3 Ways Social Media Can Drive Profit
3 Ways Social Media Can Drive Profit
Online activity increased during the pandemic—including social media use. As a result, platforms like Facebook and TikTok are a viable way to build buzz about new menu items and LTOs.
In fact, recent Datassential research found more than half of consumers have visited a restaurant or café after seeing something about it on social media. And the reach isn’t just limited to younger generations; 31% of Boomers use either Facebook or Instagram to learn about food trends and eateries.
“If you’re on social media, you’re going to reach a wider audience in terms of demographics than you would’ve previously,” says Datassential Trendologist Mike Kostyo.
To drive engagement and maximize interest in new and notable menu items, consider the following three tips.
1. Diversify Your Social Presence
While sharing social media campaigns on multiple platforms can help operators reach a general audience, younger generations tend to gravitate toward certain outlets—and specific foods.
“Of the top 15 foods Gen Z loves, 11 are sweet, and the top four are all sweet foods,” Kostyo says. “So if you’re trying to sell a lot of desserts, social media is a great place because younger consumers are the ones on social media and love sweet flavors.”
Instagram and TikTok are both important platforms for connecting with 18-to-24-year-olds about desserts:
● 76% use Instagram, according to Pew Research Center, and 42% rely on Instagram for food and restaurant information, according to Datassential.
● 55% use TikTok and 43% rely on it for food and restaurant information.
2. Emphasize Trending Tastes
Social media posts that involve internationally influenced desserts can also resonate with younger audiences.
“For Gen Z, the name of the game, really, is global flavors,” Kostyo says. “Mochi, churros, bubble teas; that’s where that demographic really gets excited.”
Incorporating iconic flavors—such as a TWIX® Bar that’s tucked inside the Caramel Cookie Crunch Bar Doughnut Krispy Kreme introduced earlier this year—can be a big selling point for millennials; 77% bought something due to a nostalgic element, according to Kostyo.
“Any of the foods and flavors they associate with their childhood—even branding they associate with their childhood—now is the time to bring that back for that generation,” Kostyo says.
3. Get Real with Recommendations
In contrast to younger generations, Gen X and boomers find reviews or user experiences to be a more convincing reason to visit a restaurant.
Endorsements can’t just come from anybody, though. While influencers with sky-high followers may have been useful in the past, recent research indicates that micro-influencers with fewer than 15,000 followers actually have better engagement rates.
Overall, consumers trust food and restaurant social media endorsements that come from a friend or family member “far and away above any other thing,” Kostyo says.
“Figure out ways you can get people’s actual friends and family talking about things online,” he says. “Offering some type of coupon—if you share that you purchased this, or [tried] our new LTO, on Instagram [or] TikTok, we will give you 20% off—that’s a great way to get the word out there from real people recommending it.”
Another great way to get people talking about your menu items and LTOs is partnering with brands that people know and love. Iconic brands are the perfect way to pack a punch when it comes to desserts that drive engagement—and profits. Find out how featuring M&M’S®, SNICKERS® and other MARS branded inclusions can lead to ample social media attention and sales.