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My guilty pleasure is a double meat, double cheese burger with mayo, no mustard, add lettuce and tomatoes. Always with extra fries and a huge Dr. Pepper. But how do I pick the perfect fast food restaurant to order my burger from? If I drive down the block from my house I have five quick-service stops to choose from. When I think about taste, they're all great. For me, what it really comes down to is whether I feel connected to the brand. 

 

As someone who works in the social media industry and who grew up in a generation where consuming social media is the norm, a lot of my every-day decisions are based off things I see online. And it seems I'm not the only one. Many brands have proven that social media users who follow companies online spend more on average than customers who do not. These customers visit more frequently and have more brand loyalty than non-social media followers. But why is that?

 

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The recipe for brand loyalty for social media is simple. First you need to have a content strategy for each of the social media platforms you plan to use. Then you need to create compelling social content to share on those social media channels.  Finally, you need the secret sauce– social engagement. It's the one ingredient you can't artificially produce and its the one thing you need to really succeed in this space. It’s developing a relationship that can last a lifetime. Or at least until the next hunger attack strikes. 

 

The Buns 

The first ingredient in a great "social media burger" is the fresh bun.  Developing relevant and appealing content that is engaging to your customers is key. Brands should always be on top of social trends and aware of what types of content your customers are engaging with. I suggest starting with some research. Knowing what day is National Burger Day or French Fry Day should always be top of mind, but it's also important to pay attention to your customer's other interests. Is there a big game that is happening this weekend or maybe a new meme from this weeks episode of The Bachelorette? Use these trends as opportunities to connect with your customers and develop content they will want to engage with. 

 

The Meat 

So, what’s the meat of the situation you ask? When I crave fast food, I go to my favorite QSR and don’t think twice about it. Why do I do that? Because I’ve tweeted them and they tweeted me back. I commented on their Instagram posts and they hearted it. I’ve shared a picture of my burger and they shared it with their 3 million Facebook fans and tagged me. You could say we are in a committed long-term relationship. Even when our relationship is on the rocks, like if  they mess up my order, I leave them my feedback using the power of social media. And they listen to me, respond back to me and engage with me in real time. 

 

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Just think if a customer came into your restaurant and needed assistance from one of your employees. You would never let your employees stand there in silence and not offer to help. Many brands, however, are doing just that. A study from evolve24 shows major companies ignore about 70 percent of complaints or inquiries that come in online. This is a huge opportunity! Listening to these customers can determine which units are performing badly and can even help you develop the next best menu item.

Addressing this lapse in communication can help set yourself apart from other companies. This is a great opportunity to boost your PR, make connections with customers and build your brand voice. 

 

The Best Burger in Town 

Who is building the best “social media burger?” There are some good brands out there to take notes from. There are sassy ones like Wendy’s and Denny’s. Then there are my favorites like Whataburger and Taco Bell, who we can thank for giving us the taco emoji (and who may or may not be in the Illuminati). Then there are the not-so-hot ones that haven't discovered the perfect recipe for QSR success on social media. Many QSR's that fall into this category have the buns, but no meat! Meaning they regularly put out content but aren't engaging with their fans. QSR's are unique in that they typically have fanatical followings. Not taking advantage of actively engaging with these followers is a missed opportunity. 

 

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The Next Step 

The best recipe for QSR social media calls for creating relatable content, at the right time and frequency. But like fries without ketchup, a QSR strategy without online engagement is unappetizing to your audience. Engagement, in the end, is what will satisfy your social followers' cravings.  

 

Interested in more customer service insights? Check out more from one of our Digital Customer Service Managers!

Alex Rubio
Alex Rubio

As our Account Director, Alex is bridging the gap between social media and digital marketing. She has more than 10 years of experience in public relations, social media and sports & entertainment sponsorship with major brands including AT&T, General Motors, USAA, Whataburger and the City of San Antonio. Alex graduated cum laude from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations with a minor in Spanish.