When was the last time you searched your restaurant on Google? Or does it worry you what you might discover? Well, if you haven’t recently, you might want to. Social media and the Internet aren’t going away, and your online presence defines customer perception. And choosing to ignore it because it’s “technology” is putting your restaurant in a position to fail long-term.
If your restaurant (no matter the size or concept) isn’t on social media already, it needs to be.
A study published by Sproutsocial, a social media company, found 88% of people were influenced by reviews and online comments. Let’s take a conservative approach and say 60% of your customer base is influenced by reviews and online comments. And it only takes one bad experience to impact future success. more often than not, it was due to a bad experience.
A Forbes study in 2017 supports supports the importance of online presence. Of the consumers that participated, 90% read online reviews before visiting a business. And of those visiting online reviews, 84% trust them as much as a personal recommendation. If you’re receiving positive reviews, there’s great news. 74% of consumers that participated trust a local business more when there are positive reviews.
While online presence is important, it’s equally important to be on the right social platforms.
Whether your restaurant has no online presence or are on two platforms, it’s important you’re using the platforms that will reach your target audience. The top four platforms Sproutsocial suggests a restaurant should utilize are Yelp, Facebook, and Instagram.
So if you’re just starting, work on Yelp and either Facebook or Instagram. That way, your target audience can see reviews for your restaurant and visually see your menu items. 60% of consumers that particpated in Sproutsocial’s study said it took 2-4 posts of visually seeing the menu item before making a buying decision.
Another study found two stats specifically about Facebook and Instagram that:
- 3 out of 4 customers use Facebook to make restaurant or retail buying decisions
- Pizza, steak, and sushi are the top 3 foods posted to Instagram
I know for some of you reading this that learning technology isn’t easy. My dad still uses a flip phone, but he doesn’t need to be on social media because he’s retired. Your restaurant does to make a fortune for the long-haul, not just barely getting by.