Once upon a time in the not too distant past, people researched restaurants by leafing through a 10 pound book called the Yellow Pages. They got recommendations from a friend over a cup of coffee. Phones were attached to walls, computers were used for processing words, and spinach dip was all the rage. It’s true. Go to the library and look it up. Fast forward a few years to the age of the internet. The best way for customers to learn about a new restaurant in the area was to Google it. Restaurant websites and online directories held all of the answers to “where should we eat tonight?” Then came social media marketing and the game changed.
Enter Social Media
Then along came Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the obsession with all things social media. According to Business Insider, “nearly 20% of total time spent online in the US across both desktop and mobile devices is on social platforms”. One of the first things a new business does is gets their social media accounts up and running–and with good reason. A study by eMarketer showed that 37 percent of social network users polled use social media to research brands, products, or services before making a purchase. According to the study, people were looking at the business social media pages before they even looked at the business website.
Go Where Your Customers Are
The answer to the question “where should we eat tonight?” is sitting in people’s social media feeds. Even if someone has never eaten at your restaurant, the pictures of your food and employees and comfortable atmosphere are staring them in the face every time they look at their phone. They don’t need to leaf through a book or do a Google search. Your restaurant is already a part of their life.
This is what customers are looking at before they make a purchase.
- Basic info. They’re already on Facebook. Now all they have to do is click over to your page to get phone number, hours, address, menu, and website.
- Proof of life. An active page shows that business is alive and well.
- Buzz. Their friends are taking pictures and tagging themselves at your restaurant. Other beloved businesses are tagging yours. A picture of your seasonal special showed up in their feed and they can’t wait to try it.
- Social proof. They’re checking Twitter and Facebook to see what other people are saying. Good reviews are great. Good responses to bad reviews are pretty great too.
Need help figuring out which social media marketing platform is right for your business? Go here.