We’ve all heard the well-known expression “you eat with your eyes first” and this is certainly true. When something is visually appealing of course you are more inclined to order it. But our team here at Distil have done some research and have found that the old expression is a bit outdated.
We conducted a short survey/questionnaire asking users about their dining experiences and what they involve. The information we received suggests that that the content you’re posting about your venue goes far beyond just posting a presentable meal. Your customers are now in fact, “eating, drinking, dining and cross-checking with their eyes first.”
To unpack this new expression, the content you post plays a vital role in getting your customers through the door. Here’s the facts –
100% of users who took part in our research check a venue’s Instagram before making a booking
If you weren’t already aware of the important role this social media channel plays in showcasing your venue/brand, you are now! The nature of Instagram being a photo sharing app makes it easier for users to cut to the chase and see what you’re offering.
With that being said, Facebook is just as important as Instagram - it’s all a matter of knowing your audience. Understanding your audience and what channels they’re most likely to be using will assist with what content you post and where you post it. To give you an idea of where your audience may be, Statista compiled a report on generational breakdown of social media users in Australia by platform.
The findings suggest that if you serve Millennial or Gen Z, Instagram is your best bet. Whereas, Baby Boomers and Gen X are more likely to be active Facebook.
But there’s no hard and fast rule to which gen users which app, as the majority of users have both! So, it’s best that both social media channels are publishing top-notch content!
Users look for more than just the food on your feed
In our research we asked users what they look for on a venues feed. There was a wide range of responses which is why we created the new expression.
The data collected from our research shows drinks, atmosphere and interior are just a few of the other elements your customers are looking for on you feed.
To ensure you’re portraying the right atmosphere or giving off the right vibe it’s important you follow a style guide. The name speaks for itself, but a style guide is the of visual and verbal communication. Having a style guide also means that no matter how your customers experience your brand (be it through a screen or in venue) they’re experiencing the same underlying traits.
You can now see why we created the new expression, as customers are “eating, drinking and dining with their eyes first.” But it doesn’t stop there…
67% of users cross-check the menu with photos on a venues feed
What is written on your menu is not enough to sell yourself to your customers. They need a visual and evidentially, the majority of users will go looking for one.
A photoshoot is a great way to capture the best of your venue and will also make your page look professional. It’s also really important to include customer images too. Re-sharing user-generated content shows your audience what it looks like from a 'real-life' perspective.
However, user-generated content could also be the undoing of a customer wanting to dine in at your venue. If your venue or product is tagged in a post that looks completely different to the content you’re posting, a customer may be put off. The content you post should be an accurate reflection of what a customer can expect to see in venue and if it’s not it could be time to update your imagery!
For more tips on how to incorporate user-generated content to your marketing strategy, check out our blog: User Generated Content: What Is it and How to Use It
Posting regular content encourages users to want to go to your venue
Our research further found that users are 48% more likely to be discouraged from dining in at a venue if it doesn’t post regular content.
Posting regular content in an important tool to keep your customers interested and further helps you develop brand identity and loyalty. If you aren’t posting regularly, your customers could become unsure if your venue is still operating or if what you’re offering is still relevant!
But it’s important not to go overboard on the content and post just for the sake of posting! It’s always best to post because you have an offer, a promotion or something new to share. One post per day is plenty, unless you have multiple events on that day that are worth showcasing. Posting for the sake of posting may cause followers to get bored and hit that unfollow button!
User-friendly content gets customers through your door
User-friendly content goes beyond your social media pages.
Let say the beautiful imagery you have carefully curated on Facebook and Instagram has now driven your customer to want to make a booking. In many cases, the customer will be taken to an external site. If this isn’t an easy, straight-forward process, your customer is highly likely to neglect the booking.
Our research found that 90% of users have abandoned a booking because the process was too long or confusing.
Do not let the booking process be the un-doing of all the hard work you’ve put in to get your customers to this point! Ensure your sites are straight forward so that your customers smooth sail right through the doors of your venue.
You see, posting content is more than just a quick snap. Having up to date, on brand, user-friendly content plays a vital role in a customer’s dining experience. If they’re “eating, drinking, dining and cross-checking with their eyes first” you need to be sure that they’re eating, drinking and dining in your venue second!
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