Social media has become an ever-present way for people to keep in touch with friends, watch cat videos, network and stay in the loop about current events. It’s also used to connect with favorite bands, local businesses and places people frequent by checking-in, posting photos, creating events, etc. Businesses can use this to their advantage by staying active and engaging with these customers or fans online.
Unfortunately, a lot of restaurants fail to recognize how vibrant and active the conversation about them is online and in turn, miss out on a lot of opportunities. Not just opportunities to retain their current clientele, but opportunities to gain new ones & maintain their online reputation.
I’ve had conversations with people who say “But, so-and-so sports pub does so well, they don’t really need to manage their social media presence. Do they?” The answer is yes, they do.
Here are the top 3 reasons why your restaurant needs to be on social media.
#1: Your customers are online, you should be too
People are generating buzz about your business online already, so why wouldn’t you want to be part of that conversation? In 2016, 78 % of U.S. Americans had a social network profile, representing a 5 % growth compared to the previous year. According to estimates, the number of worldwide social media users reached 1.96 billion and is expected to grow to some 2.5 billion by 2018. When someone comes into your restaurant for a bite, it’s more likely than not they’ll be using these social media apps to share their visit with friends online.
People will take to social media to sing your praises, bash your business, or write so-so reviews about a mediocre experience. Either way, you want to be there to answer those complaints, compliments & criticisms.
#2. Social Media Builds Relationships
When used correctly, social media is all about building relationships and the best way to do that is to be present online with back & forth interactions with your customers. It’s the best way to reach people outside the walls of your business, which will, in turn, have an impact on their perception of your brand.
As a Social Media Account Manager, I see firsthand the benefits of being personable with people online can have:
On Twitter for example….
On Yelp for example…
People love it when they hear from their favorite establishment online. I’ve personally squealed with joy when a favorite brand responded to a comment of mine on Instagram. My fangirl cries were followed by me sharing a screenshot of the interaction and telling my friends how cool it was that they responded. Not only did that simple response make me more affectionate toward the brand but I also helped spread word-of-mouth about them. Win-win!
# 3: Social media helps improve your business overall
The conversation being generated about you online isn’t always going to be positive, but being receptive to that feedback is key. This in turn, will help you make the right moves to improve your business overall. If you see a common complaint online like, “food is great but the service is always deathly slow,” or, “I love this place but the bathroom floors are always sticky! #gross.” then you know that’s something that needs to be worked on. If you’re not present online in the first place, you might never know what customers are dissatisfied with or what delights them most.
Those are just three reasons your business should be on social media but there are so many other factors that make it important. If you still don’t believe me, here’s 28 pages from The National Restaurant Association on why managing your online reputation is important.
At this stage in the social media game, restaurant owners should by savvy enough to know being tuned-in to social media is good business sense. Without a doubt, social media is the best way to communicate with guests outside the walls of your restaurant. That’s why we’re passionate about championing online customer service for restaurants. So, if this blog made you think more about what your restaurant should be doing online, you know what to do.
Did you know?
We've been managing social media accounts for restaurants since 2012. For almost a decade, we've partnered with restauranteurs who are serious about using social media to generate business. Whether you're a good fit for our service or not, let's schedule a call and we'll give you free personalized advice on how to improve your social media presence. Either way, you'll walk away from the call more confident about your ability to promote yourself online - completely for free.