Social media has just recently become a hot topic in advertising and marketing for businesses. It’s becoming more and more the norm for advertising dollars to be spent on Instagram or Youtube influencers than print or television ads. As our purchasing habits move towards e-commerce, and our influences are being determined through social media outlets, it’s a no-brainer that we’re buying things directly from what we see on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, and countless other sites.
The audience is also much more reliable. Those that we follow on these sites give us an intimate view of their lives. We connect to them on a more personal level, and thus build trust with them. We trust their fashion sense, recipes, brand choices, and travel destinations. This connection delivers with it a dependable following and trackable spending habits.
Keeping advertising influences on the web makes it easier to track where consumer dollars are going. Embedded links and even hashtags can clue in brands as to where, when and how their products were purchased. Influence and spending have become so close that we can literally buy something as soon as we see.
Recently at New York Fashion Week, designers were offering up iPads to attendees so they could purchase items as they were being shown on the runway. Typically what you see on a runway isn’t available in stores, or even online for months. This year, designers like Rebecca Minkoff have tapped into this “buy now-wear now” phenomenon. She even decided to forgo a new Fall Collection, and reshow her Spring 2016 collection to some of her top buyers, this time giving them the opportunity to purchase the items as they walk the runway. This is a MAJOR change in buying habits, giving in to the “want it now” mindset.
While the fashion industry has leaned heavily into the growing influence of social media, other industries, like food and beverage, haven’t quite figured it out. Many restaurants and chefs don’t have the time to waste taking and editing appealing photos. However, I think they are doing themselves a disservice. We constantly talk about first eating with your eyes, and right now everybody’s eyes are scrolling through Instagram feeds and Pinterest inspiration boards. A grainy, unfocused and dark picture of a dish doesn’t make anybody want to stop scrolling and dream about coming to your restaurant to eat it.
A strong social media presence is what will set restaurants apart. Sinking dollars into getting articles written about you in publications nobody reads makes no sense. Save some money and invest some time and thought into how your presenting yourself and connecting with your customers. If a potential customer goes to your feed will it make them want to book a table immediately? If not, you may want to think about how to change that.
Restaurants who I think look as though they invested some time and thoughtfulness to their social media presence are Cafe Robey, Dominique Ansel Kitchen, The Nomad, The Progress, Contra and Husk Charleston