How to promote your restaurant with Facebook Ads
Facebook is an amazing advertising platform for local restaurants. Why? It produces cost-effective results. Everything else is just a nice add-on, right?
In this article, I will break down how to use Facebook advertising to promote your restaurant.
Why is Facebook advertising great?
First, it's cheap. Because it's still relatively new in the advertising world and not saturated yet (though it is not far off), it is still a cost-effective way to advertise.
It accommodates small budgets. You can start from $5 per day. This means you can keep adverts running constantly for $150 per month: very little in the grand scheme of running a restaurant.
It allows you to target specific areas. You can do this with local media too, but with Facebook ads, you can target specific locations, demographics and interests. So, if you just want to target foodies in Dallas, you can.
Facebook also knows what people are likely to be interested in. The ads you see in your newsfeed are not random. Nor are they solely a result of the advertiser's preferences. Facebook works out what ads you are likely to be interested in and only shows you those.
How to get started
Here are the steps:
- Open a Facebook Business account (optional)
- Create a Facebook page
- Create your audience
- Design an advert
- Launch your campaign
Open a Facebook Business account
Setting yourself up with Facebook Business is optional, but highly recommended. This has a separate URL, business.facebook.com, is free, and has the following advantages:
- You can manage multiple identities and pages
- You can add other members of your team to manage your pages or ads if you want
- It keeps your personal life and business life separate so that you are not constantly getting notifications about stuff on your personal account
Here is how to create a business account:
- Go to https://business.facebook.com
- Click "create account"
- Enter the name of your business and click "continue"
- Enter an email address for the business
- Click "finish"
Create a Facebook page
Adverts must be connected to a page. This is an identity that will represent your restaurant. Pages are like profiles: you can post content to them, including images, videos, events, products and offers.
When you create an advert, your company page appears at the top of the advert like a profile.
Pages are a great way to promote your business in themselves. If you do not have one, here is how to create one:
- Log in to Facebook Business
- Select "Business Manager" and then "Business Settings"
- From the menu, select "Pages"
- Select "Add New Pages" and then "Create a New Page"
- From the menu of different page templates, select "Local business or place"
- Enter the name, select "restaurant" from the category dropdown and fill out the address
- Click "Create Page"
Create your audience
When you launch an advertising campaign, you need to select who to show the adverts to. This is because Facebook allows you to target the specific people you want to reach and avoid wasting money showing your adverts to everyone else.
The easiest way to manage this is to set the audience up in advance. You can use the "Saved Audience" feature to create a specific group to target and use that in all of your advertising campaigns.
Here is how to do it:
- Log in to Facebook Business and select "Audiences"
- Click "Create Audience" and selected "Saved Audience"
- Enter any name you wish: something memorable to you
- Ignore custom audiences (this is for if you have an existing customer list)
- In location, enter the city where your restaurant is based
- You can start by setting a wide age range and gender unless you know you have specific customers
- Enter any detailed targeting (see below)
- Click "Create Audience"
Detailed targeting allows you to zone in on people's interests. Rather than targeting everyone in your town, you can look for people who have liked relevant pages.
Here are some suggestions to type into the box that people may have listed as their interests or things they like:
- "food and drink"
- "food and wine"
Better yet, see if your competitor's restaurants are listed. Many restaurants, especially if they are a chain, will be listed as an interest that you can target.
Design your advert
We now have everything ready except for the advert itself. Let's start by designing the advert image, which is called the creative.
If you are a graphic design whizz, you could make the advert yourself. It should be 1200 X 628 pixels. Here are some tips to remember when designing it:
- It needs to grab the user's attention
- Do not use stock photos as they look like adverts
- If you have beautiful food, use a photo of it
- Include a call-to-action in the image (such as "book now")
- Facebook limits the amount of text you can have in the image, so use it wisely
Most business owners will not be graphic designers on the side. If that is you, it is much better to hire someone else to design the advert. This can be done cheaply by hiring someone on Upwork or even cheaper on Fiverr.
Launch your campaign
Finally, we are going to get started with the advert. We can set this up using the "Adverts Manager" section of Facebook Business (or using the regular Facebook website).
Facebook adverts are structured into three layers. I will list each one of them here and then go into more detail below.
- Campaign. This is where you set the campaign objective.
- Ad set. This is where you set the budget and targeting.
- Advert. This is where you add the advert itself.
In campaign, you choose your objective. There are a number of different objectives that may suit your restaurant:
|Brand Awareness||This is designed to get your name in people's minds. Facebook will show your ad to people it thinks will pay attention to it. However, it is difficult to measure the outcome of this type of advert.|
|Leads||This will allow you collect people's names and phone numbers. This could potentially lead to bookings, however you would have to phone them rather than them phoning you.|
|Traffic||This is a great objective if you have a website because you can get people to click the advert and go to your site.|
|Engagement||This is designed to get people to interact with your posts. This could be liking your page or taking you up on an offer you have posted.|
|Store visits||This is designed to get people to visit you. You can add buttons like "get directions" and "call now".|
Each objective has it's place. However, if you are feeling overwhelmed, "store visits" is the best place to start as it is designed to get people to come visit your restaurant.
In the ad set level, you can set targeting and a budget. Budgets can start from as little as $5 per day, and you can choose to let the ad keep running or end on a specific day. Leave all the other budget options as a default.
Under audience, select the arrow next to "new audience" and select the saved audience we created earlier.
Under placements, you can choose whether the advert appears on desktop, mobile, Instagram, audience network and other places. Change this from "automatic placements" to "edit placement". You want the following selected:
- Facebook feeds
In optimisation and delivery, leave everything as default.
Finally, the advert itself. You can have multiple adverts in one ad set. Therefore, if you have different images to use, you may want to try them all to see which one works best. Upload your image and enter a catchy headline.
Once you have done this, hit "save". Your advert will be reviewed by a moderator before being set live. Congratulations, you have just launched your first Facebook advert!
Creating your first advert on Facebook can be a daunting task. There is so much to take in. To master it, you need to break it down step-by-step.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. As become more comfortable with Facebook ads you may want to investigate:
- Split testing different adverts and ad sets
- Tracking conversions with the Facebook Pixel
- Refining your audience
- Using the Power Editor
- Using video ads
- Altering delivery times and placements
We will write more about these topics in the future. Until then, let us know how you get on. We would love to hear if you found this article useful.
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