engage your customers

Social media: Start the conversation now!

In the last 10 years, social media has exploded on the scene, sparking conversation and engaging like-minded people in virtual communities. Now, more people spend time on social networks than any other category of websites.1 They use these sites to share stories and pictures, build relationships and provoke thought. And one of the biggest topics on social media is food.

In particular, millennials are using food as a means of personal expression. By posting shots of delicious-looking meals on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, they are virtually inviting people to their table. Now, you can virtually break bread not only with your immediate family but also with everyone in your network – even those in faraway locations.

What's more, social media has the power to influence food experiences. In fact, 70% of people trust opinions posted online2 above other forms of advertising.

Why use social media in foodservice?

If you are not using social media as a foodservice professional, you may be missing a big opportunity. Your customers are already online every day, talking about your business, looking for promotions, posting reviews, and more. If you use social media successfully, it can help you:

  • increase business,
  • market promotions and offers cost-effectively,
  • become more engaged with your customers, and
  • create goodwill towards your brand in the community.

5 Ways to Use Social Media Effectively


Make your strategy a priority.

If you're planning to use social media, you'll need a well-defined strategy and goals. You must also be willing to put in the time and effort to do it well. Content must be relevant, posts updated frequently, and comments, questions and concerns dealt with immediately. You can do this yourself, assign someone in-house, or outsource it, but make sure every touch point has a purpose.


Listen to – and engage with – your customers.

Social media allows you to hear what your customers are saying – and do something about it. If you use the channels your customers are using, respond quickly and make improvements, social media can help enhance your customer service and build important relationships with loyal customers. Don't underestimate the power social media has to influence perceptions of your establishment.


Integrate mobile.

Smartphones are now ubiquitous, and most of your customers don't leave home without them. Mobile web usage has increased 63% in 2012 compared to the same period last year1 and much of this time is spent using social media apps. In addition to social media, you can use mobile apps to take orders, promote nutritional information, and run loyalty programs.


Leverage your location with geo-technology.

Location-based social media services and apps such as Foursquare allows you to monitor loyal customers, review customer comments and offer check-in specials. With Twitter, you can track geo-tagged tweets to see who is in the area and invite them to dine with you. You can also use geo-technology to target online ads to your location, which ensures people nearby will see them.


Offer media rich content.

People love seeing pictures of mouth-watering food and special events, so be sure to document the happenings at your establishment and post them to social media. People also love watching behind-the-scenes videos, so film a food prep how-to or interview the chef. It doesn't need to be fancy, just interesting and authentic.

social media stats
Consumers spend about 30% of their total time online via mobile devices engaging with social media1
QSR campaigns that used location-based technology generated an average click-through rate of 1.21% compared to 0.61% for non-location based campaigns5
Food and Drink is the most popular category on Pinterest, representing 11% of all Pinterest pins3 and 57% of all Pinterest users have interacted with food related content4
Almost 30% of consumers say they have used social media to choose a restaurant and 27% of consumers have posted or viewed online reviews on consumer-driven sites like Yelp7
71% of consumers receiving a quick response on social media would likely recommend that brand to others6
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