The global social media revolution is completely unavoidable. Unfortunately, society thrives on being “online”, and recent developments in technology only make it too easy to be within a finger-click of the web (think Mobile Manners). The impact is hard to ignore, when it is used as a personal companion, informant and entertainer, and the reach is infinite (Herbert, 2016).

Even if it was possible to ignore social media on a personal level (which, believe it or not, CAN BE DONE), more and more work places use it to post schedules and communicate with other members of the team. That aside, all restaurants are likely to have an online presence and public pages, even if not intentional (Andrea, 2015). Chances are, customers are already talking about it on social media, sharing their thoughts, opinions and photos, while others are paying close attention.

If restaurants are constantly using different platforms to connect with current customers and entice new ones, they need to be aware of the types of people they are inviting to be part of their brand – the audience is global! While there will be worthwhile and informative posts, the overall product and service will always remain the same. New content can be hard to come by in a restaurant, but social media tips can be applied to any business.

6 steps to really drive a good social media presence (Andrus, 2015)

  1. Don’t make it all about the business – include staff and customers!
  2. Respond to all customers – comments and complaints
  3. Share opening hours and location
  4. Offer exclusive deals through online contests
  5. Take advantage of hashtags
  6. Share quality photos – of all aspects of the restaurant

The beauty within the monster of social media, is the instant, two-way communication it offers in the service industry. That being said, nothing is ever private and everything has the potential to go viral. There is a saying, “once on the internet, always on the internet”, because there is no way of ever fully getting a post back – this works the same way for reviews. Going viral can be challenging and even restaurants with the best reputation can be hurt by a viral review.

Eater, the online authority on dining and food, dishes out a list of the worst restaurant critic reviews at the end of each year. While the 2016 article was not disappointing, this is one website of many. Trip Advisor is based solely on customer reviews and is one of the most popular travel sites in the world!

Overall, it is important for restaurant owners to take charge of their social media presence and engage with customers, as customers are social media users, they are the ones leading the conversation and opinions of the establishment.


References:

Andrus, A., 2015. Guide for Bars and Restaurants to Social Media [online]. Available from: http://sproutsocial.com/insights/bars-restaurants-social-media-guide/ [Accessed: 30 December 2016].

DeJesus, E., 2016. The Best of 2016’s Bad Restaurant Reviews [online] Available from: http://www.eater.com/2016/12/20/14020502/bad-restaurant-reviews [Accessed: 30 December 2016].

Herbert, J., 2016. Social Media is Inescapable in the Workplace [online]. Available from: http://brightsparks.co/blog-social-media-inescapable-workplace/ [Accessed: 30 December 2016]

Mcrenshaw, K., 2016. Going Viral: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly [online]. Available from: http://twelveandsix.com/going-viral-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/ [Accessed: 30 December 2016].

Pavlina, S., 2015. One Year Without Social Media [online]. Available from: http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2015/07/one-year-without-social-media/ [Accessed: 30 December 2016].

Raby, J., 2016. The Most Advanced (and 100% free) Restaurant Marketing Guide Available on the Web [online]. Available from: https://www.lightspeedhq.com/s/restaurant/marketing-guide/index.php [Accessed: 30 December 2016].

Stoller, E., 2015. Social Media Evolution is Inevitable [online]. Available from: https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/student-affairs-and-technology/social-media-evolution-inevitable [Accessed: 30 December 2016].

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