How Restaurants Can Leverage Customer Generated Social Media Content

Customer Generated Content

Word of mouth marketing is the best form of marketing. Why do you think Yelp is so popular? We want to know what other people are saying about the restaurants we are visiting. And as a restaurant owner, you should be encouraging customers to share pictures of your food. It’s free advertising – good or bad. The good should be celebrated, and the bad should be acknowledged and used for improvement.

Foodies tend to trust what other foodies have to say. Yes, opinions can differ, and we all have our own unique palettes when comes to what foods we like. But your marketing strategy should include leveraging user-generated content because it’s fresh and authentic and helps increase your brand awareness.

Utilize Customer Photos and Videos of Your Food and Drinks

Nothing is better than a customer taking quality photos of your menu items. At the snap of a picture and the click of a button, your guests are spreading the word that your restaurant is making great food. Sharing positive experiences they’ve had at your restaurant can have a huge impact on the reputation of your business. Encourage them to use your signature hashtag when they post their photos or videos. If you don’t have a signature hashtag, this is a good time to create one! This can help you easily locate and identify content about your brand and ensure you engage with content relevant to your business.

Once your customers post their content to their social media pages, in return you can share that content to your social media pages. Make sure to give credit to the guest – they will appreciate the shoutout and most likely become a returning customer.

Food Bloggers Are the New Reviewers

There is a whole foodie community out there visiting restaurants and writing reviews about them. This group of people are called food bloggers. There really is no better brand ambassador for your restaurant than a food blogger. They are the best kind of food influencers. They know how to write about food. The content they produce comes from a true passion of good food and an appreciation for the restaurant industry. They are your biggest advocates.

Food bloggers can help build a bridge between your restaurant and your customers. Guests want to know about experiences, whether good or bad, and a food blogger is the perfect person to reach out to when you are ready to take the next step in maximizing the reach of your restaurant brand.

Respond to Customer Reviews on Yelp and Google

Reviews can be a valuable business tool for your restaurant and your online reputation. Acknowledge both the good and bad reviews left on review sites. Encourage guests to leave reviews by adding a QR code to your dining room tables and menus, linking to your official Yelp and Google business pages. According to brightlocal, 78% of consumers use the internet to find out information about a local business more than once a week. When someone is looking for a place to eat, your reviews could be the deciding factor of whether they dine at your restaurant or someone else’s. It speaks volumes when a restaurant can acknowledge a negative review and use it to improve the guest experience.

And it’s not all about the negative reviews either. It feels good when a restaurant responds to positive feedback. Not only did the customer take time out of their day to write about how much they enjoyed their experience at your restaurant, but they put a lot of thought into writing a good review. By responding to positive review you build brand loyalty – which is important! You can even take the positive reviews and share them on your social media!

Engaging with customer generated content provides a way of connecting on an emotional level with your guests. According to Lingaros.com, 60% of consumers see user-generated content as most authentic, which means they would turn to customer testimonials and reviews before making a decision whether to buy or trust a certain business.

Take the time to engage with customers who have dined at your restaurant. This can boost your restaurants credibility and attract new customers outside of your normal community.


About Me
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Melissa Evans is a Content Marketing Manager for Buyers Edge Platform, Professional Foodie, and Restaurant Advocate.

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