Today’s social media landscape makes it easier than ever to make up your mind about a place to eat way before you even set foot in the door. From teasing and mouthwatering photos of a french toast brunch combined with a stellar social media presence, to user-generated reviews and real-time feedback, restaurants have to adapt to survive… Or say goodbye to business.

Eager foodies are on social media, and they are utilizing platforms to make informed decisions about where to eat. From Facebook to Yelp, who doesn’t love looking at what other eaters have said about an establishment before even considering to try it? A review on social media is the new personal recommendation from a friend.

As a matter of fact, 72% of customers use Facebook to make restaurant decisions based on comments and images shared by other users. If your restaurant isn’t on social media yet, it needs to be.

[bctt tweet=”72% of customers use Facebook to make restaurant decisions based on comments shared by other users.” username=”meetsoci“]

Leveraging the Power of Social Media for Restaurants

Even one well-staged photo can have a consumer looking up a restaurant’s location or getting their stomach’s growling. Images of food have the power to make people get in their car and drive to far away places, just to have a bite!

People love pictures of food, but more than that, they react to it. As of right now, there are 241,310,599 photos on Instagram hashtagged, #food. Crazy right?

Burger

The Importance of Social Media for Restaurants

It’s essential for a modern business to have a social media presence. But why is it important for restaurants specifically? Because of these 3 stats:

  1. Social media is the 2nd most popular way for guests to find new restaurants
  2. 80% of people will check out a restaurant online before their first visit
  3. 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations

Consumers are looking for you online, more specifically on social.

Capture A Photo to Capture Foot Traffic

A photo of a visually please ice cream cone, donut, or pizza, has the power to go viral and spark citywide, or even statewide, interest. The rise of social media has also created the rise of food hype. A picture perfect plate of food has the ability to get people talking and more.

Foodies now not only travel to restaurants to eat, but to capture a photo of their food to share on their social profiles. People want their followers to know that they are also part of the latest food craze.

Taiyaki NYC, a popular ice cream shop in New York, serves a unicorn-fish dessert which has been featured by famous vloggers, like Amelia Liana. Take a look:

Taiyaki NYC
Their hashtag, #taiyakinyc, also has 8,972 photos on Instagram.

Ranking in Reviews

Did you know that half a star difference on Yelp can increase business by 27%? Reviews on social media have the ability to increase sales or lower foot traffic to your establishment. I said it earlier in the blog, but I’ll repeat it again: 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That’s right, people believe reviews as they would their best friend.

Collect reviews on your social networks to show future patrons that your food is beyond tasty and that your business offers stellar customer service.

Restaurants also need to be aware and active on social in the event that a customer reports about an unsatisfactory experience. It’s important for businesses to promptly reply to negative reviews, apologize for the incident, and if possible, offer a coupon for a future visit.

Get more tips and tricks on how to reach your local audience and build brand awareness in our latest guide. Download here:

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