Social media is essential to succeeding in just about any business. With the popularity of social media, it can be hard to stand out from your competitors. Let's take a look at what makes social channels so important to you and the success of your restaurant.
More often than not, business success is measured by sales – social media sites have become more and more important in sales growth.
- According to the National Restaurant Association, 3 out of 10 people use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to choose a restaurant, and 6 out of 10 will use Yelp.
- Brandon Gaille reported in 2012 that nearly 1/3 of all restaurant diners use their smart phones to communicate while dining, and almost 20% of social media users are posting while they dine out. That number has increased in recent years as more people rely on thier smart phones for communication.
- 47% of millennials (18-32) text or tweet at the table.
- 61% of consumers visit restaurant websites.
Despite these statistics, it is important to note that social media platforms should be used as a supplement not a replacement to your company’s website.
Learn how to get the most out of social media to boost your business!
Knowing Which Path To Take
Now that you understand the rate at which consumers rely on social media for purchases, you should know which platforms to invest in and why. The 4 major social media and listing platforms for business owners include: Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and most recently, Instagram.
Function: Twitter is topic-based social media that limits comments, or “Tweets”, to 140 characters.
Business Benefit: Short, direct posts make for great news blasts. Consumers love getting straight-to-the-point information, and twitter is great for just that. Twitter also serves as a great way to respond to customer questions quickly and directly.
Function: Facebook business page, in a sense, acts as an interactive business listing, and is arguably the easiest platform to get acquainted with.
Business Benefit: It is superb for running contests and promotions, posting photographs and reaching out to customers that have “liked” your page. Adding media like videos or photos on Facebook is a key factor. Audiences on Facebook respond much better to posts with media, and engage more frequently when there are visual elements on posts.
Function: Yelp is first and foremost, an online review site, social media review site, and has become one of the strongest ways a brand can bring in traffic. According to LocalVox, 35% of Yelp users visit a business within 24 hours of searching on Yelp.
Business Benefit: Reviews left by previous customers serve as a reference or deciding factor for prospective customers. Too many negative reviews could hurt the way your business appears to potential customers, but on the contrary Yelp can greatly increase sales.
Function: Instagram is a photo and short video sharing platform that requires users be on a mobile device to upload photographs or videos, and then shares them on a user’s profile and in followers’ feeds
Business Benefit: With the ever growing need for quick consumption, Instagram offers the opportunity to tell a story from a visual standpoint. A huge advantage is the ability to humanize your business, which brings your customers closer to you. Another benefit is the ability to highlight great menu items with photography!
Going Above and Beyond (Tips and Tricks)
Once you understand the importance social media plays in sales, which platforms matter, and how they function, it is time to use some effective tricks to keep you ahead of the curve.
- Feature a bio and picture of the new bartender and his/her favorite cocktail
- Post delicious new menu items with photos
- Promote an upcoming weeknight special
- Respond to online reviews or comments
- Is your menu locally sourced? Let your customers know about seasonal menu changes and the initiatives of your suppliers or farmers.
Social media gives your business the leverage of extending your customer service and creating a community that allows you to both share and listen.
As you and your brand begin to push forward on social media, don’t forget to connect with ACityDiscount, your source for food service equipment - on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, or your platform of choice - we love making new connections, and learning more about you and our shared passion for good food!