Article contributed by David “Rev” Ciancio
Imagine you aren’t feeling so hot. Maybe you’ve had a headache for almost a week. It’s not going away so you call the doctor and make an appointment. The day comes for your appointment, you head over to their office and after what seems like forever, you get called into an examination room. The nurse comes in and asks you about the brand of jeans you are wearing, comments on your choice of smartphone and walks out. Then the doctor appears, takes one look at you — no thermometer, no stethoscope and definitely no bend over and cough! Without hesitation, he says “you’re cool” and walks out.
How the heck does he know anything about you without taking your temperature, checking your blood pressure, looking into your ear canals, etc?!?! Literally, he nor the nurse would not have any of the information to really know enough to accurately judge your state. You would be absolutely frustrated and likely a little heated. Now take one look at my Instagram profile, or anyone else’s for that matter. What do you see? Followers, likes, comment counts … you really don’t get enough information from those surface signals to know what is going.
- How long has it taken to build a follower account?
- What is the rate of follower growth (or decline)?
- How many direct messages are happening and are they getting responded to?
- Where are the followers located?
- Are people sharing or, better yet, saving the content? How many clicks to the bio are happening?
These are the real metrics. This is what should really matter. These are the diagnostics that really tell you what is going on with a social media account. Likes, comments and followers – those are vanity metrics. They make an account look good on the surface but do not help you to understand the performance of an account that can inform future strategies.
According to a 2019 Facebook IQ study, Instagram plays a key role at every step of the purchase process. People use the platform to discover what’s trending (83%), research products before buying (81%) and decide whether or not to make a purchase (80%) — and each of these moments offer touch points on Instagram where marketers can drive action.
People are spending more time on their phones than ever. With more eyes on Google and social media, what does your online presence say about your restaurant? And more importantly, is it encouraging your followers to BUY NOW?
Most restaurant operators are focused on follower growth or judging the performance of their content based on vanity metrics. If you don’t know how many people are placing orders, making reservations or signing up for your newsletter by making those calls to action in your Instagram content, you are likely focusing your efforts on activity that results in vanity metrics. Instead, I’d suggest you switch to measuring how many orders you can get your guests to place after consuming your visual content.
If you caught my joint webinar on Restaurant Technology with Rory Balkin from Donut Digest, you may recall that the customer journey starts online, but it’s not a linear path. Says Rory “Google has a term for how people search online, and it’s called The Messy Middle. So someone might start out searching for ‘best tacos near me’ on Google, or they might check out reviews on Yelp, or stumble on an article from a local Eater site. But when they land on your Instagram or Facebook page, you should be ready to convert those hungry prospects into followers and from there, paying customers.”
Most restaurants think that social media is a great way to attract new customers. The truth is that most people don’t follow a restaurant on Instagram unless they have either already had an experience with them or plan to in the near future. That means that your followers are actually already your guests and your playbook should revolve around loyalty, retention and return trips.
Getting them to like and comment on your content is great, as is all engagement, but the real victory happens when they take an action, especially a purchase. You need to convert followers into orders.
It feels good when you post something to your social media and literally that same day you see orders come in, items sell out and your favorite, when a guest is in store, shows a server their phone and points to a photo on Instagram saying “I want this!!” Isn’t that awesome!?!?
Converting your followers into orders is one of most important things you can do with your Instagram account — a metric that, if you get laser focused on, will give you results that you’ll feel in your pocket book. But the question then arises, how do you do it? How do you get your guests that follow you to start placing orders?
That’s why Rory and I wrote The Expert’s Guide to Converting Followers Into Orders. When you download this eBook we’ll show you the steps you need to get more direct orders from your followers on social media.
With this guide, we’ll share tips on how to optimize your social media presence so you can funnel followers into your virtual till. And bonus: once you have the customer’s information in your database, you can market to them directly, in a more omni-channel function, and not worry about an algorithm.
Take a read and tell us which tactics you implemented to get more followers to open up their wallets. In today’s digital age, it’s easier than you think! Don’t hesitate to tag us in your posts. We love seeing them.
And the next time your doctor gives you a glowing comment on your aloha shirt (what, just me?), reply by telling him to click the link in your bio and order a sandwich now!
Learn more at https://bit.ly/followersorders
David “Rev” Ciancio is a former New York City bar owner and knows exactly how hard it is to operate and brand a hospitality business.
He is now a hospitality marketing consultant, customer and technology evangelist with more than 20 years experience in B2B digital marketing and business development, specializing in hospitality marketing, content, local SEO, reputation management and influencer marketing. He helps technology companies, brands and restaurants to acquire and retain customers. Rev is known as an “expert burger taster,” pens hospitality and marketing tips on his Instagram @revciancio, as well as his LinkedIn Profile. He believes that Pizza is a religion.