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

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

How Covid-19 will change the HR department? (by Vivian Tan)

With the current pandemic happening, many businesses are having a hard time. It is hard for them to maintain to pay all their employees, and many things have changed on how companies are running during Covid-19. Because of this virus, employees work from home and might lack the motivation to finish their tasks. Many businesses shut their doors infinitely and file for bankruptcy because it is hard to pay their employees, and there are not many businesses coming in. In the hospitality industry, the HR department must create policies and answer questions from the outbreak. It is also essential that they communicate with workers for any updates and make sure that it does not affect their daily operations.     When it comes to covid-19 concerns, the HR department should communicate with the employees for any updates on the virus, such as informing employees about policies, personal hygiene, posting signs around the workplace about symptoms of the virus, and wear masks. Also, asking employee

The 2020 hospitality and tourism trends that will likely stay in 2021 and beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic had made an unprecedented impact on the   global economy   in 2020. The good news is the long-waited COVID-19 vaccines will   soon become available . Let’s hope that the coronavirus will disappear soon as we enter the New Year.     Looking back before we look forward   At year-end 2019, I predicted a few   2020 trends   in hospitality, retail, and tourism businesses. For example, I recommended that we should pay special attention to the following areas:      A shifting focus on food delivery, sustainable food, and quick-casual restaurants. Using AI and facial recognition in service operations.   The threats from Google, Amazon, and Airbnb as a (potential, new) giant tourism enterprise in the market.   Investors’ growing interest in boutique retail stores and hotels. Customer loyalty issues as more travel companies adopted the dynamic pricing strategy even in their frequent traveler programs.   Safety issues during travel.     Certainly, the global pandemic was not