facebook and instagram logos representing two social media companies who have entered the restaurant reservation space with their reserve button

The rapid growth of social media is no longer news to anybody.

NB: This is an article from Eat

With 4.33 Billion active users that are growing as you read this, we all know that social media marketing is here to stay. While social media caught fire due to its wide reach, platforms like Facebook and Instagram are slowly but surely turning into online markets instead of just a place where people connect.

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People have started using these platforms like search engines, and often go seeking information about brands and products on these channels. In fact, Oberlo’s research found that 54% of social browsers use it to research products before purchasing them. Think about it, how did you find out about the product you bought last? Chances are a lot of you have answered “Facebook” or “Instagram.”

By now, businesses are well aware of the importance of focusing on their social media marketing and growing their followers. However, that’s only one part of the game. The next, and most important aspect of social media marketing is to convert your followers into paying customers. At the end of the day, it’s all about the money. If your followers aren’t turning into customers, your social media marketing efforts are in vain.

The good news is that social platforms like Facebook and Instagram recognize this need and support businesses with various tools like product catalogs, online shopping, appointment scheduling, etc. which helps companies turn their social media channels into one of their biggest revenue generators.

One such tool that is dedicated exclusively to restaurants and can help them drive revenue from social channels is the official Facebook and Instagram “Reserve” button that enables direct bookings for a restaurant through its Facebook and Instagram pages.

What is the Official Facebook and Instagram Reserve Button

The official Facebook and Instagram “Reserve” buttons enable restaurants to embed their reservation link directly on their respective social pages, allowing customers to book a table at the restaurant without having to leave the social media platforms. The reserve button can be accessed by restaurants by joining any third-party reservation platform, like Eat App, which is an official booking partner of Facebook and Instagram.

This reserve button turns your social channels into free direct booking channels and allows you to reach your customers where they are present, helping you capitalize on your social media following.

How to add a ‘Reserve’ button on your Facebook and Instagram pages directly through Facebook

Step 1: Log into your restaurant’s Facebook page

Step 2: Select “Business Apps” from the left-hand sidebar of your Facebook page

Step 3: Scroll down to the “Reservations” category and locate your third-party reservation system (for example: Eat App) and then click “Connect”.

Step 4: You will then be taken to the authorization page of your reservation partner where you’ll need to select the restaurant you want to connect to.

Step 5: Next, you will be redirected back to Facebook where you will be required to connect your Instagram account, Ad account, and Facebook pixel (these three are required to complete the process).

Step 6: Your “Reserve” button will now be live on both your Facebook and Instagram profiles and you can manage your booking widget settings directly from your reservation partner like Eat App.

Click here for a more detailed explanation of the process

How to Promote your Restaurant’s Facebook and Instagram “Reserve” button

Once the reserve button is activated on your restaurant’s Facebook and Instagram pages, the next step is to promote it so that your followers are aware that they can make bookings through your social channels. There is no point in having the feature if people don’t even know it exists.

Here are a few ways to promote your “reserve” button:

1. Have an official launch

One of the most successful tactics in social media marketing is to create hype around a new product/ feature and officially launch it on your digital platforms. This builds up excitement amongst your followers and increases the likelihood of them using the feature.

A few things you can include in your launch are:

  • A teaser email to your customer database announcing the launch of Facebook and Instagram bookings
  • A social media campaign about the launch
  • An announcement poster at your restaurant to inform your dine-in guests

2. Make a how-to video

As you’re introducing something new to your followers, it’s a good idea to show them exactly how they can make a reservation at your restaurant directly through your social channels. Showing them the process will not only entice them but also reduce any friction that might occur during the booking process, as they are already aware of how it works.

3. Run a giveaway

Giveaways are a great way to attract people on social media. Run a simple giveaway that requires people to make a booking through the social channels to stand a chance to win something special, like a free dinner for two, to drive people to use your social media reserve button. Once they have made a booking through your social channels, they are more likely to remember your restaurant and make a booking again.

4. Incentivize it

Another smart way of attracting more people to make bookings through social media is to incentivize it and offer an exclusive discount on those bookings only. This way, people will feel rewarded for making bookings through your socials rather than other third-party platforms that charge you extra for each reservation.

5. Run ads

Facebook and Instagram ads are some of the best social media tools to reach more people beyond your following. Promote your restaurant’s new “reserve” button on both platforms by running interactive ads that catch people’s attention. Don’t forget to add the reserve button to the ads so that people can directly make a booking when they come across it.

6. Keep reminding your followers

Last but not least, it’s crucial to keep reminding your followers about the reserve button to enforce it into their memory. Retention is key, make sure they come across the message enough that when they think about making a reservation at a restaurant, they are immediately reminded about the fact that they can make a direct booking at yours through your social media pages.

Ready to get started with free direct bookings from your social media channels?

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