Let’s face it. Life is too short to eat bad food. Whether you run a trendy downtown eatery, a local dive joint, or a mega-chain with over 1,000 locations, chances are you didn’t get into the food industry to disappoint your customers. Indeed, you know that when folks stop by your restaurant they’ll leave happy.

The trick, then, is to get them in the door. Both literally and figuratively. In this day and age – in a dining landscape that includes online and in-app ordering options – that’s not nearly as easy as it sounds. No matter how unique your menu, how low your prices, or how recognizable your brand, you’re going to have some competition. Visibility is the only way to guarantee that when folks ask “What should we do for dinner?” your restaurant is at the top of everyone’s mind.

Marketing Your Restaurant On Facebook

Facebook advertisements could give your restaurant the edge it needs to stand out from the pack. With 2.27 billion monthly active users, Facebook is quite easily the number one social media channel on the planet. In addition, a whopping 65% of Facebook users access the platform every day, with a staggering average usage time of 20-30 minutes per day. That is to say, if you’re not taking advantage of Facebook advertisements, you are missing out on one of the most effective advertising channels available anywhere.

You should also consider that Facebook advertisement campaigns leverage the landscape of an increasingly mobile world. They are able to reach much larger audiences, more efficiently, without breaking the bank. While television ads, billboards, and other traditional marketing methods might look nice, they’re not exactly “mobile friendly.” Indeed, Facebook ads are not only visible no matter where your customers go with their mobile devices, they are also significantly cheaper.

Now, this is where we ought to offer a word of caution. Managing a Facebook page for your restaurant, and periodically posting to it, does not count as Facebook advertising. In fact, due to Facebook’s algorithms, only 2% of your fanbase is likely to see your organic, non-paid posts. For those of you doing some back-of-the-envelope math, we’ll save you the effort: that works out to be 20 people for every 1,000 fans following your page. Put plainly, without investing in smart Facebook advertisements, your ability to capture the attention of your audience is stunted considerably.

Finding Your Audience

Fortunately, Facebook advertisements enable you to circumvent their algorithms. A smart, well-designed campaign could do wonders for your mobile visibility and, ultimately, bring customers to your restaurant or drive orders through delivery apps like DoorDash, Grubhub, and UberEats. The question, then, is: what does a smart, well-designed Facebook advertisement campaign look like?

Needless to say, this depends on your business. You see, the genius of Facebook is that they merely provide the tools. They offer unrivaled insight into their user base – everything from age and location, to which restaurants and, more specifically, which types of restaurants, users have checked-in to previously. The rest is up to you. And, if these insights are harnessed correctly, they could put your advertisements directly in front of the audience they were created to influence.

The critical step here is to come up with audience personas. When launching a Facebook advertisement campaign for your restaurant, it’s important to think about the profile of your average customer. For instance, you might consider the following:

  • Where do they live? If your restaurant is in San Francisco, it might not be worth spending ad dollars marketing to Zurich-based Facebook users. With Facebook’s geo-targeting tool, you can aim your ads at groups of users based on geographic markers like city, state and zip code.
  • What are their demographics? It should go without saying that McDonald's draws a different crowd than Nobu. Chances are you have a fairly good idea of what your crowd looks like. Facebook allows you to create audience groups from data such as age, education level, gender, and life events like marriage.
Age and Gender of people who have liked McDonald’s on Facebook from Facebook Audience Insights

  • What are their interests? This is where things get a bit abstract. The brands and interests that people like on facebook give marketers insight into the potential purchasing choices of those users. For instance, if you’re marketing for a fast food restaurant, you might find some traction aiming at folks that have liked pages associated with burgers, fries, or other fast food chains.
Pages liked by people that are interested in Fast Food

The more clearly you are able to define each of these categories, the more effective your advertisements will be at reaching their target.

Audience Finder by 42matters Offers Precision

Of course, it is often quite difficult to develop these audience personas. There is always the possibility, for instance, that in taking a conservative approach to geo-targeting you will miss out on reaching hundreds or thousands of potential customers. Similarly, if you select an overly broad scope of interests for an interest-based campaign, you run the risk of putting your advertisement in front of the wrong audiences too frequently.

Take into account that advertisements aren’t cheap. Not only do you spend time and money to run them, but they also take a good deal of effort to conceptualize, design, draft, re-draft, etc. So, if you are going to invest in social media advertising, you might as well take the extra step to make sure that they reach the right people as often as possible.

Now, as it turns out, you can tell a great deal about someone based on what they have on their phone. Indeed, you can build an incredibly advanced audience persona by tapping into the applications that people download on their mobile devices. For instance, if somebody has downloaded apps like Yelp, OpenTable, and Urbanspoon, you know there’s a good chance they’re interested in finding new places to have a good meal.

Audience Finder: Targeting Facebook users who have restaurant apps downloaded

That’s why we here at 42matters have developed the Audience Finder. By leveraging our extensive application database, we enable you to create precise audiences for Facebook advertising campaigns that are guaranteed to reach your restaurant’s desired clientele.

Benefits of Using the Audience Finder

The Audience Finder offers the following benefits:

  1. Precision, precision, precision. Whether you want to build a Facebook advertisement campaign based on one application or 100, Audience Finder will have your back.
    For instance, if you own a “pizza by the slice” shop, you might want to promote your restaurant to folks that have the Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, and Telepizza apps on their devices.
Audience Finder: Targeting Facebook users who have domino’s pizza or pizza hut app installed

Alternatively, you could target people who have installed a specific food delivery app, like Seamless, and combine that audience with specific Facebook food interest segments to create a far more bespoke ad campaign. With millions of mobile applications in our database, no user is out of reach and any niche can be targeted.

Audience Finder: Targeting Facebook users who have food delivery apps installed

  1. Take aim at your competitors. It’s no secret that you and your competitors share many of the same customers. This is because you appeal to similar crowds. So, if your competitors have a mobile application, it stands to reason that people who have downloaded it would also be interested in your restaurant. Perhaps, as an example, you own an acclaimed Taco truck in Los Angeles. Chances are you share customers with the likes of Taco Bell, Chipotle, and Del Taco. The Audience Finder enables you to reach those customers by putting your Facebook advertisements in front of folks that have downloaded the Taco Bell, Chipotle, and Del Taco applications.
  1. Quality is king. One of the various fallibilities of running an interest-based advertising campaign on Facebook is that people are not necessarily deeply committed to the things they “like” on the platform. Indeed, there is a strong case to be made that people are far more interested in the content of the applications they have downloaded on their phone. Afterall, applications take space. So, if you don’t actually want them, you delete them. By building audience personas with the Audience Finder you are advertising to people that have committed to their applications. As such, they are far more likely to be swayed by your advertisements.
  1. Any device, anywhere. Facebook users access the platform on all their devices. This includes smartphones, tablets, laptops, wearables, desktops, and more. In addition, advertisements on Facebook will reach other Facebook applications like Instagram and the Messenger app. This means that a Facebook advertisement campaign, driven by the Audience Finder, will reach them no matter where they go.

Using Audience Finder is as Easy as One, Two, Three

By now you’re probably wondering how the Audience Finder works. Well, it’s fairly simple, really. We’ve broken it up into three easy steps. They are as follows:

  • Step One: Define Your Audience. You probably have a pretty good idea of what your average customer is like. And presumably, you have a good idea of who your competitors are. Use this knowledge to select applications that match this profile. Do you run a fair trade coffee house? Maybe select the Starbucks application. This way you target people who are interested in your largest competitor, but might be looking for higher quality alternatives.
Audience Finder: Targeting Facebook users who have the Starbucks app installed

  • Step Two: Export Your Custom Audience. This step is fairly self-explanatory. Once you have selected all the applications that define your audience, export the list to your Facebook Ads account. To broaden your reach, Audience Finder will automatically include a lookalike audience list. That is, one that matches the profile of the list you created.
Audience Finder: Exporting Starbucks mobile app users as Facebook custom audience

  • Step Three: Create Your Facebook Advertising Campaign. Once you have exported your custom audience list from the Audience Finder to your Facebook Ads account, you are ready to finish setting the parameters of your advertising campaign. To define your audience as specifically as possible, we recommend adjusting any of the standard location, demographic, and interest-based targeting tools provided by Facebook. Once you are satisfied with these settings, you are ready to publish your advertisements!
Audience Finder: Using the exported custom audience inside your Facebook Ad

Try the Audience Finder by 42matters for Free!

Whether you run an upscale steakhouse or a corporate mega-chain, the Audience Finder by 42matters can help boost your visibility. It can achieve this by using information about downloaded mobile applications to more reliably identify your customers’ interests. This granular approach to audience targeting is guaranteed to put your advertisements directly in front of your customers no matter where they go.

And that’s good news! Because these days competition is stiff. Unique menu items and fair prices only go so far. By using the Audience Finder in conjunction with Facebook Ads, you will be better positioned to reach your customers and drive business for your restaurant. In addition, you will be able to outflank your less tech-savvy competitors and assure that the time and money you spend on advertising is fundamentally contributing to revenue.

To see how the Audience Finder can boost your restaurant’s marketing efforts, we are offering a 14-day free trial. Give it a shot today!

Should you have any questions, we are happy to answer them. Feel free to email us at info@42matters.com.