Facebook is trying to become the go-to place for finding local restaurants. For those that already have a Facebook fan page, you’re aware that it gives you the opportunity to post updates like specials and special events.
And, of course, the page also allows your most loyal and enthusiastic customers to “like” you. They can then share with their network and with yours what they like best about you…and maybe even things you could do better.
Last year Facebook introduced star reviews to create more engagement for brick and mortar businesses — restaurants included. But up until now, it’s been tough to display and maintain a comprehensive menu on your page.
Sure, you can get perspective customers salivating over your entrees, deserts or lunch specials even before they show up by posting attractive photos in your news feed from time to time. Post a menu, however, and you could have them ready to order by the time they arrive or even ready to call an order in on their mobile phone.
Facebook has now streamlined the process using SinglePlatform. It’s a site and service that distributes local small businesses’ information across a network of online publishers, social sites and mobile channels so customers searching for them locally will find them.
SinglePlatform is a product from online marketing software company Constant Contact. The service isn’t free. You can get all the basic features for a single subscription of $79 a month. This video gives a quick overview of how the service works:
Now, in addition to sites like TripAdvisor, Foursquare and others, your Facebook restaurant menus and other restaurant information will also be distributed on your Facebook fan page.
In a post announcing the new feature in its “New Products” section, the company explained:
“When looking for a great meal, people often turn to Facebook to find a restaurant’s location, hours of operation and menu. That’s why, beginning today, we’re making it easier for restaurants worldwide to display one of their most important assets directly on their Facebook Page — their menus.”
Restaurants already subscribed to SinglePlatform will have their menu and other information published to their Facebook fan page automatically.
You can also use SinglePlatform to make changes and updates to your Facebook restaurant menus or other information and have those changes made instantly on all the sites where your information is distributed.
The SinglePlatform option is only available to restaurants in the U.S. or Canada. But restaurants elsewhere can post a PDF of their menu on their Facebook fan page. Follow the instructions under the “How Do I Add a Menu to My Page” section under Basic Page Information.
Facebook Photo via Shutterstock
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I guess they are also trying to take over Foursquare by having a similar feature. I guess it can’t be helped. If it’s in Facebook, it would be easier to share your status and location in a snap.
That’s a great tool for restaurants, but I’d really like to see Facebook do something to bring down the cost. They’re spending billions to acquire other companies, so surely they’ve got a few million to subsidize a deal for their users.