How Customers Think
Social media ‘shares’ and ‘likes’ are the new word-of-mouth. When looking for a bite to eat, there is no better restaurant recommendation then one that comes from a friend. Today, more and more customers are turning to their social media circles for advice on which local eateries will best satiate appetites.
Yelp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are among the top social avenues used by hungry individuals to scout out a spot to eat. A study by SinglePlatform discovered that 81% of consumers search for restaurants using mobiles apps. This fact makes scheduling posts, pictures, menu updates and tracking patron reviews an invaluable habit.
According to a Facebook study, customers are 17X more responsive to customer oriented content than product centric content (Forrester, 2014). Customers desire content that is of value to them and their friends. As your restaurant gains social media presence, the reach of your content will extend to new audiences and translate into new potential customers.
Use the Right Approach to Engage your Customers
Connect to your community to increase visibility and attract new visitors. 71% of customers are more likely to prefer a Quick Service Restaurant chain who they engage with on social media over other similar chains, according to thinkwithgoogle. Engaging customers over social media increases customer loyalty and inspires a sense of comradery.
The sales process is no longer linear but cyclical and social media is closely intertwined in this cycle. Socially engaged followers experience a 4- stage customer life cycle, in which they: 1) discover your restaurant and brand; 2) explore your restaurants offerings; 3) buy your products/ meal; 4) engage with you and their social circle after the purchase. The past linear sales process began with awareness and ended with a purchase. Today, the sales process is a continuous cycle. Leverage social media to connect with customers throughout the social customer journey and stay in constant contact with customers.
Social media provides the platform for restaurants to drive conversations with customers and create discussions about each visitors unique experiences. According to Forrester, a third of social networkers engaged with brands said they discovered new companies or products via social network messages. Social media engagement cultivates a meaningful relationship with your customer and shows that they are valued. It also introduces your restaurant to new potential visitors. An engaged and valued customer is a happy customer.
They are your Brand Enthusiasts
Constant engagement with a brand creates brand enthusiasts. This is the best type of customer, as they actively share your restaurants message with their friends via social media. 52% of people keep in touch with a brand on social media sites and those engaged daily are likely to make twice as many brand purchases as those who engaged monthly. Brand enthusiasts are ambassadors for your restaurant, they help build your brand by actively advocating your social content. These super-fans are your most loyal and valuable customers, they are your ultimate word-of-mouth promoters.