What are you looking for?

Strawberries, JPH2013by Jeff Howland

Social media is increasingly centered on images. As businesses try to find the right content to share online, that will both engage their customers and get people in the door, some industries have it easier than others. However, that does not mean they’re all doing it right. In our series looking at how different businesses use social media, we look today at restaurants and the food industry.

There is a natural connection between food and social media. It likely stems from the simple fact that we like to feel good. We like to look at pictures of puppies and kittens, we like to share our good news with friends, and we like to see pictures of yummy treats and epic eats (above).

The statistics and recent trends continue to point toward a more visual online experience, which suits restaurants just fine.

  • 49% of consumers use Facebook to search for restaurants (Mashable)

  • 81% say friends’ social media posts have directly influenced a purchase decision (Forbes)

  • Consumers are increasingly using Instagram to tag pictures to restaurants

  • Vine and Instagram provide new ways to engage customers and increase sales

  • YouTube allows for longer form videos highlighting your innovative ideas

The connection between social media and food was recently highlighted in this Food Channel video, talking with two guys who got into the game early when Twitter first came out.

That restaurants should be on social media is hardly groundbreaking news, however with the variety of social networks available, the priority is to choose the right ones to focus on. How do you do that? Look at your content ‘dynamic’, what you have to share, and what your customers like to do. You want to make sure you’re focusing on the channels that will generate the most response for your type of business. For businesses with lots of yummy treats, here are the top channels to put your resources behind, along with some best practices: