MARKETING | Contributed Content, Australia

DM me - No, Facebook me - actually, just Tweet Me

This title won’t mean a thing to you if you aren’t embracing social media. The online community that takes up a ‘minor’ 96% of the 30 year old generation, which is a large portion of people who visit QSR’s on a daily basis. Did you know that it is not only the young generation with now 55 -65 year old women being the highest demographic of people connecting to the world of social media…. Suddenly organisations are realizing this is not a passing fad but a substantial shift in the way we communicate, which is why now is the time for QSR’s to create a social media presence.

Customers now have a platform to engage and share with people how much they love your restaurant or QSR Company and this is allowing a defined measurement tool of success for organisations as they can now see whether their campaigns are actually getting through to their audience and can measure this by way of engagement on their social media pages generating a great ROI tool.

It’s no longer about ‘Are we going to do it?’ but ‘How are we going to do it?”

The innovative organisations that have been utilising social media are now concerned with “How do we ensure we maximize this opportunity?”

This can be done by:

1. Defining your objective – figure out what your QSR’s “social” angle is going to be through social media. QSR’s are lucky as your business is food, and everyone loves food, eating and eating out. So whether you want to increase your customer base or build a better relationship with your customer keep to true to your QSR and, of course, be fun and social.

2. Round em up! – Get yourself with the right type of social media, the big four are your best option with the highest numbers on there. They are Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and LinkedIn. Facebook and Twitter can be used to start discussions with your customer base regarding all types of topics. Youtube can be use to show your favourite song of the day or a funny video you’ve found. LinkedIn can be used to form and build relationships with business professionals.

3. Get on board! – Facebook wasn’t built in a day…or was that Rome? For QSR’s it is best to use the business name so that it is easy for future customers to find the page when people make recommendations. Then go forth and build your pages - all with interesting content that will make them want to ‘like’ (follow) your page and position yourself to be the best QSR ever.

4. Listen first – Never sell your business as a priority through social media - it is the other way around – you need to build a relationship and trust with them first – it challenges all forms of traditional marketing – but it works. Why do you think they called it “Social” media? The power in social media is the referrals. So rather than telling your customers to come in store to try your new product, it’s better for a customer to recommend others to try your new product. 78% of customers are more likely to listen to their peers.

5. Consistency ‘everyone likes consistency’ – Your messages need to be out there every day. Averaging about 2 posts on Facebook a day, about 6 on Twitter not including your conversations between people, 1 post update on LinkedIn, 3 discussion topics on the groups that you follow and regularly checking out what your favourites are on Youtube. These posts do not have to relevant to QSR or even food and eating. Posts can be on news stories of the day, concerts and shows staff have been to or are going to, even staff birthdays.

6. Quality not Quantity – Do not compare your page with other pages with the numbers. It is more important to have good interaction on your page – quality followers that are genuinely interested in your content. Build your page with the goal of getting consistent interaction. It’s better to have 50 followers who comment on all your posts and photos, than 1000 followers who never interact with you.

7. Invest your time – The largest reason why QSR’s are missing the boat (or customers) with social media is because of the investment of their time. On average you need to invest at least 1.5 hours a day to maintain a healthy social media presence and keep up the relationships. You are forgotten pretty quickly in the fast pace world of social media if you aren’t on there regularly. This is the biggest reason why some of our clients come to us, we provide them with a social media personal assistant that does it all for them and they can save 1.5hrs a day and use that time to build their business… or do lunch…

If you are happy to invest 26% of your working week on social media to build your presence then make sure you have a good plan, a strong understanding of the social media world and regular social media campaigns with measurement tools of success. If you want to be rather fancy and outsource this work then feel free to contact us on (our new page) or or email us (the new snail mail).

Another great social media tool for QSR’s is Foursquare. It is beneficial as it allows users to form a loyalty to the QSR, as to become the ‘mayor’ of a location you have to check in more days than anyone else for the past 60 days, and, it also advertises that someone is visiting the QSR’s, as users can have their check-ins posted on their Facebook or Twitter pages.

One QSR that is using social media well is Wok in a Box. This case study of Wok in a Box’s existence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn demonstrates the success and importance of a social media presence for quick service restaurant. The proof is in the pudding. In March 2011 the Wok in a Box Facebook page had 405 likes and 218 monthly active users and by April it had 667 likes and 7896 monthly active users, which is a 60 per cent increase in likes and an increase of over 3000 per cent in monthly active users. Their Twitter page went from 80 followers in March to 173 followers in April, a 58 per cent increase, and their Linked In page went from 93 connections in March to 267 connections in April, a 35 per cent increase. Check out their page here

Tenille Bentley, Managing Director, Socialite Media

The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by QSR Media. The author was not remunerated for this article.

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