Social Media and Consumer Discovery: Is Your Restaurant Brand Keeping Up?
The restaurant industry remains very competitive in 2021. Diners are constantly looking for new local restaurants “near them”, the best deals, and hidden gems. Even well-established restaurant brands can’t slack on their marketing efforts if they want to keep customers coming back and continue to win new customers. So what does this mean for your restaurant brand? Product discovery on social media is growing. If your restaurant brand wants to stand out in today’s digital-first world, a robust local presence on social media is a must. Throughout this blog, we’ll dive into how social media drives discovery and what your restaurant brand can do to compete on local social.
Social Media Drives Discovery
The data speaks for itself:
- Millennials and Gen Z are 99 percent more likely than Baby Boomers to use social media to choose a restaurant.
- 89 percent of U.S. diners are active on social media.
- 72 percent of diners have used Facebook to help choose a restaurant.
- 41 percent of diners have visited a restaurant solely because of positive social media feedback.
The data has spoken – social is where consumers discover new restaurants. But, consider your own user behavior – how often have you scrolled through your Facebook page and seen a friend posting a photo from a new restaurant, or you see a friend’s comment about a restaurant you’ve never been to, and you want to know more about the restaurant? A recent study found that Facebook is now the number one channel that drives discovery, with search coming in second.
What are some of the factors that cause consumers to discover a new restaurant on social media?
- Seeing friends engage or talk about local restaurants can lead to discovery.
- Social media’s emphasis on imagery helps drive discovery. If a potential diner can visualize the restaurant or food, it might be easier to grab their attention.
- Social platforms make it increasingly easier for businesses to feature their products and services online, leading to discovery.
- Consumers spend so much time on social media daily that it only makes sense for them to discover there.
Social Media and the Restaurant Industry: The Basics
So what exactly does your restaurant brand need to do on local social to attract potential customers where they’re already spending time?
Step 1: Claim All Stores’ Local Social Pages
First, your restaurant brand should ensure it has all of its local social pages claimed. Each restaurant location should have its own social media page across platforms. Of social brand engagements, 3 out of 4 happen locally, making local pages a must.
Step 2: Update Local Pages with Location-Specific Information
Once the social media pages are claimed, you can start thinking about the information your restaurant brand will include on the page and the type of content to share. It should go without saying, but your local social pages should include all of your most updated and accurate local business information. From hours of operation to your address and phone number, consumers should be able to find all of your restaurant’s business information on its local social page.
Step 3: Share Localized Content
When it comes to content, localized content is king. Localized content receives 12x the engagement than content that is not considered localized. For restaurants, localized content can come in many shapes and forms. Localized content can include, but is not limited to:
- Menu changes at your local restaurant or weekly specials
- Photos of your most ordered food items
- User-generated content like customer testimonials or positive reviews
- Photos of local staff
- Current promotions or deals your local restaurant offers
- Updates to hours of operation, curbside, and takeout
When creating a local social strategy for your restaurant brand, it’s also important to remember that short videos (under 30 seconds) also tend to perform well on local social media, along with high-quality imagery. The more effort your restaurants put into local social strategies, the more likely you’ll connect with your target audience and win more customers. For instance, the example below with Nekter Juice Bar features a post with a local offering, including a high-quality and engaging picture to go with it.
It’s also important to get creative with the type of content that’s being posted. A general rule of thumb is to consider whether you would be inclined to engage with the content that you’re posting. For instance, if one local restaurant posts a list of their weekly specials, and another restaurant posts their weekly specials with photos and asks which one you’re excited to try, which post would you be more likely to engage with? These are things to consider when building out your local content strategy.
Win More Customers With A Next-Level Local Social Strategy
So, social is where consumers are discovering new restaurants, and we outlined how your restaurant brand can keep up. When weighing which marketing efforts your local restaurants should focus on, local social is a must. Think of all of the leads and potential customers your restaurant brand could be missing out on without it. While local social is non-negotiable, we understand that managing social efforts across 100s or even 1,000s of restaurants can seem daunting. That’s where SOCi comes in. SOCi’s Social Solution is the tool every restaurant brand needs to manage social pages across all stores.
SOCi’s Social Solution enables multi-location restaurant brands to manage and deploy localized content at scale while maintaining brand consistency at both the corporate and local levels. With SOCi’s Social Solution, your restaurant brand can publish to all major networks to amplify audience engagement with localized shareable content. The tool also enables both corporate and local teams to organize and share content libraries and pre-scheduled social media calendars empowering you to deploy winning content in just a few clicks. SOCi’s Social Solution is what your restaurant brand needs to dominate its local social strategy and drive more business discovery.
While SOCi is here to boost your local social strategy, we can centralize your restaurant brand’s localized marketing strategy into one platform. Request a demo today for more insight into how SOCi can give your restaurant brand the tools it needs to crush the competition!