Barely a month old, Facebook’s SEND button has been making inroads on Facebook and third party sites giving restaurants new marketing possibilities on their websites. The SEND button replaces the email to a friend function with increased functionality and flexibility.

Now with a SEND button, a Facebook user can send a link privately in a Facebook message or an email. In addition, the SEND button allows a user to communicate with a Group he or she created or is a member of. Understandably, businesses like restaurants that rely on the gathering of people would be perfect candidates for the SEND button.

The privacy of the SEND function is different than other types of link-sharing tools on Facebook. While other buttons cause links to post on the user’s wall, the SEND button gives the Facebook user the capability to communicate links to their friends privately, purposefully and quickly. When someone shares on his/her Facebook wall, a request is addressed aimlessly to all those user’s friends and is less likely to get the attention and consideration of a link that a friend receives in his/her Facebook message box or email inbox. Essentially, the SEND button takes online word-of-mouth to the next level because with a private message, in contrast to something on a wall, the person who receives the message feels an increased expectation to consider and respond to the link. Indeed, to some extent, the SEND button encroaches on the territory of email.

The SEND button’s advantages are apparent even though it may not align as well with the spirit of openness that is supposed to govern Facebook. Of course, private communication of links was all doable before, but it never had the prominence and seductiveness of a button. Having the SEND button next to the LIKE button gives a restaurant an effective and simple call to action, a tool they didn’t have before. The privacy of the SEND button also overcomes the awkwardness of advertising to all your friends. Frequently, we do not want everyone to know what considering doing if you don’t want some of them to come or know what you are doing. In effect, the SEND buttons, if positioned next to promotions, will expedite and facilitate Facebook users and their friends as they make plans to dine out. It gives restaurants that deploy the convenient SEND buttons an advantage (especially if restaurants partner it with their promotions), and there may be a day that it will sow frustration in users when they find restaurant websites without them.

But it isn’t only in planning. Another quick application would be the sharing of basic information, like hours or directions. More and more, as people begin to rely on smart phones, typing in searches becomes annoying so anytime someone can locate the link without searching may copy this technique themselves.

We have started to equip our clients websites with SEND buttons, empowering our customers. For a good example of the SEND button in action, check out the AYZA website’s Special Offers page: New guests or repeat customers who comes across AYZA’s promotions can in a flash inform a Facebook friend about what they want to do. That simple.A lot about how much the SEND button will affect online marketing is yet to be seen. Nonetheless, restaurants can do no harm in incorporating the SEND buttons in their social media strategy.