Restaurateurs aiming to capture the attention of millennial consumers should reevaluate their social media presence, suggests PYMNTS research.
According to PYMNTS’ “Connected Dining: Word of Mouth in the Digital Age” report, which surveyed over 2,200 U.S. consumers in May, a significant 46% of millennials and bridge millennials indicated that they turn to restaurants’ social media pages to find information about dining establishments. In contrast, the overall population figure stood at 37%.
This data underscores the importance of social media as a key source of restaurant discovery for younger demographics. By leveraging effective social media strategies, restaurants have the potential to tap into this consumer segment.
The positive impact of social media on restaurants’ visibility is evident in success stories like that of virtual brand Krispy Rice. Vincenzo Rossy, Senior Director of Openings for C3, highlighted the brand’s explosive growth and newfound popularity attributed to “word-of-mouth and social media buzz.” Krispy Rice’s Instagram account, boasting 44,000 followers, captivates users with captivating visuals of the brand’s vibrant packaging and engaging sushi-themed content.
During the pandemic, smaller brands, particularly bakeries, experienced a surge in popularity through social media platforms. Pandemic Donuts, a doughnut delivery service based in Denver, Colorado, serves as a prime example. Initially operating as a virtual brand that catered to Instagram followers, the company successfully transitioned into a physical storefront.
Co-founder Michael Milton emphasized the significance of utilizing Instagram to connect with customers on a personal level. By showcasing the human side of the business and establishing a genuine rapport with clients, Pandemic Donuts built a grassroots following and redirected customers to their website through the social media platform.
While relying on social media platforms offers benefits, it also exposes restaurants to potential vulnerabilities. Last year, some establishments experienced the downside of this dependence when Instagram altered its algorithm, favoring video content over photos. This shift resulted in a decline in engagement for numerous businesses.
In the ever-evolving digital landscape, restaurants must adapt to changes in social media algorithms and explore diverse marketing strategies to maintain their online visibility and effectively reach their target audience.