CoverBoom's Blog

Social Media is Driving First Time Visitors to Restaurants

March 6th, 2012 • Posted by KitKat • Permalink

Right now, consumers are online talking to their friends about your restaurant and they are making their dining decisions, with increasing frequency, based on their social interactions online.

 A recent Fleishman-Hillard and Harris Interactive Annual Global Study revealed that online opinions
eclipse offline relationships and show the Internet as a leading influence in consumer purchasing choices:

  • 42% of those surveyed currently follow or friend a brand on a social networking site. The biggest motivator was to learn more about the brand (79 percent).
  • Almost 1 in 5 currently look to Facebook to get information about a brand or product.
  • Almost 2 out of 3 surveyed use mobile/smartphone to gain information on a brand, product or destination at least three or four days a week.

A new restaurant dining survey by The NPD Group and featured in  Restaurant News reveals:

  • 3% of restaurant customers (116 million visits) were influenced by a digital marketing application. 
  • Consumers who used social media had a higher check average on their visit and were more satisfied.
  • These consumers visited a number of online sites but most predominately Facebook.
  • 21% of those influenced by a digital marketing application were first-time visitors.

“Digital marketing is a good way to drive first-time visits,” NPD analyst Bonnie Riggs said. “It can be used to shape opinions about a brand, then drive repeat business.”

Among the biggest takeaways from the data is the power these applications have to influence first visits. NPD found that 21 percent of those influenced by a digital marketing application were first-time visitors. 

“Social media generates trial,” Riggs said. “That’s what you want — to get new buyers.”

Restaurants will always be pressed for time and the need to work within the confines of a tight marketing budget. So if you're looking to get new patrons at your restaurant, Facebook might be the most efficient marketing tool available. It's the obvious first-step in growing your fan base, increasing engagement and developing a meaningful conversation with existing and potential customers.









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