Social media marketing can no longer be dismissed as a novel concept for restaurant internet marketing for brands and their specific locations. Potential restaurant guests use social media marketing companies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube ever day, hour, even minute to interact with friends, family, colleagues, friends of friends, and more.
When it comes to restaurants, social media is quickly becoming known as an inexpensive marketing tool, especially valuable to smaller concepts and franchise groups that can reach large audiences without incurring heavy marketing expenses. Beyond restaurant marketing, however, there are diverse ways in which online users relate to the restaurant industry using social media marketing services. Below are a few reasons consumers interact well with restaurants in the social media arena.
According to a brief from Technomic, approximately three-quarters (73%) of consumers indicate they used social media in the previous 30 days, per a November 2009 online survey of 500 consumers. Of those consumers who used it, 30% report that they use social media websites to find, “friend” or follow restaurants. These percentages will likely have increased substantially as the popularity of social media has increased.
Why do consumers follow restaurants on social media sites? Those consumers who use social media to follow restaurants primarily do so to learn about special deals; to find out about promotional deals (53%) and to get coupons (51%). More than a third of consumers indicate they follow restaurants to find out about new menu items (36%), and another quarter do so to learn about new restaurant locations (24%).
As these platforms continue to gain momentum, expect social media to play an increasingly important role in other areas of restaurant operations as well, including restaurant reviews and reservations. It’s time for restaurant operators who have not already done so to embrace social media and discover how it can help to develop relationships and build business.
If you are unsure how to use Facebook or Twitter as a marketing tool, read this article. Then “friend” independent restaurants or bakeries on Facebook, and follow the tweets of chefs, food vendors and restaurants on Twitter. You’ll gather ideas about how to keep your audiences hooked, and pick up examples you can use when you get your own social media efforts going. You may also want to consider employing the services of a social media marketing firm.