March 4, 2016
Blog 3: Restaurants and Social Media
With the rise in social media within the past ten years, many companies are using social media as a tool. Restaurants have been utilizing social media in many different ways. Social media is a good platform for them to show off new dishes, offer exclusive coupons and get customer feedback. With sites like Instagram and Facebook, restaurants can easily get their news out, and people of all ages are now ‘in the know’.
Instagram is a great platform for showcasing photos of food. Restaurants can now take a picture of a dish, add a filter if they want, post a catchy caption, and insert some hash tags. Any one using Instagram that searches the specific hash tag or follows the restaurant can see the picture. That allows for a lot more exposure for the company. Customers will see a picture and possibly get hungry, or loyal customers may see a dish they haven’t tried before and they will come in. Lauren Drell, a writer on a food blog, said, “Post pictures of your dishes like Hill Country does, because those “food porn” pics are sure to make people salivate and get them in the door.” This use of social media makes the customer think about the company through visuals.
Another reason restaurants and social media work well together is the fact that the company can offer exclusive deal on their pages. Any one who has taken the time out to follow the company has the potential to gain access to coupons or deals regular customers wouldn’t get. Some times, when free meals are offered, word spread fast. In one example with the restaurant Chipotle, they closed during a busy time and many people were upset. In turn, on their social media sites, they offered a free burrito to anyone inconvenienced by the close. This news spread fast, and even people who had never heard of Chipotle had a free coupon. I spoke with one UNT student who said she would have never gone to Chipotle if it hadn’t have been for the free coupon. She loves it now and plans to return.
Lastly, Facebook allows restaurants to post new information or updates on the company. One example is Braums Ice Cream store. A few years ago, I worked at a Braums during a huge ice storm. During the shift, the ice was so bad we closed the store down. In order to inform our customers, we posted on our Facebook page that we would be closed due to the inclement weather. This was a good use of social media.
All forms of social media can be helpful if they are used the correct way. By learning the ins and outs of different platforms, restaurants can expand business and share product information quickly.
Drell, L. (2011, August 9). 13 Best Practices for Restaurants on Facebook. Retrieved March 05, 2016, from http://mashable.com/2011/08/29/facebook-marketing-restaurants/#1p4LbmcXfmq3
Lancaster, A. (2016, January 25). Social Media. Retrieved March 05, 2016, from http://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/ideas/social-media
Social Media Marketing for Restaurants: 21 Tips. (2013). Retrieved March 05, 2016, from http://blog.wishpond.com/post/57638303180/social-media-marketing-for-restaurants-21-tips