Social media. We all have it – but how many of you actually utilise it properly for your business? If you haven't already worked out by now, social media has enormous benefits for your business in terms of customer engagement, extended reach to your target market and beyond, and ultimately, sales.
We reviewed more than 200 Australian restaurateurs and café owners earlier this year, and the results were surprising. A significant portion are letting social media take a backseat to other priorities.
Across all sectors - restaurants, cafes, fast food/takeaway, coffee roasters, clubs and pubs/bars/hotels - there were a slice of businesses who said they would only 'occasionally jump in and have a look', even though they realised it was important.
Here are the worst offenders who admitted they only occasionally use their social media accounts for business:
It is a massive miss for fast food and takeaway businesses, particularly since many people are now using mobile apps or websites for online ordering. Deliveroo and Menulog are two ordering sites that use online marketing on social media channels to great success - you could also be catching this traffic with your own social media content.
Using targeted marketing through social media posts, you can even target your local area on specific nights - such as Sunday evening, when takeaway and fast food consumption peaks. And using image sharing platforms like Instagram is an easy way to snag new customers with engaging imagery.
For those who are still not convinced, here are some key facts you might want to know about social media in our modern business marketplace:
- There are nine million Australians logging into Facebook every single day.
- That's 79% of our nation online, every day. 
- The average consumer mentions brands 90 times/week with family, friends and co-workers.
- There are 5 million images uploaded to Instagram every day
- 49% of Australians are visiting their social media pages every day.
- 24% of Australians say they use social media to 'follow or find out about particular brands or businesses in general'.
Whether you choose to personally engage in social media as a form of social interaction, there is no doubting the fact that it is crucial for a business. It enables a direct connection with your customer, and the ability to remain top of mind as they spend their leisure time interacting on social media. It's an easy sell.
So, is social media applicable for all hospitality businesses?
Absolutely. Social media has a universal appeal, and has proven itself time and again to loop together brands with audiences. The key is to keep your content short, regular, consistent, and targeted.
As a hospitality business, the top content types to focus on with your social media are the following:
- Menu options + imagery
- Customer feedback channels
- Online ordering + contact information