Are Restaurants Doing 'Social' Right?

Does Starbucks get the most social media mentions because it’s more social-savvy or because it’s Starbucks? How much do Facebook likes, tweets, Pinterest pins and Foursquare check-ins translate into new sales? How much time and money should your restaurant invest in social media efforts and where should those resources come from?

These questions and more are likely to be on tap when FohBoh and Networld Media Group present the Foodservice Social Media Universe conference in Chicago this month, and they’re questions that have been getting more and more media coverage lately.

Big chains may be getting all the attention for their social media efforts, but there’s evidence that smaller players are finding ways to use the medium to level the playing field with their larger rivals, according to Nation’s Restaurant News, which reported on Toppers Pizza and Lenny’s Subs and the way they’re using social to boost brand awareness and customer service.

Social events like Toppers’ pizza box art contest and Lenny’s Social Wednesday promotions and contests on Facebook not only give the little guys a way to compete and grab consumers’ attention — they also give the restaurants some tools for gauging the financial results of their social investments.

“It helps with driving sales and building loyal relationships. … Those types of things drive tangible dollars that help our franchisees make money,” Lenny’s President Brent Alvord told NRN.

So, social media done right does mean more traffic and higher sales for at least some restaurant chains; so, how can you make sure it’s done right? Read More

Posted on September 4, 2012 and filed under Restaurant Social Media.