There’s usually no-frills when I dine out by myself or with colleagues. It only involves picking a restaurant based on proximity and previous experience, order food, eat it, and talk to each other in between bites (only when I’m not by myself, of course).
The whole process changes when I’m with family which includes two millennials. Most of the time, we end up going to a restaurant they found on the “gram.” Ordering the item that was posted on the restaurant’s account the other day, and before we can eat, a photo of the food has to be taken, filtered, and posted on Instagram.
I’m not complaining. It’s a great way to discover new restaurants, food outlets, kiosks, and cuisines. It’s also great to know that such behavior is perfectly normal.
30% of millennials aged 18 to 25 won’t go inside a restaurant that isn’t active on Instagram, and most of them actually spend a total of five days browsing images of food on Instagram. It’s no wonder then that they base their dining decisions on their Instagram experience.
You may know the story of the Cronut already. It’s a pastry that’s a combination of a doughnut and a croissant, invented by Dominique Ansel Bakery which has branches in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and London. It went viral in 2013 when customers took pictures of it and posted them. Obviously, the Cronut is a delicious treat, and the captions said it all.
People started waiting in very long lines just to get hold of the $5 viral Cronut, and because of this, some customers go to the black market which sold it for $40 each, according to some news media. The company even patented the name.
@dominiqueansel Instagram Post on Doughnut Day. The Screenshot was taken on August 13, 2019
When Dominique Ansel offered 1,000 “Cronut Hole Concretes” at Shake Shack’s Madison Square Park branch, people were lining up as early as four in the morning.
Take note that all these started with customers snapping some pictures and posting them on Instagram. The bakery also has a strong presence on Instagram.
Other viral sensations aside from the delicious Cronut are:
Brands that go viral are creative and they adapt to the consumer habits of millennials. User-generated content is encouraged and rewarded with attention, and people love this.
It’s no wonder then that almost all businesses, from small enterprises to Fortune 500 brands, have turned their marketing efforts to social media, specifically Instagram. The trend in ad spending is on Instagram, which is true also for businesses outside the food industry. Jim Sellers, CEO of the blockchain-based influencer marketing platform called Buttrfly, had this to say: “Social media ads, on-demand services, programmatic ad-spend, and influencer marketing are all projected to grow 20 times over their current presence over the next 10 years.”
When it comes to influencer marketing, Instagram is by far the most powerful platform for both food franchises and small businesses.
Take Applebee, for instance. The franchise chain knows the importance of social media, which is evident in their 2014 Fantographer campaign where followers were encouraged to upload:
The customers would tag @Applebees and the food chain would repost the pictures on their own Instagram account, with the permission of the customer. The campaign was very successful. The campaign’s accomplishments include:
Applebees basically encouraged their customers to take their experiences online where it created awareness for people who wouldn’t have engaged with the brand otherwise. Other food brands are following in the company’s footsteps in encouraging brand loyalty and advocacy.
More and more businesses have shifted their focus and budget from traditional marketing to social media marketing, and for good reason too. Let me enumerate some key differences between social media and traditional media.
I can go on and on about the differences between social media and traditional media, but you already see that there are a lot of benefits if you focus on social media instead. Large, successful brands survived, as they adapted to the changes in the marketing industry.
Focusing on social media marketing will be the best thing a brand can do. Food brands, e-commerce, and services have proven this over and over again. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies though. There are bound to be challenges and a lot of competition, but here are some tips for you:
@finebagels collaboration with @motelbrews. The Screenshot was taken on August 13, 2019
The restaurant market today is very different from what it was a decade ago, mainly because consumer behavior has significantly changed. People don’t just go for food for the sake of filling their stomachs, they go for the experience, for connections. They want something that comes with a story, and if a brand can’t give it to them, they can easily move on to the competition which can.
Date: October 24, 2019 / Categories: Tips, / Author: Disturbinsilence