This Week in Restaurant Technologies #005: Restaurant Social Media Rankings

TWIRT 005This week, Brandon and I are back with episode 005 of This Week in Restaurant Technologies.

Just about everyone loves a good rank ordered list, right?  This week, Nations Restaurant News released a new ranking of 250 restaurants by their social media activity and fan engagement rates.

Are Social Media Rankings for Restaurants Valuable?

We all want to know how we compare to our competitors, both online and off. But sometimes with social media rankings, especially for restaurants, it can be difficult to differentiate between rankings based on social tactics versus social results.

In this week’s video, Brandon and I dig into this year’s rankings and also compare them to the previous NRN partnership with Paul Barron’s Q42013 Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI).
What’s most surprising is that while claiming the same focus, the results published in these lists are nowhere near close in terms of a side-by-side comparison.
  1. The Nations Restaurant News Social 200 List
  2. NRN 200: Red Lobster’s focus on social media marketing plays off
  3. Arousal Increases Social Transmission of Information by Jonah Berger

If wonder how and why some restaurant brands get more recognition for their presence on social media, you’ll want to watch this week’s commentary.

This Week’s Hangout Notes and Resources

We cite during the video, Paul Baron and his work with the 2013 Restaurant Social Media Index. Check this index out to see how it compares to this year’s study.

NRN 200Interested in find out how the 2014 NRN 200 was calculated? The NRN gives a detailed description here. Remember, if you’re unsure or confused on any of the terminology, click the questions for more details.

We also talk about the Sprinklr, a software platform Platform used to collect and calculate social media data. Give this one a look too to see how it compares to the others.

ContagiousLooking to read more on Jonah Berger’s ideas? I strongly recommend his book Contagious: Why Things Catch On. He also was a guest on episode #017 of the Social Restaurant Podcast.

Will any of you be joining Sara Lowenstein and I at this year’s National Restaurant Association Show? Special shout out to AirBnB for helping us book our stay.

Tune In Next Week

Brandon and I will be back with another episode next week. You can tune in on Thursday’s here on my blog to catch the archived recording.

If you’d like to watch and participate in the live Google+ Hangout, we’ll be broadcasting at 11AM EST on the This Week In Restaurant Technologies YouTube Channel.

  • HowieG

    Never knew there was a ranking. To me sales and profits trump social. Olive Garden…no matter what they do on Social can never change the fact that they are a bland so-so italian eatery that I try to never go to. Even if they loved me on Social and spoke to me and gave me coupons…hell even free meals…no. Same with Applebees. I have been to various ones around the US since 1996 and each time I say never again. So I don’t feel social is a valuable ranking if your business is flailing off line. I don’t know the income numbers so more just speaking in the abstract. And those engagement numbers are horrible. For all of them. In fact not one of those restaurant chains needs to be on social media. They have thousands of employees being social in person live every day with customers and that trumps everything you do online.

  • HowieG

    I wanted to add it also proves no one wants to talk to brands on facebook (fad is over). McDonalds serves last I saw 26 million meals a day. So they can’t drive sales with social. Most of these brands can’t.

    Also last summer Chili’s instead of doing a promo to drive LIKES they did their flatbread give away to drive email marketing sign ups. So maybe social for marketing is dying and paid advertising on social is how things will go forward. And that will hurt social media agencies, social media consultants, community managers etc

  • nateriggs

    Thanks Howie — nice insights.

    I think you’re right in that the days of organic audience reach on social are coming to an end. It’s really just a new broadcast network with audience feedback looks and side conversations with friends if you think about it.

    But as a means of capturing email addresses of consumers, I feel like social still has merit. You’re right in that I will hing success on email conversions over social conversions every time and especially for restaurants, but I still believe social has a place somewhere in that funnel.