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7 steps for an effective Facebook post

An effective Facebook strategy for your restaurant—one that achieves your goals of education, engagement, promotion or feedback—requires thoughtful planning. Cover and profile photos, tabs and favorite apps, milestones and more must all be considered to maximize all that Facebook has to offer. Below are seven points to consider when crafting that perfect post.

1. Audience
I’ll state the obvious here: your restaurant’s Facebook page is not your personal page. Depending on your personal Facebook usage, this can mean a lot of things; post with more restraint, post more frequently, keep in mind a more general audience. Remember to speak to your customers when you’re posting on your restaurant’s Facebook page.

2. Voice and Tone
Related to the above, the voice of your Facebook page should reflect the image you are trying to project. Unlike your personal network, your Facebook fans may not know your restaurant very well.  Therefore, as they meet your restaurant via Facebook, how do you want them to characterize your business?  Humorous?  Quirky? Serious?  All of the above?  Keep in mind that Facebook culture leans toward the more casual, so make sure you are not coming across as too stiff.

3. Content
Your posts shouldn’t solely be promotional material about your restaurant. Everything you put out should offer engaging value to your fans. News, humor, entertainment and insider insights grab your audience’s attention and motivate them to return for more. Simply pouring out post after post of advertising copy will hurt your following. People want to be engaged with the material, not spammed. Content that leads people to interact on your page is particularly powerful. You can use your posts to drive fans to quizzes like personality tests, surveys and Facebook sweepstakes that are in your Favorite Apps/ tabs slots. This type of content is also an important way to get Likes, Shares and more. Also, be positive. Don’t trash talk your competitors. No one likes a Negative Nellie.

4. Context
Post as part of a series, to announce an offline event or in response to customer feedback. That greater context gives people a reason to keep coming back to your page looking for the next piece of information.

5. Timing
The best time to post to Facebook is a matter of much debate. In general, however, think about who you’re trying to reach and when they are most likely to be spending time catching up on their Facebook activity. The best posts go live when your fans have time to read and digest them and, hopefully, react. Chances are this is not when they are hard at work, but rather during lunchtime, evenings and weekends. Experiment and see what makes the most sense for your page.

6. Interaction
Drive interaction with your Facebook posts by asking for advice, opinions or related stories. Each time a customer responds to your post, he signs up to get a “bump” from you each time somebody else responds. That kind of conversation gets real results in social media. Personality tests and surveys, where people can share their opinions and “results,” are effective ways to get interaction and information that you can really use.  To get things started, don’t be afraid to prime the pump by having a friend, employee or loyal customer be the first to comment.

7. Responsiveness
Once people have responded to your initial post, add your own comment to keep the conversation going. Now that individuals can private message your company, there is a huge opportunity to really engage in a dialog. Make sure that you’re not letting your Facebook page go unattended. For better or for worse, most of us have come to expected immediate results online.

Seth Lieberman is CEO of Pangea Media and SnapApp, which is a marketing platform that empowers brands, publishers and agencies to foster conversations across the web. Lieberman has 15 years of experience in online advertising, customer acquisition, lead generation and customer engagement.

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