Adding a direct method of booking to your social media channels will help increase your online reservations, provide a smooth user experience for your followers who wish to make reservations and reduce time spent checking direct messages and responding to enquiries sent via private message. 


Creating specific channels and widgets for each social media profile will also allow you to track which platform is generating more reservations and identify the source of bookings easily within the diary. 


Creating a widget for a specific channel


  1. From the Promote dashboard, create a widget to meet your desired branding requirements using the Widget Configurator.



2. When entering theme name, use the social network name you wish to place the widget or direct booking link on i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc


3. Select the relevant channel code to correspond from the dropdown i.e. if you’ve created a widget for Facebook, choose the FACEBOOK channel code also. 

4. When you’re happy with the design of the widget, click through ‘Continue’ at the bottom right of the screen to next choose what size/style you would like your widget to be. We recommend Standard for social media bookings. 





5. Clicking ‘Select’ will provide you with the code to export your widget. Your widget has also been created on its own URL; this is the address you’ll link when implementing your Book Button or direct booking like. 


It appears within the code as below:



Placing a book button on Facebook that links to your new channel-specific widget



1. Login to your Facebook business page as an administrator and click '+ Add a Button'


2. Choose ‘BookNow’ as your call to action and paste in the URL for your channel specific widget as you obtained using the Step 5 in the ‘Creating a Channel Specific Widget’ section of this guide. We recommend adding '#booking' to allow the link to default to the availability search.


3. Choose ‘Website’ for iOS destination - this will take customers straight to your widget in one click. If you have a specific restaurant iTunes app, you can enter this here instead.


4. Select ‘Website’ for the Android destination then click Create. If you have a specific restaurant Android app, you can enter this here instead. 




Placing a direct booking link on Instagram



ResDiary currently does not integrate with Instagram so specific button to reserve is not possible; however, providing your customers with a direct booking link will serve the same purpose; allow them to make a booking right from your Instagram page. 


When pasting the URL for your channel-specific booking widget on Instagram, we recommend shortening the link using a third party website such as TinyURL or Bit.ly. This will allow you to customise the end of the link e.g. bit.ly/BookatMyRestaurantNameHere



1. Login to your Instagram business account and view Profile

2. Click the 'Edit Profile' bar 

3. In the Bio section, add text similar to the following: Click below to book your table

4. In the Website bar, paste your shortened URL for your channel-specific widget e.g. bit.ly/BookatMyRestaurantNameHere



PROMOTING A SPECIAL EVENT


To promote a special event hosted at your venue through ResDiary, email marketing and social media with a direct booking link for the function itself, review the guides below. 


1. Create a promotion for the event. 

Set up a promotion for the event. For a guide on how to do this, click here (hyperlink new promotions guide in ‘here).


2. Creating a custom booking widget

Creating a custom widget will allow customers to JUST book your special event and no other type of reservation on any other day. You can also customise it in terms of colours and branding e.g. if it’s a Halloween party, you may choose to go with a black and orange design and instead of adding your logo, adding an image of a pumpkin. 




When you’re happy with the design of the widget, click through ‘Continue’ at the bottom right of the screen to next choose what size/style you would like your widget to be. We recommend Standard for social media bookings. 


Clicking ‘Select’ will provide you with the code to export your widget. Your widget has also been created on its own URL; this is the address you’ll link when implementing your Book Button or direct booking like. 


It appears within the code as below:



Copy that URL and paste it somewhere for safekeeping.


3. Posting about your event on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with a direct booking link     to allow customers to reserve spaces


We recommend posting content on your social media channels to drum up excitement surrounding the event, along with providing your followers with an opportunity to book spaces for the event in advance. 


Any content you post on Facebook or Twitter about the event, as the last piece of copy, should have: Click this link to reserve your place today, followed by the link to your booking widget which you obtained from the last step in the ‘Creating a custom widget’ guide. Ideally this link should be shortened using TinyURL or Bit.ly.


4. Market your event via email by sending a campaign from ResDiary


Follow the steps in the various articles in the Create a Marketing Mailer guide folder; make sure to again include a link to your custom widget that will allow customers to reserve. 


6. Copy URL and paste it somewhere for safekeeping.