Many businesses have seen the large number of users on facebook as a great opportunity to create awareness and market their business via the social media platform. The use of social media to create an online presence is especially common amongst businesses in the hospitality industry such as cafés, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs. A facebook page can allow such a business to post about various events, new menu items, pictures of food and drinks, special offers and even directly communicate with their customers. Although there are indeed many positives in having such a business facebook page, a common misconception is that this alone will be sufficient to act as the online presence for your restaurant or pub. Yes, a facebook page can be a convenient way to communicate with customers and obtain instantaneous feedback that can help improve your business; however there are things a facebook page cannot do that a website can:
- The first point to note is that not all your potential customers are on facebook, but the chances are that they are on the internet. When they do research on products and services they are more likely to go with a company with an actual website over one that doesn’t have one.
- Facebook is big, but internet users are more likely to search for something they are looking for on Google, which is the most widely used search engine. In order for you to show up on Google search results a website is an absolute necessity, a website is the first step then search engine optimization comes into play in order for your website to achieve higher Google search rankings. A customer looking for a pub or restaurant in a certain suburb would be more likely to search for it on Google than on facebook.
- A website is also necessary if you would like to make use of Google’s pay per click advertising service to advertise your restaurant or pub to specific target keywords and demographic.
- A website can allow you to have booking systems in place that will allow customers to directly make reservation and bookings straight from the website. In addition to this a website can also incorporate a ordering system where users can make food orders online for take away or delivery.
- Having a good website can make you appear more professional and provide a better reputation.
Having a facebook page is definitely advantageous for your business and can open up good marketing opportunities, but you cannot rely solely on a facebook page to be the online presence for your restaurant. The main priority of any business owner is to increase awareness and to attract more potential customers – to do this online a website plays an important role. Smartphone and tablet users and their local searches while on the move have become even more significant and the best way to target them is via a responsive website that appears attractive on both the mobile and desktop platforms.