Social media has become an indispensable part of our lives, and we constantly carry smartphones as companions. In today’s digital age, businesses, including restaurants, put themselves at a significant disadvantage if they are not present on social media platforms. These platforms have brought about a revolution in the way businesses promote themselves, and the food industry is no exception. According to a report commissioned by Facebook, 91% of Instagram users use the platform to follow their “top interests.” This highlights the importance of businesses actively engaging with social media to connect with their target audience and stay competitive in the modern market. By embracing social media platforms and utilizing them effectively, businesses, including restaurants, can expand their reach. They may engage with customers, and leverage the power of online presence to boost their success.
The Power of Visual Content
A survey reveals that 30% of millennials would not visit a restaurant with a poor Instagram presence. Furthermore, a report published by the University of Michigan states that food photos are likely to have a 30% higher engagement rate compared to non-food photos.
Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok – all these platforms share the ability to showcase photos and videos. Data from 2023 indicates that 43% of Instagram users have food and drinks as their main interest. The hashtag #foodstagram alone has been used 117,953,419 times. The rise of smartphones and social media platforms has contributed to the popularity of food photography. With the development of technology and the expanding reach of the internet, we have found a way to present culinary creations and simultaneously enhance our businesses.
How can you turn this information into success?
Not having a social media account can be a problem. While it is possible to live without it, skeptics should consider setting up a profile since we like to have control over what concerns us. It is important to know what is being said about us, what photos are associated with us, and in what situations we are being shared. Restaurants can leverage the power of social media platforms to expand their reach and engage with a larger audience. This applies not only to restaurants but also to specialists such as chefs, managers, sommeliers, and other staff members. Having a strong presence on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter allows you to showcase your culinary creations, share updates, and directly interact with your audience. By posting visually appealing photos of your food and engaging with your followers, you can generate interest, create buzz, and expand your audience.
This is also a form of digital word-of-mouth marketing. It provides an opportunity to reach a wider audience and establish brand authenticity. When customers capture and share photos of their dining experiences by simply pushing the ‘share’ button, they can become powerful advocates. Food influencers are a great example of industry professionals who have effectively harnessed the possibilities of social media platforms.
Embracing Digital Channels for Business Growth
Social media accounts also serve as a direct channel for receiving guest feedback and engaging with customers. Feedback is crucial for growth. Restaurants can monitor reviews, respond to comments, and address issues promptly. Engaging with customers on social media fosters a sense of community and builds trust, ultimately leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Therefore, our guiding principle should be “utilize the tools,” especially digital ones. While one may weigh the pros and cons of using digital channels in business, it is akin to pondering whether to use knives in the kitchen or not. Social media platforms are not only a must-have. They are a tool to create a desire to be a must-be in your place.