Why Your Restaurant Needs a Solid Social Media Presence

by Donald Burns2 Min Read

You cannot ignore the power of social media within the restaurant industry. In fact, it could easily be said that if you are not online you are more or less trying to communicate with your guests with two tin cans bound with a piece of string. Now being old-school might be cool, that is just a little too out of date.

Our society has become dependent on social media. Look around the next time you’re a restaurant. You’ll see more and more guests using some kind of mobile device. Let’s take a look at the statistics:

Eighty percent of people will look at a restaurant online prior to going there for the first time. This means it will check out a restaurant website and browse through online reviews.

Eighty-Eight percent of people looking up a restaurant online will take action the same day and visit that establishment. These people also are heavily influenced by what online review say.

So why do you need to use social media for your restaurant? It’s quite simple… That is where your customers are. Not enough reasons? Here are three more:

It’s affordable

Compared to traditional media like print ads, billboards, and radio, social media marketing is the one way the small independent restaurant can compete with the larger corporate chains. Don’t have million-dollar marketing budget? No problem. All you need is access to the big five social media platforms that include: Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+.

Most of these platforms will allow you to increase the views of your posts by setting up a modest budget to boost it out across the Internet. You do not need the same budget as Burger King to get results on social media.

It’s approachable

You do not need a marketing degree to be able to use social media for your restaurant. Today’s smart phones and tablets were designed to make the Internet easier and faster to access. If a five-year-old can use a tablet to access Netflix and stream a movie without any assistance from an adult, then you can learn how to use social media to market your business.

The main reason a lot of restaurants avoid social media marketing is that they just don’t use it. That might of been a valid excuse five years ago. In 2016, it’s just bad business management not to be involved and engaged on social media platforms. Talk about picking low hanging fruit, your guests are online right now waiting to be recognized and appreciated. Don’t disappoint them or you risk losing their brand loyalty.

It’s global

We are social creatures. It’s in our nature. One of the reason psychologists say social media is so popular is that it fulfills our need for connection. We can have thousands of friends on Facebook and never meet one in person.

Online review sites and social media have transformed restaurant marketing from word-of-mouth to world-of-mouth. In just click of a button we can share a photo of our favorite dessert with the world. That has power. You need to respect and harness that power in order to build your brand.

In the end, can you afford not to be on social media? No. Having an online presence is not a want, it’s a need. Have you heard about the restaurant that refused to market on social media? Neither has anyone else.

Donald Burns

@donaldburns | LinkedIn | Website

Donald Burns, The Restaurant Coach™ is a leading authority, author, speaker and international coach on how restaurant owners and operators go from just good to becoming exceptional. He advises in the areas of menu development, design & engineering, restaurant operations, culinary consulting, culture, peak performance and team dynamics.

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