How Social Media Can Be Your Best or Worst Friend

By January 30, 2017 Social Media

In this post, we will look at Social Media and explain in brief the impact that individual customers can have on brand perception and how consistency can create a positive overall experience.

In 2017, social media is no longer just a consideration for restaurant chains but rather it’s a marketing necessity. What began as a fad, has now become the backbone of customer experience strategy especially in the restaurant industry. With every restaurant patron armed with a smartphone or tablet, it has never been easier for a customer to make impactful comments about a brand online. Whether they post publicly to a company’s Facebook page or privately to their personal Twitter, these customer reactions are extremely authentic.

Each individual customer, is what we call a Micro-Influencer. People in this category are mostly regular restaurant goers who like most today, aren’t necessarily famous but have a loyal group of social followers ranging anywhere from 50-5000 people.

The everyday consumer relies on Social Media.

Their direct reach in influencing others can be extremely powerful as the people they know and interact with online trust their recommendations. Although they aren’t industry analysts or experts, their opinion matters to those around them and their friends. Because of this, these voices can be amplified to share both great experiences as well as the negative ones.

So, what does this mean for restaurant operators?

Extra focus must be applied when it comes to:

  • Brand presentation

  • Product quality

  • Operational consistency

Brand Presentation

From the moment a restaurant guest enters a location, the experience begins. This means that each component of the physical presentation from the lights working properly to clean restrooms matters. If presented poorly, the overall customer experience will suffer and the last thing any organization wants is to see a damaging image posted to social media.

Product Quality

Offering a quality product can in many cases be the difference maker between having a customer visit once, or return again in the future. The lifetime value of a customer is directly dependant on how much they like the product you offer. Failing in this category can mean selling unappetizing food or even not setting up the right ambiance for the brand.

Operational Consistency

Having an implementable and replicable operational process is paramount to achieving success in terms of both brand presentation and product quality. Specific operational guidelines and expectations need to be engrained into the training of team members so that the brand culture can shine in the way management intends it to. Doing this can be easier said than done, requiring systems in place that removes guesswork from everyones roles. This means specific training for the Franchisees to know how the business should run. When it comes to a chain organization, the customer expectation is that regardless of the geographic location they visit, each store will offer the same overall experience. A proper operational management team equipped with the right tools will ensure this.

Conclusion

For a restaurant chain to successfully build and grow a loyal customer base, these three points are crucial. With social media, every customer now has the power to either become a brand supporter or detractor. The burden is on restaurant management to have properly trained staff with comprehensive operational knowledge who can execute a cohesive brand presentation. Doing this will result in a quality product with customers who not only will return but will recommend their brand to their friends and followers.

If you would like to learn more, or speak with us directly about your current restaurant operations just email us at info@meazureup.com, fill out the “Book Demo” to the right, or call us at 416-428-5970.

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