How QSRs Can Create Social Advocacy

Robust social advocacy is an important goal for all restaurants, and it’s especially important in the highly competitive Quick Service Restaurant sector, where social advocacy can heavily impact brand loyalty and other variables that directly influence the brand’s bottom line.

Our 2013 QSR Benchmark Study showed that, not surprisingly, highly satisfied guests make a return visit much more frequently than their less satisfied counterparts. In fact, the likelihood of a return visit increased from 20% to 81% when customers reported a higher satisfaction rate. Those satisfied guests were also four times more likely to recommend the restaurant to friends, family, or colleagues.

As social media becomes a primary outlet for consumers to talk about their experiences with the brands they select, QSRs that proactively engage with their customers, across a range of social media outlets, will convert guests into passionate brand advocates. With the right strategy, social advocacy has the potential to help QSRs enhance the quality of the guest experience and increase loyalty by improving guest satisfaction.

Here are some top social advocacy tips to help your QSR create advocates in an environment where consumers are increasingly influenced by social media:

Guest reviews are a foundational element of social advocacy. But here’s the catch: the best time to capture a review can be before the guest leaves the restaurant. It’s important to encourage immediate reviews on smartphones using “voice of the guest” and social media advocacy solutions.

Guest-generated images have two purposes. By encouraging guests to capture and distribute images of dining events, also known as “foodstagramming,” you can create opportunities for the social sharing of positive brand experiences. In some cases, negative shared images can even become catalysts for improvement in the guest experience.

Sneak peeks are a great way to engage consumers and generate new social advocates. For example, when Taco Bell used SnapChat last year to reveal its new Beefy Crunch Burrito, fans were motivated to engage with the brand’s social community and to act as social advocates in their circles of influence. Your QSR brand can use the same tactics to improve satisfaction by motivating guests to participate in social communities around new menu items.

Contests and promotions are another area in which QSRs can improve guest satisfaction and increase social advocacy. If it’s done strategically, a contest or promotion can use social networks to create enthusiasm and excitement in online communities—deepening guests’ connection to the brand and distributing positive brand messages to large, online audiences.

Technology can also play an important role in improving social advocacy. By implementing a first-rate social media advocacy solution, your brand may be able to streamline the process of identifying social advocates and amplifying their messages across a range of social channels.

There is a big opportunity for QSRs to take advantage of their satisfied guests in the social sphere and extend customer delight beyond merely delivering a good product to encompassing the entire guest experience. By embracing consumer trends in mobile and social, brands can take advantage of their most valuable asset: their advocates.

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