3 Ways Social Media Is Taking Over The Restaurant Industry
Social media within the restaurant and food niche has definitely evolved immensely over the years since it was first introduced to our lives. It is World’s away from when it was first introduced to us as a mere platform for us to integrate with our fellow peers.
Fast track almost 15 years and restaurant social media has become not only a socialising platform but a directory of information. It has changed the way we interact and the way we live our day to day lives to the point that we turn to social media to find out any type of information we need.
Businesses have learnt that social media is a pivotal role in their marketing strategy with restaurants realising the real impact social media has on their status. To date there are over 2 billion smartphone users globally, which is expected to increase year on year. With the ever increasing use of smartphone users it is inevitable that people are using social media as part of their everyday lives. Whether restaurants adopt a social media strategy or not, the fact of the matter is the food and beverage industry are on social media and people are talking about them on a day to day basis.
With that in mind our social media restaurant industry experts are going to look at three ways
the social media movement is taking over the restaurant industry.
Social Media Users Are Now Your Food Critics
Years ago food critics were the be all and end all to a restaurants business, restaurants had a love/hate relationship with them. They could either give an amazing review and put the restaurant in the limelight or give a bad review and knock that restaurant off their high peg. Food critics were a valuable important factor in the restaurant industry and people took their advice as gospel, it would be the deciding factor in whether you would visit a restaurant or not.
However, as the years have passed and the World has become more technology engaged, food critics have almost become redundant. The reason for this is because with the use of smartphones and social media, their is no longer a need for them or more-so their critique is no longer valued compared to real customers. Restaurant customers are turning to their smartphones to take photos and upload them to social media platforms, to share amongst their friends and are writing their own reviews.
When was the last time you walked into a restaurant without seeing someone taking a photo or their food or drinks? It is highly unlikely! The key point here is that whether it is a good experience or not photos are still being snapped and opinions and reviews are still being uploaded. With all the various social media platforms available your customers uploads are far more likely to go viral at a quicker rate than a food critics evaluation. The bottom line is that people turn to their social peers and take their evidence as strong advice.
Whether restaurant owners like it or not this is happening and it cannot be ignored, so if not on social media it’s time to play the game and get social savvy. It’s better to know what people are saying about your restaurant so that you can adapt and evolve after all it is your customers that you are trying to please. Your customers are now your food critics!
Restaurant Marketing Has Become Easier
As already mentioned social media has evolved over the years and where it was once only catered to normal socialising, social media platforms have now broaden their use of social media and are now catering for business needs. Restaurants have the ability to control their social media presence and choose what best suits their needs in the way they approach social media. Social media platforms not only give restaurants the ability to create profiles and fan pages, it gives them the opportunity to boost promotional posts which gives them more coverage and reach.
There are various digital tools that are available on social media platforms that give restaurants access to creating smarter marketing campaigns, such as:
♥ Increased Control: Gone are the days where you have to hire an independent marketing agency, you can now promote your own restaurant through social media at the touch of your phone or computer from anywhere you want, even from the comfort of your own home. You can control how your posts are displayed and what exactly is displayed depending on what your desired outcome is.
♥ Interaction with Customers: By being on social media you can now build a rapport with your customers and gauge what is being said about your restaurant. People are far more likely to visit a restaurant where they can see interaction between customers and the restaurant. This is a very valuable tool for a restaurant it not only shows that you are reading your customers views but that you acknowledge their criticism. This also gives a restaurant the opportunity to respond and share their thoughts and appreciation.
♥ Controlled Campaigns: All social media platforms have the ability to create marketing campaigns, ranging from advertising to promotional campaigns. They are very easy to manage and this means that you can control it with your desired budget.
♥ Analytics at Your Finger Tips: With the tools available on social media you can now see your overall analytics as and when you wish, no need to wait till the end of the month. You can analyse specific posts and see how your posts are doing on a day to day basis. Giving you the ability to change whats not working for you as soon as you want whilst also highlighting what is working for you.
Ultimately social media has made marketing a lot more easier for restaurants and means that you do not have to outsource certain aspects that can now easily be controlled with the tools available.
Instagram Has Become a Game Changer
With the increase of smartphone and social media users it is unrecognisable to walk into a restaurant without snaps being taken. With over 800 million users one social media platform that has really changed the game for restaurants is Instagram. Instagram is a photo sharing social media platform whereby users generally only share ‘photo worthy’ pictures, a picture is considered ‘photo worthy’ if it is something interesting and is presented in a nice way.
Instagram users are not only taking photos of their food and drink, they are also taking photos of the interior of the restaurant from the decor to the seating to even what the toilets look like. As much as restaurants may not agree with this concept, there are many that do as it is basically free publicity and advertising. Due to the immense amount of customers choosing to share their filtered photos, restaurants are concluding that the increase in ‘likes’, comments and reposts are worthy enough of them changing their menu style and physical decor.
Restaurants have adapted and are starting to create menus with image and presentation in mind, ensuring they create the perfect dish with ‘photo worthy’ being at the top of their list. Along with this many restaurants are choosing to change the layout and decor of their restaurant to ensure that their overall brand is consider ‘photo worthy’.
With that all in mind it is clear to see how social media is taking over the restaurant industry in the UK and how it shaping the future of the food and beverage industry niche. Social media has clearly changed the way people react on a day to day basis and with the increase in use of smartphones it is inevitable that this is now the way forward. Social media is definitely a must for restaurants and it is time for restaurants to take that on board or risk losing out and being left on the back burner. If you are a restaurant and need help manage your social media profiles get in contact with our friendly social media experts today.