Making Your Facebook Page Feel Like Home

If you’ve ever seen two girls show up to a high school prom wearing the same dress – you’ve seen the chaos that follows – it’s not pretty and usually involves crying that causes one of the offended ladies to resemble a member of Kiss.  So, Texas Roadhouse community managers, take a lesson from your high school self and make sure that as you take your social media strategies to the local level, no two pages are wearing the same proverbial “dress.”

Let’s take a quick look at the three key areas to customize on your Facebook Pages to make sure it feels just as “local” online as it does offline.

1)  Tell a Story With Your Cover Photo

The cover photo is your first impression…in fact, on many computer screens, it may be the only thing a potential fan sees before deciding to scroll down or to leave your page because their cousin just posted another YouTube video about cats.  Here are some quick tips for drawing visitors in with your cover photo.

Play to Your Strengths - Legendary Food, Legendary Service, Legendary Fun.  If that’s what you’re promising your guests offline, your cover photo needs to convey the same message online.

Listen to Dr. Freud - People who are FAR smarter than I am have proven that people respond and relate to faces in images more often and more passionately than they do to anything else.  Make sure to include the human element even if you’re highlighting a food offering.  Coca-Cola’s cover photo does an excellent job of humanizing a beverage offering.

Follow the Rules - Make sure that you’re in compliance with Facebook rules by ensuring that your cover photo does not have:

-  Price or purchase information such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website.”

-  Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section.

-  References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features.

-  Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

2)  Customize and Share Your History

The new Facebook Timeline format allows you to add a new type of update to your Page, called a “Milestone.”  These milestones offer unique opportunities not only for you to feature the history of your company as a whole, but to highlight key events related specifically to your store or your community (i.e. Opening Day, UK Wins Championship, Ohio State Hires Urban Meyer).  You can also use these milestones to have a little fun (see Moe’s and Moe’s Charleston for an example of milestone usage.)

3)  Let Them Know What You’re “About”

I was in St. Louis and decided to play it safe and go to my favorite national chain.  It was late, so to make sure I wasn’t going to be disappointed, I checked the chain’s local Facebook Page to confirm their hours.  The Page, of course, said they were open, but when I pulled up, it was obvious that they’d been closed for a while.  When I mentioned my disappointment on this Facebook Page, I received a heartfelt “You should have called the phone number on our Page to confirm our hours.”  It won’t surprise you to find out that when I picked up the phone to call this number that, shame on me, I should have called in the first place – it was the number for the company’s corporate headquarters.

Please make sure that the information in your About section is correct – hours, phone numbers, emails, menu offerings…you get the picture.  Also, use the About section to talk about some of the things you’re passionate about within your community.  What causes do you support?  What schools or charities do you partner with to raise money?  These are important things to share, and the About section is the place to do it.

If you get these three things right as you start managing your own Facebook Pages, you’ll quickly find that your local communities will appreciate the effort.

Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

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