Social media has certainly proven beneficial over the last two decades. For businesses, social media has created a way to send a brand’s messaging to the right people at the right time. The super fast digitalization of media and communication technologies globally has fundamentally changed the way of advertising. Companies have now started to use social media as a marketing tool from its very beginning. These social media platforms have proved to have greater potential to influence young people, given their unique peer-to-peer transmission and youths’ susceptibility to social pressures. Brands are using social media platforms such as Instagram for marketing of their products to a growing number of consumers, not only at a national level but also globally using a high frequency of targeted and curated posts that manipulate consumer emotions rather than presenting information about their products. The American fast food industry is garnering more than $198.9B a year, and by the end of 2020 its yearly revenue is expected to grow to $223.9B.
Social media and Food Industry
Nowadays, Instagram influencers are a hot topic. People not only follow them just for some entertainment or knowledge, but also want to copy their lifestyles which includes trying out the restaurants they are visiting, places they are going, foods they are trying and such. In this digital world of Show-offs getting the right strategy to be implemented in the brand management so that it reaches the consumers on a much more personal and one to one level helps in uplifting the company’s position. The biggest impact of social media on brand management arises from extended influence on consumers through their
Direct participation, which makes this way of communication so powerful. Customers can contact a customer service representative faster and easier now than ever before thanks to social media.
Businesses can also receive, review, and respond to customers’ grievances faster and easier at a much better pace. All companies naturally want to know how effective their campaigns are performing on social media. Reporting these results and tracing, whether their reputation has improved or not, are valuable keys for future development and success in social
Media. Simple methods such as just monitoring tweets and tags about your brand, and reacting to them quickly can help boost your social media standing and provide a better experience for your current or potential customers. Importantly and uniquely, social media allows for personalization of advertisements, which increases consumer receptivity of advertising, as it is tailored to their specific needs and interests. People like to tag their friends whenever they are visiting a new restaurant or take a picture of the food they are eating and post it on Instagram with the aim for gaining more followers and likes. This constant craving for more followers and likes has helped the different fast food companies to get their products promoted and marketed at a much bigger scale by just investing a small amount of money to some influencers. This extends the reach of individual advertisements and creates the sentiment that certain brands and products are endorsed by peers or high-profile social media users, sportspeople, and celebrities. Adolescents are considered the primary targets for digital marketing because of their own disposable income, spending power, ease of technology use, and role in setting and following trends. The younger generations are more of a target audience for the social media marketing strategies like using Instagram. In March 2017, Instagram reported that 8 million companies used the social media site—a rapid increase from the 1.5 million companies active on the platform in September 2016. Backlinks, shoutouts, increased referral visits, and increased branding are just some of those ways for increasing networking and partnerships.
There’s so much potential value to be unlocked through social media, aside from the networking and partnership-produced backlinks. It’s important to understand how social media affects SEO as well. So, even though social media shares don’t serve as actual, full-value backlinks, the people, brands, and webmasters/marketers that may see your brand’s content via social media then may very well link to your brand’s content and those backlinks would certainly hold real value.
The intention behind social media marketing is to reach an audience at a much greater aspect. At the same time it helps in reaching those potential customers whom you previously did not have the chance to interact or engage to get to know and try your business. These all work very well if implemented properly. Traffic both in websites as well as the foot traffic should increase significantly with use of cheap, free yet effective social media platforms like Instagram.
We must keep this in mind obviously the product or service you are selling should also be good, but there are always going to be unhappy customers. How we respond to the customers — regardless of how “good” or “bad” their feedback may be — is imperative to your business’s online success and its longstanding reputation.
Social media helps us maintain that reputation by giving us platforms to directly interact with our customers like we never have before. That also means we are receiving real customer feedback directly from the source, faster than ever before (and usually much more raw, too).
Each brand uses multiple primary marketing strategies in their Instagram accounts, ranging from 6 to 11 different strategies each. But there are obviously very few health claim–related images posted on Instagram. Exceptions to this were Subway and Dominos occasionally highlighting the salad components of their product; Starbucks focusing on the fruit content of their smoothies. “Healthy alternative” menu items featured occasionally but not prominently in any of the leading fast food brands on Instagram. Research has found that familiar and/or character branding has a powerful influence on children’s preferences, choices, and intake of foods, especially fast foods. Celebrities also have their own Instagram accounts, which are used to promote particular brands through personal testimonies further expanding the reach and persuasiveness of brand advertising.
Companies like McDonald’s, for example, now try to position the brand as a healthy and delicious choice for the whole family, often focusing on the customer´s positive experience. The company also aims to set its record straight and acknowledge consumer concerns as soon as they arise.
Social networks can serve as powerful brand-building media and a base for future development of strategies as well as products. However if only online activities in the social media are managed effectively and actually focusing on recognizing and interpreting insights can a company generate desired customer engagement.