In today’s world, social media has become unavoidable and something that most people use multiple times a day. As a result, big businesses in just about every industry have been forced to plan and execute social media campaigns to take advantage of the personal connection with consumers these platforms provide. The food and restaurant industries are both extremely essential components of the United State’s economy and generate a considerable amount of money for the country’s Gross Domestic Product yearly. With that being said, it is important that those involved in these industries continue to satisfy the needs of consumers in order to further profit. Consumers hold the power with regards to the food industry. It’s simple, if the consumers like the product it will for lack of a better word be consumed, if they don’t, the products remain uneaten. However, recently it has become increasingly crucial for restaurants, bars, foodservice providers, and grocery stores to be updated on the desires and opinions of consumers in order to better their businesses or services.
Getting Inside the Minds of Customers:
Each potential customer has very distinct tastes and desires, yet social media has become a wonderful medium, connecting food brands and businesses with constituents, and further allowing them to spot upcoming trends. With this valuable information, they then have the ability to make changes and formulate strategies to enhance the consumer experience in ways that follow these budding trends, but set them apart from other similar organizations. Social media serves as a window, allowing the food and restaurant industries to peer into the lives and minds of consumers, however it also allows consumers to get a taste of what each restaurant or food service is like before stepping through the doors.
The two R’s:
Consumers greatly value the opinions and thoughts of other consumers and tend to trust each other significantly more than big businesses. As a result, consumers are becoming more influenced by user generated content on restaurant rating websites
such as Foursquare, Yelp, Zagat, and Google Reviews. People are using these sites as a resource frequently and reading the reviews posted prior to dining at a restaurant or using a food service. As lifestyles become more digital, and the world becomes more connected, consumers have easier access to this type of information, some even by the quick click of a button to open a Yelp app. At this stage, these ratings and reviews can make or break a business before they even have an initial interaction with the consumer. Therefore, it is ever so important for organizations to ensure that their brands are receiving good ratings and positive reviews on these sites in order to attract new and potentially loyal customers. Social media seems to be stirring the pot.