If you’re in the restaurant franchise business, you’re well aware that presentation is everything. And in today’s digital world, when a dish’s Instagram-ability is almost as important as its tastiness, appearances are even more important.
Still, creating an unmatched brand identity and social media following goes beyond just creating photogenic food – though that doesn’t hurt.
At Angry Crab Shack, we have amassed a significant amount of followers across social channels. Here are some ways we’ve managed to turn our guests into brand advocates on social media and beyond:
The Dawn of the Everyday Influencer
Influencer marketing recently took the social media world by storm. Consumer-facing brands in all verticals turned to influencers to get the word out about their service or product. After a while, however, influencer reach and impact became more diluted.
While 18 percent of people trust influencers, 92 percent trust brand advocates. In fact, brand advocates – everyday people who boast about your product or service to their own social network – have much more influence than so-called influencers.
Because a solid experience with your brand is the primary ingredient inspiring people to rave about your product online, creating a second-to-none experience in your restaurants is essential to your success with brand advocates online.
And because their positive experience and high praise for your brand are organic, unsolicited and authentic, brand advocates’ promotion for your restaurant is much more trusted by peers than other forms of marketing.
Social media allows guests to take ownership of their dining experience by posting photos of their meal and curating their own story about their time out. At Angry Crab Shack, we give ownership to our guests by inviting them to become a permanent part of our restaurant by signing our walls. And just as our guests love to put their stamp on our restaurant by signing the wall before they leave, they also love telling the world about their unique experience online.
Provide Authentically Positive Experiences In-Store and Online
Just as you need to create a positive environment in your restaurant, you also need to create a comfortable social and online presence for your brand.
As consumers spend more time online, it’s more important than ever to optimize your online presence and market to your guests where they’re making purchasing decisions. That means more than just posting on your channels, but also regularly interacting with your guests and keeping them engaged.
In fact, 71 percent of consumers said they are more likely to purchase from a brand after a positive social media experience. By promoting your restaurant franchise through social media, you’re more equipped to keep your business top of mind for consumers, engage directly with them and drive tangible sales. By capitalizing on your unique brand voice and differentiators, you can also enhance your brand and solidify your identity while keeping guests engaged.
When it comes to social media, consumers want to be engaged with, instead of just talked at. While regularly posting and curating social content is paramount, it’s just as important to make sure you’re regularly commenting, tagging or reposting content that comes from your social audiences.
Incentivize Engaging with Your Brand through Special Offers
Keeping your business highly visible online is especially important for restaurant franchise brands. Although you’ll have a good amount of regular guests, transactions are often driven by limited-time offers, so staying at the forefront of a guest’s mind whenever they might need a quick pick-me-up is crucial.
We’ve been able to capitalize on this by regularly promoting special discounts and limited-time offers on our social channels. Not only does this keep guests coming to our pages to check out new deals, it also provides them with the value-add of access to exclusive offers. From Facebook to Instagram, we always make sure to highlight different discounts that prompt guests to stop into their local Angry Crab Shack.
By leveraging social media to build a community, you’re able tell a unique story, keep your brand top-of-mind for consumers and interact directly with guests – all driving long-term guest satisfaction, loyalty and unit-level transactions.