Skip to main content

The Impact of Social Media – May Not Be As Big As One Expects

Almost every business and organization has adopted or is rushing to implement a social media strategy in operations. The impact of social media could be huge. However, the result may not be as big as expected; and it may take a long time before any outcomes are seen.

Two recent studies on restaurants showed that social media only have limited impact to consumers in general. However, it has strong impact on specific segments like younger clienteles. Another research focuses on QSR (quick service restaurant) segment and found even social media is important in sending out promotion messages, it is not a major information source for most consumers. Here are some highlights of the research findings:

• 15% and 8% of 1,000 U.S. consumers being surveyed can be categorized as, respectively, “early adopter” (opinion leaders) or “innovators” (those who are the first to try innovations).
• 83% of the innovators and 75% the early adopters order fast-food at least once a week while only 56% consumers in general do so.
• 53% of innovators and 35% adopters order from quick-casual restaurants as compared to 20% of consumers in general.
• 48% adopters and innovators recalled a restaurant’s social media presence as compared to 25% of consumers overall.
• 33% of 10,000 U.S. consumers who ate at one or more QSRs in the past month do not use social networking sites, but most people in this group are over age 54.
• Among social media users, 59% use Facebook, 22% use YouTube, 20% use MySpace, 15% use Twitter, 5% use blog sites, and 6% use other social media sites.
• 57% of those who use social media in relation to fast food utilize them to find coupons or promotions; 48% to learn about the menu; 45% to find a nearby location; 41% to check out feedback or reviews; 39% to compare price with other eateries.
• 70% of those who use social media for fast-food purposes suggest that it is extremely or very important to see QSRs’ social media presence.
• 25% social media users think QSRs’ information on social media are “extremely believable,” 38% suggest “very believable,” and 32% state “somewhat believable.” Only 5% believe such information lack of credibility.

What do these results mean to hospitality professionals? What can companies do?
1. Social media could be very helpful to certain business if its targeted consumers are social media users (younger in general; but the trend is changing).
2. Companies need to enhance their social media presence to maintain and attract clienteles because more and more consumers are expected to use social media in the future.
3. Some social media sites are more popular than the others; companies need to be very selective in choosing the right social media sites.
4. Companies can build a social media page to track their “followers” demographic information and use this information for product development --- not every company knows who the real consumers are.
5. Because social media seem very “trustworthy” to social media users, they are indeed a great PR tool for companies.

Last but not least, I would like add that it takes time to make an impact with social media tools even though they could be very useful. In some cases, it could take up to two years to see any ROI (return on investment). What do you think?

References:
MediaPost.com: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok07212010
Picture was downloaded from: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok07212010P

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Luxury vs. Millennials and Their Technology: The Ritz-Carlton (By Julia Shorr)

Embodying the finest luxury experience, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC has been established since 1983. In 1998, Marriott International purchased the brand offering it more opportunity for growth while being independently owned and operated. They are known for their enhanced service level as the motto states, “Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen”. The luxury brand now carries 97 hotels and resorts internationally and is attempting to keep the aspects of luxury while keeping up with the trends of the technologically improving generations. The Varying Demographics of the Target Market The Ritz-Carlton’s typical target market includes: business executives, corporate, leisure travelers, typically middle-aged persons and elders, and families from the upper and upper-middle class section of society .   This infers a large range of types of travelers in which all are similar in that they are not opposed to spending extra for the luxurious ambiance. However, with

How to choose the best credit cards for travel (By David Mai)

  Traveling in a Post-Pandemic World If there was one thing the pandemic taught us, it was that everybody became hesitant and unwilling to travel. Shaver (2020) of The Washington Post shared an interesting tidbit in which Americans were actually staying home less during the pandemic, according to research that tracks users' smartphone data.  The quarantine fatigue affected nearly everyone who lived an active lifestyle or loved to be out and about in the world. It was simply not a safe time, and too many regulations were in place that deterred consumers from traveling for leisure. Consequently, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the travel and hospitality industry. Yet, there is no doubt that people will yearn to travel again when the pandemic is fully lifted. Around this same time, credit card companies have developed unique ways to retain business with consumers who look to maximize rewards and benefits for their journey. A Little Preparation Goes a Long Way      

Yammer: A Social Networking Site Exclusively for the Workplace

Effective internal communications among employees are related to some desirable organizational outcomes, such as robust morale, a clear vision, low turnover, and high employee engagement. The question is what platform can serve the purpose. This ABC News video introduces “ Yammer ,” an exclusive internal communication tool for companies. A user must use a valid company e-mail address to sign up for an account. Once an account is validated, the user will be led to the company page that is pretty much like a Facebook page. The difference is that only the users whose e-mail addresses share the same domain can see the wall and communicate with each other. I have no question about whether Yammer could be a useful internal communication tool for companies, but I just wonder: how many social networking sites do people need for communication? Why people have to “create” so many platforms or channels for “effective communications”? To many people, Facebook is only for “friends,” whe