Customer engagement is key when creating loyal fans of a product or service, but customers may also play a vital role when it comes to product development. Here are some lessons for restaurant managers looking to boost social media engagement among customers:
Facebook for Innovation
In addition to building closer relationships with customers, social media may provide companies with valuable insight into what customers want when developing and improving services. The HBR wondered how Facebook specifically makes a difference when it comes to innovation. They used a 2015 Centre for European Economic Research survey to look at almost 3,000 German manufacturing and service ﬁrms. The data included companies of all sizes to study how small to medium sized businesses value social media.
Twenty-one percent of the firms studied had a Facebook page, and half of all the firms studied improved existing products or services or introduced a new service or product. Having a Facebook page with active users did make a company more likely to innovate. When feedback was encouraged, innovation was significantly more likely. The emotional sentiment of the messages mattered only with negative comments. This could mean that customers were useful for persuading companies against bad ideas.
Comprehensive Social Media Strategies
This illustrates some ideas when establishing or further honing your own company's social media efforts. In addition to marketing, social media strategies should include the potential for innovation. Some businesses may worry about receiving negative feedback when interacting with customers, but this may actually provide the most material to learn from. Customers might not be instrumental when developing new ideas but could be a crucial part of avoiding bad ideas. Think beyond marketing when engaging on Facebook. There may be several uses for your company's social media accounts.
From making improvements to driving sales, customer engagement is key. What if you don't have an audience? There are many ways to engage fans over social media. Here are some tips for boosting your Facebook followers:
- If you don't have a Facebook group, consider making one. If you don't use yours enough, start. This gives you a built-in audience to respond to the content you share.
- When you need people to like your page or join your group, host a contest. To get 100,000 likes on their Facebook page, Qwertee gave away 1,000 free shirts in a week. This approach works when you have multiple platforms you can boost the signal for your content on. Create graphics, videos, blog posts and more that people can share to spread the word. 35% of fans on Facebook like a page so that they can enter the contests.
- Videos less than a minute can have big results. The best length for Facebook engagement is around 1 minute and 30 seconds, and Facebook users watch 100 million hours of video each day. Your videos could be about anything from promotional content to a behind-the scenes look at your restaurant.
- People like sharing their opinion, especially if it's easy and fun. Before you start innovating, you could have fun polls. You might ask people to decide between your two most popular desserts. For one option, people could like the post. For the other, they could share it.
Engagement and Sales
There may also be ways to encourage customers to post to social media while at your establishment. It's important to note that the Bloom Intelligence Wi-Fi hot spots capture information and can collect and compile email lists. The Analytics Dashboard can also measure how effective your social media content is when turning engagement into sales.
Let's imagine a Mexican restaurant called Caliente. They've promoted the lunch specials they offer on Thursdays and gotten great feedback on their Facebook page. However, the Analytics Dashboard shows the Popular Visit Times haven't improved from previous months for Thursdays at lunch. This illustrates that they know how to connect with fans on Facebook but aren't turning this into additional sales.