Restaurant Consumers and Social Media: Privacy Loss or Gain

Within the past four years, the battle of privacy has emerged as one of the leading consumer concerns around the social web. Or has it? The fact is that the loss of users with both Facebook and Instagram - as they have continued to rollout so-called “privacy hacks” on our accounts without a single care - has resulted in less opt-outs than the typical email campaign. 

Consumers, especially restaurant consumers, have accepted that most of what we do online is in fact public - who we speak with, what brands we like and dislike, where we visit, and even our politics and personal life preferences. Our own RSMI data continues to show that opinion, sharing insights in online sharing are in fact increasing in the social web and have not slowed at all. The only thing we have seen slowing is the check-in (check out my earlier article on the Death of Foursquare). Personal space is one of those last bastions of privacy it seems, but our opinions, preferences and habits seem to be wide open and on the table.   

We, as consumers, have embraced the FREE WEB economy in the use of Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and are willing to give up a little privacy for free services that enhance our everyday lives. We, as digital consumers, are only ramping up our social actions. It's estimated that we could see 10 billion social actions in the restaurant space by the end of 2015. This is a massive shift in how consumers share information with friends, and the new tools focused on mobile awareness will be the next major push in expanding this big data haul even further. 

Stay tuned for my upcoming article on the mobile-aware consumer and social conquesting, and what it means to your business. It is my belief that social and the mobile convergence have fostered in this new digital and non-private society, whether we are playing into a master plan by the best of retailers or governments in the future - the reality is, we are sharing more about what we do, buy and consume than any time in history.