Facebook Strategy for Bars and Restaurants: A Guide for the News Feed Changes

image for a blog post about facebook's update

If you’re a bar or restaurant owner, you might be thinking how you can step up your social media game in 2018 (and if you’re not – then maybe check out the post on why social media is important for small businesses). The answer has become a bit more confusing for businesses with Mark Zuckerberg’s new direction for Facebook. Zuckerberg’s post to Facebook about the update in early January indicated that there will be some big changes for the company coming and they had a large focus on what Facebook users will see more of (and less of) in the News Feed.

This may leave you asking: How does this affect my Facebook strategy? Initially, the answer may seem like moving your priorities away from the platform entirely, but most likely it will mean a shift in the goals and strategy you have for your business on Facebook. Here are a few quick takeaways (discussed further later on), and then we’ll talk a bit more about the update!

Quick tips for success for the new Facebook:

-Post less (because it’s not as necessary), but still, post high-quality content to show that your business is active and keeping fresh content on your page.

-Your page will become a destination page, like a second website but native to Facebook.

-Leverage event promotion for your location to reach more people

-Comment and interact with more content that your community members post! Focus on building the one to one relationships with those accounts.

-Encourage your guests to share pictures of them in your location! This kind of content will reach a lot of that person’s friends in the new algorithm and will act as a personal endorsement for your business.

What is the Facebook update

The post from Zuckerberg (shown below) explained that the company would like to see users derive greater value from the time they spend on the social network. In an effort to accomplish this, Facebook will limit posts from businesses with the intention of encouraging individual contributors to post and engage more with their friends and family on the network, similarly to how people used the platform in its earlier days.

What does the Facebook update mean for your business

The changes to the news feed will limit ‘publishers’ of content (meaning pages that aren’t an individual person). This means that as a business page posting to Facebook, your posts will have less reach than ever before. So, the Facebook community that you’ve worked so hard to build and nurture will probably rarely see your posts in their newsfeed if at all, and will certainly see them less than before this update. If you’re asking yourself how Facebook can justify deciding whether or not your followers will see your posts, the answer is that ever since Facebook started curating what people see in their feeds years ago this has been a part of participating on the platform as a business. This most recent change means that businesses need to shift their strategy away from posting regularly in order to stay relevant toward focusing more on one to one engagements.


How to optimize your strategy for new Facebook news feed

We’ve covered what the Facebook update is and how it will affect the news feed. Now we’ll offer some insights into how to adjust your Facebook strategy to the news feed changes.

Building your email list is more important than ever  – Consider using email marketing for your restaurant if you don’t already. It’s a great way to engage with your guests outside of your store. It’s important to remember that, unlike your social media following, you do own your email list. So these are interactions that you can fully control and provide a great experience with. If you’re already doing email marketing, consider focusing on it more or building it out further because there is a lot more certainty around your email subscribers seeing your messages compared to your Facebook followers.

Adjust your goals for Facebook – Your profile will become more of a destination page for information, so you can tilt your focus away from posting heavily in search of engagement. We should be putting more emphasis on engaging with other people’s posts and creating stronger one to one relationships. Becoming more active in Facebook groups is a great way to initiate conversation with new potential guests. Don’t forget it’s all about building your community because customers spend 20-40% more on companies who engage with them on social media. So you can easily see how these micro engagements online can translate to in-location sales for your bar or restaurant.

Event Promotion! Use your events to gain more reach on the platform. Remember that Facebook has a stand-alone events app, that can engage your community with push notifications and other reminders! Facebook Local can help small businesses reach new audiences with its event promotion.

Need fun event ideas?

Join us for our upcoming webinar! 18 Best Ways to Put Entertainment on Tap in 2018


Encourage User Generated Content – with Facebook’s new changes, they expect people to begin posting more (like they used to before business publishing and news went wild on the platform). You can expect these posts to get more meaningful engagement because they’re from friends and family and will feel more genuine. Now is a great time to start encouraging your servers to take pictures for your guests with the friendly reminder to tag the business when they post it.


Check out this post for more tips on how to encourage guests to take and share photos


So to recap, Facebook will be making changes to its news feed that will further limit the number of users that see posts from content publishers (including businesses like yours) who aren’t individual contributors. With this platform shift, businesses will need to adapt their strategies in order for their Facebook presence to positively impact their bottom line. Here are the key takeaways we discussed earlier, we hope that these strategies will help you grow your community and your business!

buzztime and taphunter webinar for entertainment in bars and restaurants