In this day and age, brands and local restaurants are able to connect with their guests on a different level with the help of user-generated content. It provides customers with the ability to engage with the brand in a new way, with updated offerings, photos, and comments from their fans, and getting the chance to see their photography or witty comments on the brand’s official pages and website. This elevates community engagement to a new level, making them feel like a greater part of the brand’s family. More importantly, it can also act as a very important marketing tool. Many different restaurant concepts increasingly try to find the best use of the user-generated content by getting more of it and use it effectively beyond just on social media.
User-generated content for restaurants is an important marketing tool. The more user-generated content a restaurant gets, the more word of mouth marketing they have through their customers as the world lives increasingly on social media platforms. In its initial stages, user-generated photos and posts on brand’s Instagram pages and websites function as a way to generate and drive efficiency through the use of regular posts on their pages. However, it does more than just that. It also makes customers feel like they are a part of a bigger community, and more importantly, that the restaurant values their loyalty. Not only does this result in a higher following on platforms like Instagram, it also results in increased engagement.
User-generated content helps build customer loyalty in a number of ways. First, as mentioned above, it makes the customers want to be a part of something bigger than just being customers. It makes them feel like it is their responsibility to share their opinion on the restaurant, share what healthy food they’re having, knowing their followers will value their input, as well as knowing the brand values their input. This is done by brands reposting their user’s content, as well as replying to them and telling them personally how much their opinion means to them. It also gives customers the chance to feel like they are a part of the restaurant family. With the use of restaurant-related hashtags, they can also harness a place for all the restaurant-related posts to begin an ongoing contribution of content.
As the customer fan base grows, so does the reputation of the restaurant, eventually resulting in more fans visiting the restaurant, and posting about it on social media. This virtual space of belonging and the value of their opinion truly makes customers feel like they matter to the restaurant, thus increasing their loyalty to the restaurant. Once a post from a customer is checked for appropriate content, it is cleared to be posted on the restaurant’s pages or website, giving customers an instant gratification of their importance to the restaurant and as a result, encouraging other customers to do the same. It is therefore crucial for brands in today’s increasingly digital age to encourage and invite more user-generated content and to ensure that they have the social media teams fit to maintain their social media pages, as well as engaging with customers in real time, and making them feel like their opinion matters. At YYT Group, we know that through our vast offering of food chains from Subway and Teriyaki to our Italian restaurants like Vanellis, our customers always have a diverse range of user-generated content to post.