their mobile devices • People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users • The average user creates 90 pieces of content per month

Online Ordering & Social Media: Success Takes Focus, Commitment May 5, 2011 Article by Alan Snel

Driving restaurant sales through online ordering and social media can yield positive results, but experts caution that it takes commitment to the task and a sharp focus on marketing the service for the investment to pay off.

Wow Bao’s Alexander also noted that the average check for an online order is three to four times higher than a check in the restaurant. “It’s people buying for the office or multiple orders coming in,” he said.

Executives participating in the webinar titled, “The New Social Order(ing): Monetizing Social Media Investments Driving Customer Loyalty,” acknowledged that some successful operators are indeed reaping benefits in the form of increased sales and higher check averages.

Barnard told webinar participants that online ordering is growing because it allows customers “the ease of doing business … It’s about convenience. It’s about speed.”

However, Geoff Alexander, vice president and managing partner of Wow Bao, a division of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises in Chicago, advised that it takes time and planning to make the service work. “Online ordering is a business, and you have to commit to it every day to grow that business,” Alexander told the webinar’s more than 500 participants. “You have to push it and market it.” “You have to get it out in front of people’s faces,” he continued, adding it is imperative for a restaurant’s online ordering program to be promoted on multiple platforms — from menus and websites to signs and even bag stuffers on trays. The webinar was sponsored by Exit41, an Andover, Mass.-based food-ordering social media provider, and presented by Nation’s Restaurant News. Joining Alexander on the webinar panel were: • Chet Barnard, chief executive of Exit41 • Jim Anderson, chief operating officer of Atlanta-based Vitrue, a social-marketing software firm based in Atlanta • Wendy McReynolds, director of marketing for Bravo/Brio Restaurant Group, a 48-unit company based in Columbus, Ohio • Matt Schultz, marketing and social media coordinator for Bravo/Brio.

Facebook, with its 500 million members, is a popular online tool, but Alexander pointed out that “technology is constantly evolving.” Anderson agreed with Alexander regarding the importance of committing the time and manpower to the online ordering service if the service is provided. He said it’s vital to “pay attention to fan pages and listen to commentary and use the feedback. The raw materials are out there to get meaningful feedback.” Alexander said Facebook is “my billboard” and Twitter feeds come nonstop to gauge customer feedback. The one hurdle that McReynolds cited is that customers must be educated about how to order, especially the older demographic. “We’re educating guests on the conveniences,” she said. “It’s one of the trickier aspects we have seen.” Alexander said the top questions an operator should ask before diving into online social media ordering is: • Can it be run as a business, with focus and commitment? • Does it fit the restaurant’s concept? • Do the restaurant’s customers use computers and apps? • Does an operation’s food travel well? And while technology clearly is changing rapidly, Alexander advised restaurants to not worry about the next phase in its development. “Instead of looking 10 yards down the field [consider] how you’re using what you have now,” he said.

The experts concurred that online ordering through social media — whether it is Facebook or an iPhone app — potentially is a money-maker for restaurants. At Bravo/Brio, for example, 8 percent to 10 percent of sales are generated by online ordering and the goal is to boost that number to 15 percent to 20 percent, McReynolds said.

It’s vital to pay attention to fan pages, listen to commentary and use the feedback.


10 TIPS for posting on your

page March 22, 2011 Article by Ekaterina Walter

Once your brand is on Facebook, the question becomes how you engage those fans and sustain a meaningful online dialogue with your customers. Facebook fans will only want to engage with us if we serve up relevant content and truly participate. We also forget about EdgeRank — Facebook’s News Feed algorithm that helps display “relevant” stories. The News Feed only displays a small subset of stories generated by the friends and brands users engage with the most. The more popular your story, the more likely it is to show up in people’s News Feed. News Feed optimization becomes as important as your content strategy. Let’s explore ways we can create updates that are optimized for the News Feed and engagement. Below are some do’s and don’ts to remember each time you tackle that all-important question, “What should we post to our Facebook Page today?”


DON’T Automate Your Status Updates

Don’t automatically feed your blog posts or your Twitter updates into your Page. Often, automated content doesn’t make it into users’ News Feeds. Your fans can also distinguish between “auto” posts and customized ones. For a lot of brand pages, auto posts do not engender engagement. Don’t share the exact same content across all networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) in exactly the same format. We all understand the value of saving time, but respect your customers enough to manually post customized copy. You will get far better engagement and show your fans you care. Some folks who use Facebook don’t really like Twitter and get irritated when they see hashtags or other Twitter-specific content in their Facebook stream.


DON’T Be Afraid To Show You’re Human

Thank your fans for their replies and for sharing their opinions with you. From time to time, talk about things other than your products. Wish them happy holidays. Ask them fun questions or to share their personal stories. If you make a mistake — admit it. Everyone knows you are human, and no one expects you to be perfect. You will actually score points for admitting that instead of trying to hide it. Don’t be afraid of negative comments or people posting on sensitive topics. You’ll find that most of the time your fans will jump in and defend you or address these comments for you. And that carries much more weight than you trying to chime in. And at the end of the day, this is your opportunity to turn haters into loyalists by providing timely responses and great customer service.


DO Post More Photos & Videos Media like videos and photos always perform well on Facebook. Not only do they seem to be a favorite of the News Feed algorithm, but they just grab people’s attention in a feed full of text updates. A lot of web users choose to watch more than they read. Facebook also offers you a nice little feature that helps bring more fans to your Page. If you post a video and a non-fan of your Page sees it, a little non-intrusive call to action will pop up in the top-left corner that invites them to Like your Page..


DO Put Your Fans in Charge Every Now and Then

Not afraid to crowdsource? Your Facebook Page is a perfect place for it. Not only will your fans feel valued and heard, but some of their decisions might help your content strategy in the long run. Let’s face it — sometimes we don’t always make choices that resonate with our customers. My favorite example of this was Budweiser letting their fans choose the commercial that would run during the 2010 Super Bowl.


DO Target Your Status Updates

If you are a global brand, make good use of targeting. We sometimes forget that not all of our fans want to know about campaigns or contests we are running in a specific region or country. Target your updates by country or language as necessary. In the U.S. you can even target by state and city.


DO Ask Questions & Involve Your Fans

Want your fans to express their views on a topic? Ask them. Want your fans to share their favorite content with you? Ask them. Want your fans to share your content? Ask them. You get the point. If you want your fans to participate more, just ask them every now and then; you will be surprised how many of them respond. Multiple experiments by other brands and yours truly show that the posts where you include a call to action get better than average engagement.


DO Watch Your Post Frequency and Timing

Don’t overwhelm your fans with too many posts. I suggest posting once a day to start with and potentially moving to twice a day, especially if you have great news to share. As far as timing goes, many people catch up on their Facebook activity at the end of the day and during weekends. However, this trend varies, and might be different for your target audience. Be patient, watch the response trends on your Page, and identify the frequency and timing that works best for you.


DO Have A Unique Voice

Not afraid to crowdsource? Your Facebook Page is a perfect place for it. Not only will your fans feel valued and heard, but some of their decisions might help your content strategy in the long run. Let’s face it — sometimes we don’t always make choices that resonate with our customers. My favorite example of this was Budweiser letting their fans choose the commercial that would run during the 2010 Super Bowl.


DO Diversify Your Content

Change up your content every now and then. Often, people are not sure what to post on a regular basis. You could try adding how-tos, trivia about your company, breaking news, polls, fill-in-the-blanks, relevant third-party content, multimedia, or even experts to speak about your field or business.


DO Track the Performance of your Posts

Do you know your average number of comments and Likes per post? Watch for trends on your Page and feedback from your consumers on pics/programs/ discussions and adjust your content strategy appropriately. Don’t become complacent. Hopefully these tips will help you gain an edge on EdgeRank, and put your brand on top. Good luck!

Want to learn more about Facebook? Ask your Sysco Sales Person about out other flyers on Building Your Restaurant’s Digital Identity!

Sysco Online Resources Start your tour at, packed with food trends, exciting recipes and business building tips to keep you ahead of the competition. Exclusive to Sysco customers! At, you can learn all about our company and products, stay up to date with recent market reports and even find specialty suppliers.

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Facebook Tips  

Quick Tips on using Facebook for your restaurant.

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