Social Currency is growing at an amazing rate for the restaurant industry. Even though the industry may be showing some sales sluggishness, we are seeing marked improvement of consumers that are eating out more often and sharing those experiences with their friends on social media.
As we track location and mobile social interactions for 2013, over 70% of the Top 100 brands in our proprietary Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI) are showing an increase in consumer activity at the store level. What makes this number so astounding is that when you review the potential location-based actions and mobile traffic, you find a 23% growth in frequency from this time last year! I have written about market share in the past few columns, but with these recent numbers in from 2013, social currency is the new measurement that brands should be building for their business.
What is Social Currency?
Social currency is really simple and easy to measure for your brand – take your current total social audience, add in your overall mentions by consumers across as many platforms as you can see, and then look at the overall reach of those social connections. Remember that all mentions might not be engaged with you as a fan on Facebook or a follower on Twitter, but they talk about your brand nonetheless. This will give you a total social reach, which, with tools like VenueTrak, you can compare the ratio of reach vs monthly location visits.
Most social campaign expenditures range from about $2-$3 for every visit in a store or digital conversion. If the right strategy is implemented, we think you can lower this cost closer to $1 per guest to attain trial. This is a super low cost acquisition for new customers and retaining current customers. Building the social currency takes a lot of work on social engagement, audience attraction and content flow. Check out some of my recent posts on these topics and start building your social currency bank.