The Most Amazing Restaurant No One Knows About – This is a disease plaguing many amazing local diners, fast food restaurants, cafes, ice cream shops, etc…
It’s a disease that not only affects restaurants, but many many local businesses.
Today, I’d like to share some startling statistics about this disease and where it originated from…
But before I do, I want to make sure we understand the differences between Organic Social Posts vs. Sponsored Ads (aka Sponsored Posts aka Paid Advertisement) because many… let me rephrase that, most people and especially restaurant owners/managers don’t know the difference.
- Organic social posts (aka – Facebook Posts, Instagram Posts, Twitter Posts, Pinterest Posts) are FREE posts that people and businesses post on their social media accounts.
- Sponsored Ads (aka Sponsored Posts) are PAID posts that are delivered to a target audience, to their social media accounts. Keyword – PAID.
What are the similarities between Organic Social Posts and Sponsored Ads (aka Sponsored Posts)?
- They can be single or multiple images, single or multiple videos, or a combination of both.
- They’re displayed on a user’s News Feed and other forms of timelines on their social media accounts.
- Users can like, comment, and share.
Organic Social Posts and Sponsored Ads (Sponsored Posts) look identical to the untrained eye. No wonder most people don’t know the difference!
The biggest difference between the Organic Social Posts and Sponsored Ads are:
- Organic Social Posts, on average, ONLY 2% – 5% of followers of a Facebook or Instagram page will see the post. Which means, 98% of the current followers will never see it, and 100% of non-followers will NEVER EVER see it.
- Sponsored Ads are guaranteed to be seen by not just their followers, but also non-followers… AND businesses can CHOOSE who sees the Sponsored Ads.
Ok, so now we got that out of the way…
According to Social Media Monthly, 75% of restaurant-goers have been influenced by activities on Facebook & Instagram when it comes to deciding where to go eat. And that number is quickly on the rise.
Average time spent per Facebook and Instagram visit is 20 – 30 minutes, 74% of Americans with Facebook use it daily, and more than half of them use it multiple times per day.
And finally… Only 1% of the restaurant industry is taking advantage of Facebook & Instagram Advertisement (aka Sponsored Ads, aka Sponsored Posts).
I’m going to give you a second to let those numbers marinate… This might not describe you, but this is everyone else.
That means, restaurant customers are choosing the 1% of restaurants that are DIGITALLY VISIBLE to them. No matter how amazing the food is, no matter how awesome the promotions are, most restaurants aren’t even an option for restaurant-goers.
Few weeks ago, I visited a friend in San Diego. One thing to note here, when I “visit a friend,” it’s just an excuse to go eat-out.
Anyway, I haven’t been down there in a while, so the first place I wanted to visit was this one Mexican restaurant where they have the most exquisite California Burrito (burrito with meat, pico, rice, beans, and french fries). Well, to my disappointment it was closed, permanently.
When I got back home, I started doing some digging on why my favorite Mexican restaurant in San Diego closed down. I visited the restaurant’s Facebook Page and began scrolling through their posts and focusing on the numbers (likes, comments, and shares). The more recent posts had no action – maybe 3 or 4 Likes, 10 Likes at the most. No comments, no shares…
As I got to the older posts (pre – 2015s), the posts had a lot more engagement – Likes in the 20s and 30s with multiple comments and shares. I realized, this local business was a victim of “The Most Amazing Restaurant No One Knows About” disease. I’m sure there were other factors that impacted this local business, but I’m sure this disease didn’t make things easier for the business to thrive.
The Cause of the Disease
Starting 2013, Facebook decided to change their algorithm on what type of posts users saw on their feed. Once they started doing this, the rest of the social media platforms (Instagram, Yelp, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.) began to follow.
Since 2013 Facebook’s algorithm has continued to change drastically, fortunately to the benefit of the individual user. But for businesses, it became an infection that quickly turned into a disease.
Facebook and other social media platforms have decided to put more weight on more “meaningful” posts from friends and families and gradually made it harder for business’s organic social posts to reach the public, making Sponsored Ads a necessity to reach new and current customers. This is how these social media platforms make so much money.
It seemed that Sponsored Ads became the cure for driving traffic to their business. But, because of rising privacy issues and fake businesses using Sponsored Ads, Facebook and other social media companies are constantly updating and changing Sponsored Ad policies which have made it more difficult and more expensive to successfully use Sponsored Ads.
The Final Cure
Ironically, the cure for this disease is much older than Facebook, older than the internet.
It’s the good old customer list. Businesses that have intelligently and diligently collected their customer list have been able to use this information that they OWN to their advantage. Not only are they able to connect with old and current customers (text & email) at a cheaper cost, but they can use this data to drastically lower the cost of their Sponsored Ads.
Businesses have suffered from the lack of visibility in this digital age, but there is hope!
Using Sponsored Ads intelligently, not only to drive traffic to the business, but to use Sponsored Ads as a tool to grow a valuable customer list.
Finally, if you are not a business owner, but you know a business owner, please share this article with them. If you are a business owner, I would love to hear about your experience or the lack thereof with Sponsored Ads in the comments below =)