Facebook as Your Restaurant’s Website – It’s Just Not Enough
We like to eat as much as the next person, and often turn to the web to help us make the decision of which restaurant to visit.
Lately, we’ve noticed a startling trend.
While searching for places to dine here in New Mexico, we’ve found a large number of restaurants in the state that have been winging it without a website and instead, are using Facebook as their main page.
In the age of the Internet, there’s a large distrust of companies that don’t have a website. Not only does not having a website for your restaurant mean you’re losing business, but if you’re only on Facebook, you’re missing the opportunity to showcase your restaurant’s unique local New Mexico identity.
So we’re breaking down the reasons why only having a Facebook page for your business isn’t enough to handle your needs as a restaurant owner. You need a website.
Web Your Way
Facebook has created many ways for small businesses and restaurants to add some personalization to their pages. But the distinctive qualities that set your restaurant apart from your competitors get watered down with the mundane cookie-cutter layouts and the cluttered (and distracting) Facebook design.
No. This is not for you!
Restaurateurs are distinctive and unique. Their passion goes into every dish they serve. Done right, a website will mirror these qualities and do a better job of helping your customers understand your particular flavor of awesome. Your restaurant brand and image will dominate the site and you’ll have complete control over how the site looks, acts and feels.
New Mexico Tourists Don’t Lug Laptops Around
Did you know that 40-60 percent of online searches for restaurants are done via mobile? And can you guess how visitors to the area are going to be looking for restaurants when they descend upon Albuquerque, New Mexico this October for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta?
You guessed right — on their phones! Take advantage of those smartphone users and capture them on your own responsive website. Don’t make them go to Facebook and fall victim to the sadness of a cumbersome PDF menu. Which brings us to our next point…
Showcase Your Menu
It’s possible to upload your menu to Facebook. However, some digging to find it may be required as menus tend to be buried among the many options included in the Facebook page menu structure. And many restaurants have opted to upload them as a PDF (because it’s so easy!).
But PDF menus may actually hurt your business. They can which can cause a number of issues for customers who want nothing more than to quickly narrow down where they are going to grab lunch.
Users frequently get turned off when a PDF pops up on their screen when they click on a link thinking they are going to be opening up another web page. Some PDF menus are large files, which means waiting and waiting and waiting for them to load. And many PDFs aren’t responsive, which means an awkward viewing experience and lots of strange scrolling if you’re on a smartphone.
Your customers would rather view your menu as a web page and here’s why – pages built in HTML respond well on mobile devices. They also look better because they are built within your site’s design, are easier to read, and have greater SEO value than a clunky PDF that’s been uploaded to your Facebook page.
Brand Engagement is Falling on Facebook.
It’s easy to get lost in the crowd on Facebook. With so many other companies vying for your customers’ attention, it can be easy to be overlooked. In the Facebook news feed, your restaurant’s posts are mixed in with posts from not just other companies, but all the other friends, family and news organizations that are piping information out of their accounts.
Compound that with the recent algorithm changes that Mark Zuckerberg announced that will make you “see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media,” and you have your work cut out for you.
Having your own website for your restaurant gives you the benefit of having your customers’ (and potential customers’) full attention. The focus is solely on your food and dining experience. With some excellent search engine optimization and a well-designed site, you’ll have an easier time standing out in the crowd of the New Mexico restaurant scene.
Your Website Should Be Your Restaurant’s Central Online Destination
Social media sites like Facebook are good for business because they allow you to connect with your customers and reach them in a friendly, engaging space. They are also a fantastic way to extend your restaurant’s presence online.
But once you have their attention, you need somewhere to send them, and that somewhere should be your restaurant website where you have full control of the customer experience.