Marketing Your Michigan Restaurant on the Web: Part 2 – The Fanpage

So, you have a beautiful new website that is nice to look at, easy to navigate and full of great content.  Now you need potential customers to find your restaurant in search engines.  Seems like a gigantic task.  The good news is that if you think of it in terms of a series of smaller tasks, it can be a bit less overwhelming.  What’s even better, you can get your website ranked in search engines without spending a dime.  You can tackle this project for only the cost of your valuable time.  So, for part 2 of 7, I thought we’d discuss one of the easiest and most popular ways to get your Michigan restaurant ranked in search engine results – the Facebook Fanpage.

Setting up a fanpage on Facebook is very simple and can actually be fun.  It causes you to think about your business in terms of what potential customers are looking for, especially the demographic who are using facebook the most.  Since Facebook is the most used application on the web, I feel this is the single most important place to start marketing your restaurant and your restaurant’s website on the internet.

Step one is to set up a facebook account.  Simply go to http://www.facebook.com/, fill out the quick application and click on the “sign up” button.  Once you’ve set up your account and filled out your personal information, click on the icon that says “set up a page for your business”.  This will take you to the fanpage section of facebook.  The single most important part of the process is to fill out a comprehensive profile of your Michigan restaurant.  Be as specific as possible, highlighting everything your restaurant has to offer.

Next, upload photos of your restaurant into a photo gallery.  Facebook users LOVE to look at photos!  Use your own digital images or hire a professional to take some beautiful pictures of your establishment, making sure you hire a professional who uses digital equipment.  Upload your photos and write keyword-heavy descriptions of each photograph.  Think in terms of how your customers will be searching when you write these descriptions.

A Facebook fanpage isn’t much of a fanpage without…FANS!  You have to get followers engaged with your fanpage and there is only one way to do it.  Invite them.  Invite them through email.  Invite your facebook friends.  Invite your Twitter followers.  Put your Fanpage address anywhere you’d put your web address.  It’s almost just as important.  If your Facebook Fanpage address is on your menu, internet-based mobile phone users will use their phones to become fans while their waiting for their meals to be served.  Put a link to your fanpage on your website.
After that, you’re good to go and ready to start posting content to your fanpage.  Add links to your website wherever possible.  Talk about specials you’re having, events that will be happening in your restaurant and even coupon availability.  Provide links to your favorite websites.  When you have an event, talk about it the next day and post photos of the event.  Post photos of your specials along with detailed descriptions.  Start customer loyalty programs.  Take a poll.  Get your customers involved in discussions.  Have give-aways.  The possibilities are practically endless.  The more you can do to get customers to interact with you on Facebook, the better search engine results your website will get.  So do everything you can.  The only way you can get this wrong is to not do it!  Visit Michigan Flavor’s Fanpage at http://www.facebook.com/michiganflavor.

So that concludes part 2.  Stay tuned for part 3 when we’ll tackle Twitter.  Between now and then, make sure you check out the Michigan Flavor Restaurant Directory at http://www.miflavor.com/.  Have questions regarding anything in any of our blog posts or need help implementing any of our suggestions?  Contact me via email at jodi@miflavor.com.  Interested in advertising your Michigan Restaurant on Michigan Flavor?  Call Dennis at 248-302-2738 or contact him via email at dennis@miflavor.com.  He or one of our other account managers will be happy to visit your restaurant and give you a full demonstration of Michigan Flavor.

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