Does he look for reviews on Google? Does he check the rating on the Better Business Bureau? Nope. Instead, he checks it out on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Urbanspoon, etc.
According to the Nielson Global Trust in Advertising report of 2013, 84% of people will trust recommendations from people they know, including social media posts. In addition, nearly 70% of people trust consumer opinions posted online, regardless of familiarity with the individual posting. We all know social media is important in the business world. But, it’s more than that in the restaurant industry—it is essential.
The restaurant business is not just about selling food; it’s about selling experiences. Social media is a part of the experience. It gives the restaurant the opportunity to connect with consumers in a more personal way. It’s a direct path to the customer and vice versa, allowing communication in a fun and creative way and often improving reputation.
And then he looks at your site from a tiny mobile phone screen, and if your site is not adapted to mobile viewing, chances are very big that he will continue on to the next restaurants. You can have your websites made mobile for mobile viewing, but that is a cumbersome solution. You are better off revamping your site and make it responsive to any hardware device out there, be it a mobile, tablet and desktop, and later for TV viewing. Another big advantage of responsive websites is that you only need to update them once and they are updated for viewing on all browsers and hardware devices.
Social media is becoming more about pictures and less about text. In my opinion, food is one of the most photogenic products available. Nothing is worse than seeing a high-res picture of a 12-ounce T-bone on my Twitter feed when I’m on the verge of starvation. A well-timed photo of a cheeseburger is often enough to send me in a beeline to its restaurant.
No matter what business you run, a responsive website and social media should be an important firearm in your arsenal of marketing. With the increasing demand for tablet and mobile viewing and for viewing images, I believe restaurants are in a prime position to utilize responsive websites and media more than any other industry.
Read more on the cost of a responsive website on one of my PREVIOUS BLOGS.