Types of Social Media


Facebook continues to be the platinum standard for social media, providing a platform for its 900 million users to share information about themselves and people and places they like. Restaurateurs, big and small, can create a page to connect with fans of the brand and potential customers and even conduct polls and contests.

  • Include photographs to draw attention to the posts
  • Engage the brand community by asking questions or seeking input on new menu items.
  • Offer promotions, and even ordering, through special tools.
  • Learn more about your brand’s fans with Facebook Insights data.


This microblogging platform, with posted messages limited to 140 characters, has more than 470 million accounts registered and sees more than 175 million tweets a day.

  • Interesting content gets retweeted.
  • By using a Twitter client that allows for monitoring a brand name or handle, restaurants can easily see compliments and complaints and either address the problem or show the user appreciation.


The geolocation-based networking platform that is based on the habits and sentiments of the user's connected friends. The revised app now allows and highlights user comments, tips and suggestions, and was redesigned with more emphasis on users’ photographs. Foursquare passed 20 million users in April 2012.

  • Because users check-in when they are near a location, restaurants can use the app to provide special offers.
  • Operators can also devote special attention to frequent users by offering discounts or free items.


The social photo-sharing site was introduced in 2010 for the iPhone and expanded in April 2012 to the Android platform. Instagram has about 40 million users who upload about 58 photos every second.

  • Restaurant operators can post photographs of daily specials.
  • Photographs of in-store promotions based around special holidays and events can be posted and shared by both restaurants and customers as they are planned or happening.


Pinterest is similar to a bulletin board shared with friends and acquaintances. The site, which was introduced in 2010, skyrocketed to more than 12 million monthly unique visitors early this year.

Food is the No. 1 content category on Pinterest, according to a Citigroup Global Markets study released in July 2012, making it a logical platform for restaurants.

  • Pinterest is an ideal way to highlight appealing photography from a restaurant's blog or website.
  • Operators large and small can use Pinterest without much time invested.


YouTube is the third most-visited site after Google (No. 1) and Facebook (No. 2), according to Alexa, a web information company. The viral nature of YouTube and its ability to embed videos across many platforms has led even foodservice chains to springboard off popular topics.

  • Restaurant companies can post their television commercials to get more viewers.
  • The site’s search functions are used intensely, so brand names and celebrity spokespeople can be highlighted.
  • Behind-the-scenes videos of new store construction or new design can be posted.
  • Keep the videos brief. Average YouTube video duration is 2 minutes and 46.17 seconds.
  • Executives can provide crisis communication videos, such as how Taco Bell responded to a lawsuit, later dropped, over its meat content.


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