Over the past 10 years, social networks have evolved to play a fundamental role in business strategy and now, nearly 9 out of 10 restaurants are using social media. It is a powerful global marketing tool with great potential to grow and develop brands, but there remains a lack of understanding on how to achieve those results. So why do we need to stop eating and start tweeting?
Research has shown that positive engagement with consumers through social media channels are related to improved reputation and brand loyalty. And with such a wide demographic, the chances are, your target market is already using social media – if you are a bar or restaurant, then your customers are already tweeting, posting to Facebook, uploading Instagram photos, and publishing reviews.
Social media has a direct impact on optimizing conversion rates by creating awareness & instilling trust. This can be achieved by being transparent (responding to reviews, for example), remaining consistent and sharing valuable content. Offers that are exclusive to social media followers gives them an appetite for more and a reason for them to continue engaging. However, be careful not to alienate your audience by making them feel like they are being advertised to!
Customer engagement is an opportunity to give customers incentive to buy and be able to guide them through this process. Giving your customers the option to share their purchases and experiences, further strengthens the trust between consumers whilst expanding your audience. Currently, Facebook has the highest conversion rate for all social media ecommerce traffic. This is where you will find your hungry, eager customers!
An effective social media strategy, with high quality content can help improve your business search engine ranking. With social networks topping the list of site referrals, linking content throughout your social media channels will drive traffic to your website. Ensure that your site performs well across various browsers on (desktop and mobile devices), with 69% of consumers ordering their food online via mobile devices.
A basic social media campaign through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn won’t cost a penny. However, if you do have money to invest, these channels offer advanced but affordable advertising platforms that allows brands to target only the demographics you want to reach. Success rates are easily tracked with immediate qualitative feedback from followers, likes, shares and comments.
Engaging with your audience on a meaningful level helps to humanize your brand and keep it authentic, rather than robotic. Building emotional connections to customers allows them to understand the underlying messages you wish to convey and provides a platform that can be tailored to each individual prospect. Don’t forget to get snapping – customers value high quality images, with food imagery being the most popular on Pinterest. With most smart phones having camera with additional options to filter and edit, there really are no excuses.
The bottom line is that social media marketing is an essential part of driving your business forward – it is not a fad or a trend but an indispensable tool for any marketer. What’s more – it can be fun!
If you haven’t thought about developing a social media presence for your business, then why not have a chat with our social media experts to see how we can help?