Why Social Media is a Must for your Restaurant
May 13, 2012 Marketing
Social media is the latest buzz to hit the internet in a huge way. With the number of people using social media sites on the rise, your restaurant should be utilizing this powerful marketing tool to increase profits.
It is now evident that people are slowly turning away from TVs, radios, and newspapers, which were considered great marketing tools at one time. However, times have drastically changed and they are turning to their computers for just about everything.
To better understand exactly what social media is, we should take a look at the two words making up this phrase: ‘Social Media’. “Social” refers to anything that revolves around the interaction of groups, while “Media” refers to various means of mass communication.
Contrary to the belief of many people, social media is not limited to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus, although these are the big fish in the social media ocean.
Social media has changed the way we interact in a significant way in recent years and this includes every aspect of life including business.
With more than 1 billion social media users today, it is pretty evident that your restaurant cannot ignore the power of this amazing marketing tool if you want to capture the attention of your local consumers.
With the substantial increase in mobile phone usage and their capability to access the internet, social media is experiencing even more growth. Many people spend a lot of time on social media networks via their mobile phones.
As you can see, using social media to build your restaurant brand has the potential to reach a massive amount of people - resulting in more loyal customers and profits over time.
Social Media Usage Statistics and Facts
Let’s take a closer look at how many people are using social media today:
- Facebook is the number one social media network with more than 850 million users (more than 50% of the share) (Clearsping)
- More than 50% or Facebook users use their account everyday
- 82% of the online population has access to social media sites; this represents about 1.2 billion users in the world. (comScore)
- Facebook beats Google in weekly traffic in the US (Hitwise Intelligence)
- A new member joins LinkedIn every second (SysComm international)
- 93% of marketers use social media for their businesses
Due to its extreme popularity, social media is quickly becoming one the most popular forms of marketing for businesses around the world. This strategy has been proven to bring more visibility and customers by helping businesses build their brands and creating a loyal following.
If used appropriately, social media can effectively send more traffic to your website as well as your restaurant’s doors.
More than 50% of social media users trust the information they get from these social sites. Therefore, bonding with your local customers and prospects through social media will work in your restaurant’s favor on many different levels.
Social media provides a win-win situation for your restaurant as well as your customers. You win by using a powerful, yet effective tool to reach your local target audience. Social media allows you to communicate with your customers about menu changes, coupon offers, special events, or anything else going on with your restaurant that they would be interested in.
It is also a great way to get feedback from your customers, which is vital for any business.
Your customers win by having first-hand access to their favorite restaurant. Now, they have a place to connect with you as well as provide feedback and get their questions answered. Best of all, they’ll be the first to know when you run a special offer on their favorite dish.
Social media can help your restaurant:
- Increase Goodwill: When customers communicate with businesses through social media networks, they feel appreciated and believe that the business pays attention to their suggestions and views.
Now, they have a place to provide you with feedback, which gives you a chance to improve or change your menu and services. Good customer service is one of the most powerful tools for bringing customers back into your establishment.
- Generate Leads: Social media networks have opened up a whole new world of communication. It is not enough to have a great website because people are spending most of their time on social media sites. So it’s best to put yourself where your potential customers are.
In addition, social media is key in driving traffic to your restaurant’s website. It can increase leads considerably and cannot be compared to the rather slow conventional marketing methods.
- Improve Search Engine Rankings: Consumers use search engines to find local businesses, products and services. This is especially true for finding restaurants.
When people are hungry and looking for a place to eat, the first place they usually check is online. There are probably hundreds of restaurants in your area, so how can you get yours to stand out in the search engine results?
The simple answer is by having a higher search engine ranking. The more active and relevant your website is, the better your ranking will be. Social media is great for providing the juice you need to make your website more relevant, which increases your rankings over time.
- Promote New Products and Services: Social media is a great venue to actively interact with your audience. If your restaurant is changing its menu, giving offers, or introducing new meals or services, the best place to let your customers know is via social media.
If your marketing campaigns are well-planned, you will experience more brand recognition as well as an increase in sales.