guidelines from MenuPlatform that is specific to restaurant owners. It is well worth your time to take a closer look, even if you aren't concerned with this particular type of business.We all know that small businesses should create their own Facebook Pages to help customers find them and engage with them online. Now there is a great set of
How can restaurants use Facebook? Not just to post daily specials, but as a portal to drive traffic to their own website or as way to make it easier for customers to reserve a table using the OpenTable.com Facebook plug-in app. They can also share current news and events, put up a map and directions, and use Facebook to research what their customers like and don't like about their food, service, and other operations. And, as we all know, it is free: you don't have to pay for some fancy or expensive Web site designer.
The instructions in the link are pretty basic. Once you have set up your page, you need to drive people to "like" it and to start sharing comments about their experience. But you know that already, right? If you are looking for more advanced instructions, you might want to check out FaceITPages' Facebook HTML app that can be used to create customized Facebook Pages but don't have the time to learn more markup commands. There are numerous add-on modules to allow you to create Wordpress feeds or photo galleries inside your Facebook Page.
MenuPlatform's blog is just getting started, and there is another post that will provide other tips on why you should use social media marketing. The main site has an app in beta that can import your menus and keep it updated. The site was spun out from several MIT grads who recently got funding and you can read more of Scott Kirsner's coverage of other Boston-based restaurant-related startups here.