In our previous article Social Media Strategies from the Experts, we remember how industry professionals stress the importance of restaurants adapting to the times and utilizing the extreme popularity of social media in their marketing and promotional efforts. Society has fully embraced social media these days because it permits people to connect with each other in a very personal and human way—allowing businesses to reach their consumers as powerfully and as successfully, too.
Now here’s another helpful tip to make sure that you effectively connect to your customers through your Facebook page: ask questions.
Questions are found to be most helpful in reaching today’s vocal and opinionated market, according to social media software provider Expion. Expion conducted a research which aimed to establish which messages bring out the most number of comments from a business’ Facebook fans, and learned that open-ended sentence posts trigger more reactions than those that merely state facts.
“We found out that asking people to give feedback or answer questions elicit more responses than simply touting a restaurant promotion or new food menu item featured in the restaurant’s menu in superior menu cover,” said Mike Heffring, chief strategy officer of Expion. “A restaurant’s approach on Facebook, of course, should depend on its social-media lifecycle.”
Part of the lifecycle is assembling the account (whether a Facebook page, a Google Plus or a Twitter account) and then maintaining it through fan or follower engagement. Promotional posts, like Chili’s post “This is the last weekend of the Margarita Madness!” which received thousands of comments, are most effective in trying to build the brand’s fan base. And when the fan base grows, it is important to continuously engage them by asking questions or feedbacks—something like, “what do you like most about our food?”
In Expion’s review of about 50 restaurants in the country, Buffalo Wild Wings was noted to have had the most number of responses in its fill-in-the-blank post: “Beer is ________.” The status update elicited a total of 6,521 comments.
While some promotion-heavy posts can sometimes draw out many comments from the fans, such a scenario is more of an exception than the rule; hence the need to ask questions for customer engagement. Here are more tips in posting status updates in your Facebook page:
Enough about me, let’s talk about you. Ask for your customers’ preferences—whether they enjoy your steak more or the chicken. Let them know that their views shape the daily menu plans that would be featured in your menu with elegant menu cover, and you value their opinions on ways to improve your restaurant.
Short, snappy posts are more interesting for fans. When businesses try to adapt a more conversational quality in their Facebook page posts, they tend to make these too lengthy and eventually lose the fans’ interest. Short, snappy posts in a fun fashion are more engaging than messages that tend to ramble.
Vary your posts and avoid wear-out. You can’t continuously use fill-in-the-blank messages in your Facebook posts, nor recurrently ask for opinions. Make it more interesting for your restaurant and your fans by varying your messages.