Food and Drink PR Team Decipher the Reasoning behind a social media spring clean
By Catriona Timoney
WE TOOK to the mean streets of Auld Reekie in a bid to find out just how important Facebook first impressions can be for business.
As everyone has an opinion on food, we decided we’d compare two capital establishments to gauge the impact a cursory glance at a page has on your footfall.
And while we’re in the mood for donning the marigolds and engaging in some spring cleaning – while making the argument for freshening up your Facebook frontage – we thought it timely to find out if first impressions really applied to social media channels.
To do so, we simply had to leave the cosy confines of the office…
The public perception
Whether you’re an old-school restaurant or a ‘pop-up-cereal-cafe’, a Facebook page remains as much a part of the set-up as the sign above the door or the belligerent head chef.
Admittedly, people still rely on the ubiquitous TripAdvisor when looking for recommendations on places to eat or things to do, however choosy foodie researchers will delve further – while fangirls/boys will look to engage with your page, keep in touch and never miss a new menu or special offer.
Facebook also remains a far greater tool for reaching new customers, especially if you reside outside TripAdvisor’s fabled Top 10 lists.
Our highly scientific method involved us taking still images of two contrasting Facebook pages – one that utilised bright, colourful images, video content and boasted five star reviews (Reekie’s Smokehouse), and a competitor (TriBeCa) which despite being a more established brand, had mixed 3.5 star average reviews.
We then showed the two pages to members of the public (at least those that had the good-nature to stop and chat in front of camera) – and asked where they would be more inclined to eat – simple as that.
What we found was partly unsurprising, as the majority of our interviewees opted for the Reekie’s – with a score of 7-3.
So what does this tell us?
Immediately, we could see that people were quickly put off by ‘messy’ pages that are cluttered and text heavy. The results illustrated the significant effect that Facebook – and, more importantly, how it is presented – can have on your business.
Interestingly, the ‘losing’ page featured a more recognisable brand with a number of chains in the capital – helping it accrue extra votes, proving that strong and consistent branding still holds power.
Your Harshest Critic
Reviews also played a part in swaying our audience towards one page.
Those who were initially attracted to our second page, on a fleeting closer inspection, often reverted to our first page once they had delved a little deeper and taken their peers opinions into account.
The star-rating feature of Facebook allows customers to sing your praises and draw in new custom at-a-glance – make a high aggregate score highly visible and you’ll do wonders for bookings.
Show and Tell
We can say quite confidently that looks count for a great deal. If our little experiment proved anything, it was how important visuals are to public perception of a Facebook page and subsequently a business.
Every single participant commented on the appearance of both pages, so with that in mind, utilising bright colourful images will go a long way.
An investment in professional photography and evidence of eye-catching video can go a long way, not only, giving the look of your page an extra “wow” factor but giving you future promotional options and, often, unexpected insight into how to present your business.
Facebook isn’t the only thing moving at pace in the digital world. Keeping our fingers on the ever changing pulse of the PR world, see how the team see the year panning out with a quick look at a hot topic in public relations.
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