Some may associate social media with what’s “in” with the younger generations, with what’s “techy” and app oriented on our smartphones, or even as a quick way to obtain news and entertainment information. What many people don’t automatically associate social media with however, is the platform on which we can establish and promote our brands, businesses, or personas, and that is where it is being underutilized.
Social media pages and accounts for businesses like restaurants are extremely effective as they help put that restaurant on the map from a local, or even national, perspective. When a restaurant uses social media, in supplement to having a functioning website, they increase their web presence or “Google-ability” but a great amount. Instead of just clicking on a restaurant’s website and looking at a few photos, or reading a pdf of their menu, potential customers want to be able to click on that restaurant’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account(s), so that they can see what that restaurant is really all about, or read a vibe of that place. Social media can provide a deeper insight into a restaurant than can a lone-standing webpage in that is an active, humanistic, and more personal portrayal that will really draw people in to eat or hang. How? The following three concepts best illustrate how social media is effective for restaurants, and how utilizing it will help to increase restaurant revenues.
- It creates engagement between potential restaurant-goers and the actual establishment. This is first and foremost because consumer engagement is the major benefit that social media provides wherein other aspects of web or media presence do not. Being able to engage with or talk to a potential customer is infinitely important for a restaurant because the conversation had could create a real desire or reason for said customer to come and eat. If a customer is on your webpage and sees your awesome menu then they are likely, let’s say, 60% certain they want to go there for dinner. But if they see your awesome menu online then are able to tweet to you [your restaurant] about it, i.e “Loved @Local111 menu, looks delish!” you could respond as such: @haley_schluter, “tastes even better than it looks, need a reservation?”. That engagement will increase the desire a customer has to go to your restaurant in that A, they feel relevant, (special), they were contacted directly from an establishment and B, a response about the great taste of their menu items will drive the customer to want to go there for dinner even more. The photo to the right, a screenshot from a friend of mine, shows how engagement proves effective on social media. Belen confirmed to me that after the response tweet she Grubhub ordered a personal pizza immediately– the proof is in the pizza!
- It portrays the mood of the restaurant. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram alike are all social media mediums that are run by people, intended for people. For that reason, they can humanize the restaurant in that the content going out about the restaurant will have some sort of intended spin to it. Whether the account managers want to show how the restaurant is a fun, rowdy, hangout spot for twenty-somethings, or portray how it is a CSA-supported, farm to table, homey joint, having accounts on social media make it easy for restaurants to demonstrate how the restaurant is and functions through anecdotal tweets, daily Facebook posts, and numerous telling Instagram photos. Allowing customers a seemingly personal insight into the restaurant can drive customers there when they see and like what the restaurant seems to stand for and be “about” through their media pages. See Below!
- It will show, and plentifully, why consumers should eat at your restaurant! Where a webpage just doesn’t do your restaurant justice, social media pages will! Using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even Tumblr, you can post great content about your restaurant daily, really showing hungry local why your place is the place to come grab a bite. Whether through “hash-tagging” cool cooking methods that your restaurant uses in the kitchen, posting on Facebook a pic of a “full house” packed with happy customers, or Instagram-ing each meal-time mouth watering looking dishes, social media pages allow you to best show customers why your place is the place to be!