Do you have a handle on what your restaurant is getting out of social media? Even the best marketers can be puzzled at times, but they keep spending.

Look at these figures from a study released earlier this year of almost 300 Chief Marketing Officers across all industries:

  • In 2009, marketers allocated 5.6% of their budgets to social media. Today that number is6%, and it’s expected to jump to 20.9% in the next five years.
  • Almost half (47.9%) of marketers said they haven’t been able to show the full impact of social media on their business. More than 40% said they have a good qualitative sense of the impact, while 11.5% said they can actually quantify the impact of social media.

How can you track the effectiveness of your social media efforts?

1. Try using a tiered point system. With Facebook for instance, Likes on Facebook show support (1 point). Comments indicate deeper interest (5 points). Shares are the most valuable because they spread information beyond your reach (10 points).

a. If you rank posts based on this scale, you may get a better sense of what is working. Look for trends. Are posts on healthy dishes getting more points? What about upcoming events? How about promotions or specific daily specials?

2. Use social media to generate awareness about specific offerings – new menu items, an upcoming event, or a promotion.

a. Based on the response rate, you can determine the effectiveness of your posts.

b. You might see a longer-term trend of increasing social media engagement because people will learn your posts bring them specific value.

Have patience and experiment. Millennials live by social media, and according to another recent study, this demographic will soon be spending an additional $6 billion/year eating at restaurants, compared to their predecessors. Make sure you continue to engage this demographic.

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