Restaurant customers are particularly active social media users. According to a report from MGH, 89% of US restaurant customers have a social media account, while 62% login to their various social media networks several times a day.
But which platforms should you be on? Each social media network is important for a variety of different reasons. Depending on your restaurant, your clientele, and a number of other factors, which networks you use and how will vary. Let’s take a look at which social media networks are most important for your restaurant and why.
Facebook is important largely because of its ubiquity. Everyone is on Facebook. Your mom and dad. Your siblings. Your kids. Heck, even some of your pets are there. Businesses are there too of course. Not just the businesses you would think to follow. You’ll see everything from doctor’s offices to auto repair shops. And more.
What you’ll definitely see are plenty of restaurants.
Many people actively use Facebook when deciding where to eat. They do this because Facebook allows you to pack a ton of info on to your restaurant’s profile. You can include a link to your website, phone number, locations, price range, hours of operation, the menu and more. If that weren’t enough, Facebook also supports free online ordering, is a prominent source of reviews, and packs the largest user base of any social media network.
Even if Facebook isn’t where you’re seeing the highest amount of engagement, it’s still an essential platform to be on.
While Facebook can feel like an ocean in size, Instagram allows you to get more targeted. Like I mentioned, everyone is on Facebook. That’s both a positive and a negative. It’s easy for your posts to get drowned out by friends, other businesses, and even Facebook’s notorious algorithms. On Instagram, you’re dealing with less noise.
Instagram is particularly beneficial because of its visual nature. This platform allows you to show off the most important selling point of your restaurant: the food. The saying, “you eat with your eyes first” comes to mind.
Oh, and did I mention that Instagram is the number one social media network for restaurant brand engagement? (Track Maven) That’s reason enough to make sure you’re curating a presence on the platform.
When you think of social media platforms, Yelp probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind. Don’t be fooled though. Yelp is as much a social media platform as any other. And it’s especially relevant to restaurants. According to Yelp data, nearly a fifth (19%) of all Yelp reviews are for restaurants. That’s the top category. The only review sites that rank higher than Yelp are Google, Facebook, and Amazon. (Vendasta)
If you’ve spent any time in the restaurant industry, you know how powerful of an effect reviews have. According to Website Builder, 61% of consumers read restaurant reviews online. That’s more than any other industry surveyed.
Putting effort into refining your Yelp presence isn’t quite the same as updating your Facebook page or posting Instagram pictures. For starters, you need to claim your Yelp listing (which you can do here). Once you’ve done that, you can update your restaurant’s information. You can add photos, a website link, hours, etc. More importantly, Yelp allows you to respond to reviews. Yelp has some good advice on how to respond at their website.
Finally, I’ve decided to include Twitter in our lineup. Unlike Facebook, Instagram, and Yelp, which I believe every restaurant should be on, I recommend focusing on Twitter in only specific cases.
Why? Because while many restaurants are quite popular on Twitter, they tend to cater to specific demographics. For instance, Twitter is overwhelmingly popular with younger users. According to Pew, the majority of Twitter users consists of 36% of Americans between ages 18 and 29 years old. On top of that, Twitter is specifically popular with quick service restaurants. According to Statista, 57% of every million restaurant mentions on Twitter are about quick service restaurants. Needless to say, if you run a QSR targeting millennials, Twitter is probably a good fit.
That’s not to say that other restaurants shouldn’t take a shot at Twitter. For example, Pew’s research indicates that 30% of users make $75,000 or more. If your restaurant features more expensive cuisine, you may want to look into Twitter.
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Which social media platforms does your restaurant use? Why? Let us know in the comments!