How Your Restaurant Can Better Its Online Presence
Social media is a powerful tool used as a mainstream form of communication for businesses today. With apps like Instagram accounting for 600 million monthly active users worldwide, social media has become revolutionary through creating strong relationships between brands and consumers by facilitating real-time engagement. This, in turn, has had a huge impact on the restaurant industry which is yet to fully capitalise on this opportunity.
How can tapping into this revolution benefit your restaurant? Well with restaurants priding itself in its reputation, creating one that is impenetrable has proven almost impossible through the fierce competition that exists within the industry. According to a Business Insider report, statistics highlight that ‘60% of restaurants do not make it past the first year, and 80% go under in five years’.
Combining the vast potential of social media enables real-life scenarios and rich imagery to be captured at just a tap of a button. This will amplify your restaurant's brand presence, and with the right team on board to facilitate a seamlessly integrated social media strategy, your restaurant will reach a new level of success. Similarly, when a signature dish is perfected, its tastiness is determined by the successful integration of flavours, working together well in balance.
Social Media Platforms
The content consumers are exposed to by brands on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now Snapchat) will influence their all important decisions such as where to eat and even as far as what to eat when/if they get there.
With the use of social media not only being limited to millennials, it's potential to gain widespread attention is unlimited. However understanding the preferred platforms of different demographics is key. For example, Facebook appeals largely to all generations, whilst Snapchat and Instagram have been found to prompt the most sharing amongst Millennials and Gen-Z. This suggests the need for a cohesive yet demographically relatable strategy, to best target various segments of interest.
Developing a following on social media enables a growing community to form around your restaurant, which facilitates engagement online and transcends to the expansion of customers that visit your restaurant. According to a Financial Times article, a fellow restaurateur expresses “We absolutely love social media — as far as restaurants go, it’s the great equaliser. It’s amplified word of mouth. You can’t distort it easily but it allows you to bypass a lot of the conventional media.”
Further driving this need for social media strategy is the food porn craze. Restaurants can capitalise on this through strong visual appeals of its food, which can arouse all senses of its audience and have them salivating. This love for food can create consumer engagement with your brand, sharing with friends and even customer reviews.
The popular trend of tagging restaurants you have visited in social media posts, via Snapchat with geofilters and now on Instagram Stories with the opportunity to feature your location and get noticed by anyone local to that area, can create awareness for your restaurant and furthermore help consumers easily gain brand knowledge merely through viewing a shared post. With 208 million posts tagged on the photo-sharing app with #food since it was founded in 2010, hashtags are a powerful way to cement yourself on someone's feed.
Capturing images of food dishes when they arrive and uploading to social media all before indulging, a great form of user generated content shows the enthusiasm of consumers. Therefore there is a need for restaurants to achieve greater cultural relevance through becoming more ‘instagrammable’ and social media friendly, of which aligns more frequently with consumers of today.
With the world of branding and marketing evolving, social media can help raise awareness of restaurants in a rapid and cost-effective way. However, a sporadic social approach is no longer acceptable. Businesses must take a strategic approach to social media, with a constant renewal of content to really show why they stand out from the rest. Marketing statistics highlight that 12-20% of projected or generated revenue by a business should be invested in marketing, in order to reap excellent rewards.
(Cover image: source)