Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Social Media Marketing for Business

David George


June 13, 2012

3 Ways to Improve Your Restaurant Fan Page Right Now

June 13, 2012 | By | 14 Comments">14 Comments

Your customers want good food and a great experience.

You want good reviews and more repeat customers.

Restaurant owners, operators, and managers have found these 3 tactics for fan pages that are working phenomenally well and keeping the crowds coming back, day after day.

So why shouldn’t you have a lunch line out the door, stretching around the block; or be booked full of reservations each night?

Restaurants using the tips on the inside of this article are! Continue to see how you can do it for your restaurant fan page…

Click play to join 150+ Restaurant Owners and Consultants learning the top 3 Facebook strategies to increase foot traffic, sell more meals, and build your brand quicker:

3 Examples of excellent experience and engaging social media

1. Let’s YO! Frozen Yogurt understands how to use modern online technologies to incite interaction with customers.

2. Havana Central, a Cuban restaurant in Manhattan, has figured out how to use contests on their Facebook fan page to increase their email lists, Facebook fans, and Twitter followers.

3. Houlihan’s restaurant chain has combined personal recommendations on social media with traditional advertising mediums to drive insane amounts of traffic through their doors.

The underlying strategy

fan page

Let’s YO! is a prime example of a small restaurant building brand awareness and engagement through social media fan pages.

Walk in the front doors and you can’t miss it – massive, 70-inch TVs displaying live Facebook and Twitter feeds of what people have to say about the restaurant!

Each table is connected to its own iPad, giving customers the ability to comment, post reviews, or share a picture of their frozen artistic creation!

Play Angry Birds or read USA Today? Beat your high score or catch up on current events after you’ve left raving reviews on their Facebook wall or Twitter feed.

According to the owner, Eric Casaburi, children practically beg their parents to take them there…and the parents do! Why? Because, there’s a unique experience awaiting each member of the family.

fan page

Havana Central has truly figured out how to effectively use online marketing offers.

According to a study by the National Restaurant Association and LivingSocial:

“Restaurants that use online marketing tend to be viewed by consumers as modern (67% emails, 59% daily deals, 65% websites) and popular (63%, 59%, 63%)”

Tanya Casteneda, Havana’s Social Media Manager, is loving the results gleaned from running contests via social media outlets.

“Win a Free One Hour Open Bar for You and 9 of Your Friends” was one wildly successful contest that gave contestants 3 options to enter:

1. ‘Like’ their Facebook page and write “Open Bar” on the wall *(fair word of warning pointed out by one of our readers: it is not in accordance with FB’s Guidelines to force contestants do anything else but Like the Page, check in, or connect with a Page’s app)
2. Follow them on Twitter and tweet “Open Bar” to @havanacentral
3. Sign up to the email list

And guess what happened…
After running just 3 contests, the restaurant increased their Twitter followers by over 50, boosted their Facebook fans by 200+, and multiplied their email list with almost 1,000 subscribers!

I’m sure most of you are starting to get the picture – Coupling unique, real experiences with engaging social media screams “ORDER UP!” from restaurant goers far and wide.

According to Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics and global frontrunner in social media:

“Only 14% of people trust advertisements, while 90% of people trust peer recommendations.”

fan page

Because of this fact, Houlihan’s Restaurant & Bar chain has figured out how to use recommendations from social media and combine them with billboard advertising to create a unique message.

In big cities across the country – including Chicago, San Antonio, Pittsburg, and St. Louis – Houlihan’s billboards line the highways, loudly displaying remarkable reviews and customer testimonials from social media platforms, like Twitter.

Better yet, they specifically display the posts applauding their various happy hours and other discount offerings.

Conversation and positive reviews is at the core of Houlihan’s marketing strategy, and why not?
With over 44,500 Likes and more than 3,200 Twitter followers, they must be doing it right!

How to do it for your restaurant fan page

Restaurant owners, operators, and managers: if you are serious about increasing brand awareness, your number of fans/followers, and sales, then listen close!

fan page

Building a unique experience for your customers takes no time, and absolutely no developer skills.

Remember how Houlihan’s and Let’s YO! used recommendations from Twitter to foster engagement and gain credibility?

In less than 10-seconds, you can share your restaurant’s rave reviews from Twitter with your fans on Facebook using our Twitter widget. Simply drag and drop the widget onto the fan page editor, then move and resize however you want. This will allow you to bring the power and reach of both platforms all under one roof.

fan page


Just like Havana Central, capture thousands of emails and information from your audience through Heyo’s Email and Contact Form widgets. Whether you use your own account, or a service like MailChimp, Heyo makes it super easy to keep your fans updated with personalized offerings.


fan page




Want to go even further with your engagement like Havana? Using our Contest widget will give your audience a truly interactive experience!

In just 5-seconds, drag the Contest widget icon into the editor, drop it onto the fan page, and VOILA!

A beautiful and functional template displays, complete with social buttons, entry button, and countdown clock. Then, you can easily make it unique to your restaurant by replacing the stock images with your own. Easy as that!


fan page

And finally, if any of you are like myself and lack a keen eye for design, Heyo has created a pre-made template to help get those creative gears turning in the right direction.

Quickly click and drag the Restaurant widget icon into the editor, and like the Contest widget, a pretty and interactive template is displayed, helping to give you a vision for your fan page!

Want more?

We are working hard at Heyo to bring you the tools that Restaurant owners, operators, and managers need to increase their awareness, engage customers and increase sales everyday, so stay updated by joining our email list.

Just remember – customers won’t like your fan page because you convinced them to, but because they’re already convinced!

Question for readers: Have you used either Twitter or Facebook to encourage reviews from your customers? Why or why not?


David A. George is the Chief Content Creator at Heyo. I'm passionate about marketing, Android, being at the beach, and breathing underwater. I'd love to connect with you on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Or email me at dgeorge(at)

  • Sofus Bech

    Be aware of Facebook’s competition guidelines:

    “Win a Free One Hour Open Bar for You and 9 of Your Friends” was one wildly successful contest that gave contestants 3 options to enter:
    1. ‘Like’ their Facebook page and write “Open Bar” on the wall
    The above is against the FB guidelines!

    • David


      You’re exactly right! I should have made a disclaimer on that entry option. It’s a good thing the other 2 are viable options 🙂 Why do you think Facebook is so picky about things like that?

      • Sofus Bech

        Hi David

        I haven’t done much diggin’ in the subject. But I suspect that Facebook is merely trying to cover themselves legally.
        But that’s just a qualified quess 🙂
        How about you – what’s your guess?


        • David

          I agree, Sofus. I can imagine all kinds of complications that could arise in a legal battle arguing over who has more Likes and how they got them. Jury duty might actually be entertaining if I was assigned to that case! 😉

          It’s interesting though, I’ve seen a lot of contests based on the “winner” accumulating Likes. Do you think Facebook even checks this?
          – David

          • Sofus Bech

            Hi David,
            That’s true, but I was thinking more of an individual country’s legislation vs Facebook as a platform to run competitions. If Facebook decided to allow competitions to be run on their platform, they might have to adhere to every nations individual legislation.
            Personally I wouldn’t want to work in that legal dept. 😉

            So have I – but I don’t think that Facebook scans for there competitions actively. It’s probably more “if we see it, we stop it”-policy. Depending on the size of the competition and the company running it – they might actually scan larger companies – but those companies have account managers assigned from Facebook anyway 🙂
            Anyone running a competition on Facebook, is actually violating the terms of agreement.


  • dg doych

    David, your CREDIBILITY SCORE dropped to “C” you seem mostly a pitchman rather than a solutions provider.

    • David

      dg doych,

      I’m sorry you feel that way. I dedicate many hours and lots of energy every week creating and compiling interesting and relevant content for anyone that is interested in how to use social media. Non-users, as well as our current users, can get tons of ideas for strategies and improvements to their current social media campaigns. There are also real examples here for anyone to see how to “do it right.” I left everything that was remotely product-related until the end.

      Do you not think this is valuable information for the general public, available for free?

  • Becky

    The yogurt example uses Wildfire on their FB page, not Lujure. What’s so great about their FB page anyway?

    • David

      Becky, thanks for reading!

      Let’s YO! does use Wildfire, but that’s just because they haven’t caught on to Lujure yet, like you. Don’t forget, Becky, the bottom line is generating customers through a unique, real-life experience and coupling that with social media. That is what Let’s YO! does well, by providing customers the ability to post on the restaurant’s wall or tweet at them via iPads and smartphones, and then see their own interactions displayed right there in the store!

  • Monica Dillon


    Great job as always. Your webinars are always so interactive!! I will definitely share this replay with my clients and especially restaurant customers. Although Facebook is not the easiest to navigate for the average small business, I’ve seen some pretty great stuff and Lujure is right up there with assisting in getting great content out.

    Thanks again,


  • Pingback: 11 Reasons Why a Fan Page on Facebook Will Help Your Business | Next Level Consulting & Virtual Assistance()

  • Pingback: Using Facebook Contests to Double Your Email List | Heyo Hub()

  • Pingback: What is a Fan Page on Facebook? You Need To Know This! | Heyo Hub()

  • Pingback: 11 Reasons Why a Fan Page on Facebook Will Help Your Business | Heyo Hub()