Of all industries, social media marketing appears to be uniquely tailored towards the restaurant business.
Let’s think about why that’s the case:
- it’s highly visual;
- it relies on interaction with your biggest fans to be successful;
- it’s closely linked to the importance of reviews;
- it relies primarily on short, bite-sized content; and
- advertising can be precisely targeted based on audience demographics and behaviour.
Put simply, if you’re running a restaurant but don’t put adequate time into your social media presence, you’re missing out on arguably the most important marketing channel you have.
Before you get started with your own social media strategy, check out our handy guide to social media KPIs:
Beambox guide: The Most Important Social Media KPIs in Hospitality
Let’s look at some restaurant social media statistics that should provide the impetus needed to get started.
Is the social media landscape changing?
If we take a look at Statcounter’s global stats for social media activity worldwide, it appears to paint a rather clear picture.
As of May 2020, the top 5 list is as follows:
- Facebook (60%)
- Twitter (15%)
- Pinterest (10%
- Instagram (9%)
- YouTube (4.2%)
However, if we look at the number of active users, the list changes somewhat:
Facebook active users (millions)
- Facebook (2,498)
- YouTube (2,000)
- WhatsApp (2,000)
- Facebook Messenger (1,300)
- WeChat (1,300)
Whether or not you agree with WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger being defined as social networks, it’s clear that the battle for engagement on these platforms is intensifying. This is demonstrated by the inclusion of TikTok, Reddit and Snapchat in the same list of total active users.
It’s close at the top, and reports have long suggested that Facebook is losing its share of users to the likes of YourTube, Twitter and Pinterest.
For instance, in 2019, it was reported that Facebook’s market share dropped to 66%, while Pinterest revealed itself as the second most used social media app in the USA and Europe.
That begs one very important question...
Which social media platforms should my restaurant be on?
Deciding which social media sites to focus your efforts on as a restaurateur isn’t easy, but it’s hard to argue against the importance of being on the ‘big 4’.
Let’s take a look at statistics for those big players. We’ve picked out what we believe to be the most important stats for restaurant social media marketing.
- 8% year-on-year monthly active user growth to 2.41 billion
- Facebook’s app is the fifth most downloaded free app in the App Store
- 71% of adults in the USA use Facebook
- The highest share of Facebook Ads audience sits within 25- to 34-year-olds
- Seniors are the fastest-growing group on Facebook
- High earners are big users of Facebook (74% use it regularly)
- 74% of Facebook users login every day
- The average price of a Facebook Ad reduced by 4% in 2019
- 152 million: the number of active daily users on Twitter
- The average Twitter users spends just under 4 minutes per session
- “Affluent millennials” account for 80% of Twitter users
- The time spent viewing ads on Twitter is 26% higher than other platforms
- 93% of Twitter users are open to brand presence on the platform
- Referrals from Twitter to websites has grown 6% year-over-year
- Use a hashtag on a tweet, and you could enjoy 100% more engagement
- 63% of users login at least once each day
- 28 minutes: the average time people spend on the platform every day
- Instagram advertising puts you in reach of approximately 849 million users
- 1/3 of the most viewed Instagram Stories are created by businesses
- Most brands post 2.5 stories per week on average
- Instagram is the 10th most popular Google search
- American teens use Instagram more than any other platform
- YouTube reaches more consumers than all US TV cable networks combined
- YouTube is the second most-preferred video platform among 18-34-year-olds
- YouTube users consume one billion hours of video every day on the platform
- The average YouTube user spends 11:50 minutes on the platform every day
- 70% of marketers believe YouTube is the second most important social media channel for influencer marketing
- 90% of consumers have discovered a brand via YouTube
10 restaurant social media stats to whet your appetite
We’ve scoured the web and found the stats which prove restaurant marketing through social media is worth it.
- 57% of social media mentions about restaurants were about quick service venues. (Source)
- 71% of customers are more likely to recommend a restaurant if they’re responded to quickly on social media. (Source)
- 99% of Gen Z and millennials are more likely to use social media to choose restaurants than baby boomers. (Source)
- Restaurant guests are more likely to leave high ratings on Facebook than anywhere else. (Source)
- Food and drink brands are mentioned the most on Twitter. (Source)
- Fast food brands perform better on Instagram than other social channels. (Source)
- Include images on Tweets and you'll get 150% more retweets. (Source)
- Nearly half of diners say they’ve tried a restaurant for the first time because of a social media post. (Source)
- Client spend increased by 40% or more for restaurant brands who engaged with followers on social media. (Source)
- The best time to post on Instagram if you’re a restaurant is when people are eating and looking at their phone (9am, between noon and 1pm, and 8pm). (Source)
Most popular hashtags
Hashtags play a hugely important role in social media marketing and can place your content in front of the right audiences at the right time.
Here are the most popular restaurant hashtags as of May, 2020 (and don't be surprised by how simple they are):
- #restaurant (45%)
- #food (13%)
- #foodie (7%)
- #foodporn (7%)
- #instafood (6%)
- #bar (4%)
- #dinner (4%)
- #delicious (3%)
- #yummy (3%)
- #lunch (3%)
Where you should focus your social media efforts
When it comes to social media marketing, research suggests that the following types of content are the most engaging:
- Words (27%)
- Video (26%)
- Images (24%)
So, pretty evenly spread, but just as clear that restaurants need to be creative with their social media content and not fall into the trap of only producing one form.
We’re obsessed with the importance of social media in hospitality. And that explains why we write about it so much!
Check out these Beambox guides and blog posts to increase your restaurant’s performance and influence on social media.