There’s a lot to keep up with when it comes to your restaurant marketing. Between keeping your website updated, your email list nurtured, and your social media accounts active, we know there are times you struggle to maintain it all.
So when a new social platform hops on the scene, it makes sense that you’re hesitant to jump on the bandwagon for a few reasons:
1.) You want to know if this new “it” thing is going to stick around and actually matter in your overall marketing efforts.
2.) You’re already struggling to keep your head above water with the social channels you have, so you’re not keen on having to manage another profile.
3.) You have no clue on how to begin using it.
We get it, and those reasons are all completely understandable, but they don’t excuse you from participating in these emerging platforms. Why? Because your customers and your potential customers are spending time there, which means you have to virtually show up and meet people where they are if you want them to dine with you.
Therefore, if you’re choosing to ignore the opportunity to engage with a large segment of your audience, don’t get huffy about the fact that your social media efforts aren’t paying off. You’ve got to keep up with the times if you want to keep your restaurant in business.
So, now that we’ve served you a little tough love, let’s cover the bases on the two newest (and rapidly growing) social platforms that need to be on your radar: Periscope and Snapchat.
What are Snapchat and Periscope?
Snapchat is a messaging application that allows users to quickly share moments in the form of photo or video snaps. Once users have taken a photo or a video, they can then add a caption and send it to an individual friend, a segment of friends, or all the friends following them in the app. Once a user has received and opened a message in Snapchat, the snap can be viewed for up to 10 seconds before it disappears.
Periscope is a live-streaming app that allows users to share video in real-time. Facebook now has a live video feature as well, but the Periscope community is quickly flourishing with many brands using it to connect with their audience who can comment and ask questions throughout your live broadcast.
Why Should My Restaurant Utilize These Apps?
Well, as we’ve already mentioned, the people who can become your most loyal customers might be using these apps, so it’s your job to discover if they’re using them and how they’re using them.
According to Snapchat’s website, more than 60 percent of U.S. 13- to 34-year-old smartphone users are Snapchatters (with the largest segment of Snapchat’s monthly users being 18-24 years old), there are more than 4 billion video views everyday on Snapchat, and there are nearly 100 million daily active Snapchatters and growing.
These stats are enough to show the value of your brand being on Snapchat, but in addition to those numbers, the geo-filtering and advertising capabilities also make this app great for targeting specific audiences.
According to digital marketing agency Omnicore’s report on Periscope statistics published in late September 2015, Periscope has 10 million users and 1.85 million daily active users. Also, approximately 71 percent of Periscope URLs are posted by men and 49 percent of the 25-34 year olds surveyed have used Periscope in the last month.
If numbers and data aren’t your thing, just know that’s a large slice of statistical pie.
Who Would I Be Trying to Reach?
This is the question we can’t really answer for you, but we can help guide you given what we already know about Snapchat and Periscope, which is that they’re primarily used by people who fall in to the millennial demographic.
Millennials fall in the late teens to early thirties range (think college student to young professional), they’re the most connected demographic group as it relates to social media and digital technology, and they tend to care more about corporate social responsibility than older generations. Millennials are also partial to dining at restaurants with a fast-casual format and are willing to spend above average cost for a “food experience.”
So, with that being said, if you run a high-end restaurant with pricier offerings that naturally attract a crowd of middle-aged professionals who are in a higher income bracket than most 20-somethings in the city, it’s fair to deduce that the majority of your audience won’t be on Snapchat or Periscope. Therefore, you’re better off focusing your efforts on the platforms that audience does spend time on, namely, Facebook.
However, if a large or overwhelming portion of your customer base falls in to the millennial demographic, you should absolutely start testing and trying out the various ways you can reach your audience on these apps.
How Would I Use These Platforms?
The options are nearly endless, but there are a few ways to get crafty with the special features of Snapchat and Periscope.
For example, you can create a Snapchat story that guides followers from the process of making one of your featured dishes from farm to table, or you could send a snap with an exclusive coupon for a free appetizer or dessert. For Periscope you could host a live chef’s demonstration or give a live look at the prep work before dinner service or an event, just to give you some starting inspiration.
In addition to those unique strategies, sharing content from behind-the-scenes of your restaurant and sneak-peeks of menu items are great ways to pique interest on any social site. The key is crafting your content uniquely to fit each platform. For example, the micro-blogging nature of Twitter makes that platform a great go-to for connecting with your diners on the customer service front, but Snapchat’s look-before-it-disappears style of sharing makes it ideal for sharing more visual or time-sensitive updates.
The key to being successful on any social media site is learning what kind of content your audience likes to see, or would want to see, on these platforms. And finding out that information is as simple as asking your customers yourself or delegating the task to a friendly, outgoing employee.
Sometimes the best audience research happens right at your own tables or cash register.