If there was ever an audience that should consider social media as part of their marketing efforts, then it should be restaurants. Given the rushed nature of our society, restaurants have always been the glue that have kept us together. They are central to the social proclivities that we have as human beings.
Here are just a few social activities that we typically accomplish at a restaurant:
- Socializing with friends
- Business meetings
- Developing family time
- Celebrate special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries
Restaurants are the defacto destination when it comes to these social activities. They allow us to sustain these real-world offline relationships despite the fact that we are spending more time online. They play an important role in our social experience.
By patronizing a restaurant, consumers develop a vested interest in wanting a restaurant to succeed. It is only natural that consumers would gravitate towards any online presence that a restaurant has. They want to interact with the owners of a restaurant. They want to offer feedback on the food. They want to reminisce about their last experience there. This is all part of the social experience that we have as human beings.
Coincidentally, social media allows us to tap into the same basic needs that we all have as human beings. It satisfies our need to be heard, to express ourselves, and to form connections with others.
Given the similarities, it is only natural for any restaurant to consider social media as an important marketing tool because we are helping consumers to reinforce the social needs – online.
Consider how the following social needs are translated online:
- Our need to be heard (to tweet or share a restaurant’s grand opening)
- Our need to express ourselves (to comment on the restaurant’s page about your last visit, to post a Yelp review about a negative experience)
- To connect with others (to follow the Restaurant’s Twitter profile, to befriend other foodie bloggers with the same passion)