Is It Too Late for Restaurants to Go Digital?

Updated: Jul 8



Better late than never. It would be never late to get your name out there.


Not everyone is sold on the value of social media marketing, typically those who could not see the immediate values, ROI or effects on current sales in a short period of time. And with those who embrace digital strategy and have not seen the outcome yet, it is time to think again your strategy.

This blog covers the reason as why it would be never too late for any business including restaurants to embedding social media marketing and getting rid of the scare of intense competition from big names.


When it comes to social media, a dominant form of marketing communication these days, some small and medium enterprises still hold a notion that these social channels are up for big names, that are willing to splurge sufficient marketing budget for their campaigns to maximise their campaign effectiveness. Considering having a limited budget for these channels, these businesses somehow ignore social media marketing and stick to traditional marketing which they reply on for a long time.


Why is it not too late?


“Sticking into traditional marketing is great yet time-consuming. Time to rethink your social media strategy if you want to go faster and further”

Traditionally, restaurants are dependent on word of mouth and good reviews from the loyal to get more traffic. This is true to restaurants that already have a huge number of fans. So how can band-new restaurants get the very first customer? Should they follow the beaten track like the other old ones used to do?

“The answer is yes they can though it is a waste of time. There are more excellent ways to do that namely, using social media platforms, digital advertising or geo-targeting, you name it.”



Let’s look into the reasons some SMBs still don’t take advantage of these channels.

According to recent studies, restaurant owners refusing to be present on social media channels see that there is no fit between these channels and their restaurants. The other reasons fall into either waiting for the brand to initiate or being skeptical of these channels. These generally come from the internal judgment of how brands can fit customers’

needs rather than prioritising customers and looking into better ways to approach them and accommodate their needs and wants.


Source: Cornell Hospitality Report


Some data in the industry that might back up the point of leveraging social media sooner.

Small and medium businesses have recorded a higher level of presence on social media platforms. More than half of small businesses (51%) and medium businesses (58%) go for social media and spend nearly $4,900 to $14,400 on these media channels. Facebook overall is the most preferred by SMBs with 90% of them having their existence on this channel.


Source: Sensis Report


Benefits of getting on board with social media marketing


1/ Growing your audiences

2/ Engaging and interact with audiences

3/Generating leads and sales in a personal way

4/ Nurturing customer relationship

5/ Building brand image


How to bring your social media marketing strategy into life


1/ Identify your target audience


The first step is to know who your customers are. Apart from the mass market, in which big companies are trying to please, niche market always appeals to small and medium businesses as there are always unmet needs that big guys cannot fulfil, given there is an increasing growth of customer personalisation and expectation. As SMBs, trying to know your niche market very is contributed to your competitive advantages already.


Source: BKA Content


2/ Take a look at their social media usage


This step helps you get your head around what channel is the most suitable for your audience because of no one-size-fits-all for all audiences. Even though your target audience is segmented, there are sub-segments that profoundly use preferred channels and present a strong behavioural pattern than others. And your job is to dig deeply into that favourable segment. For instance, your customers are in their 20s, spending most of their time on Facebook, there is no reason for missing out on this channel for your social media plan ahead.


Source: Media Street


3/ Plan out social media strategy aligning with your business objectives


Business objectives are financial in nature and required to achieve for a year. Breaking down the business into small goals for each campaign to easily implement and track based on a specific timeline makes your job much easier.

One more thing to note that objectives in your social media strategy should be in line with that of your business objectives. For example, your business objective is increasing sales by more than 20%. When it comes to social media strategy, the objectives should be articulated into increasing conversions by 10% for a month.


Source: Google

4/ Implement your strategy


A strategy is just a well-organised idea without the aid of content and visual materials. To get the first step on the social media landscape, preparing what to say, how to say and how we define our product/service are all important. Analysing types of photos and content that your target audience would love to see while making sure that these are highly relevant to your business is a bit challenging. Unless you have a very good taste and wealth of knowledge for the marketing landscape, you need to try a couple of times before successfully nailing it.



5/ Track and optimize results


It always goes through thick and thin during your first try. Having said before, metrics and tools are unavailable for traditional marketing, leaving all SMBs desperately confused to know their plan is on the right track or not. This situation has never happened in social media marketing where quantitative and qualitative metrics based on objective are set out clearly for marketers to track.


Source: Simply Measured


Should you do it on your own or work with a specialised marketing agency out there to implement the strategy?


If you are restaurant operators, who don’t have heaps of time to balance your business daily operation and social media management, it is ideal to have a marketing agency to help you out. Make sure that you and your agency are on the same page to achieve desirable results.




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