Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp, YouTube: What's your social-media tool of choice? - SmartBrief

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Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp, YouTube: What’s your social-media tool of choice?

2 min read

Restaurant and Foodservice

SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in SmartBrief on Restaurants — tracks feedback from restaurant owners and managers about current trends and issues.

Last week’s poll question: What technology will you invest in next?

  • Social media marketing, including Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, YouTube, mobile apps, etc. — 34.85%
  • Updated POS systems — 20.18%
  • More energy-efficient technology — 17.43%
  • Digital signage or menus — 13.76%
  • Online or remote ordering — 13.76%

I had a feeling social media might emerge the victor in this battle of restaurant-technology dollars. Last month at the NRA Show 2010, you couldn’t take two steps without running into an attendee whose attention was glued to his or her mobile phone, tweeting about the innovative technologies on display, the social-marketing education sessions — and, of course, celebrity chef sightings.

Restaurants in every segment are jumping on the social-media bandwagon. This relatively new form of marketing is not just an inexpensive alternative to traditional advertising — it also works. A perfect case study of how effective social-media marketing can be is evidenced in our interview with A.J. Bombers’ Joe Sorge.

From Red Robin’s burger-themed YouTube channel, to Panera Bread’s lively conversations and giveaways on Twitter, to all the chain and independent restaurants getting active on Yelp, it’s clear that social media is the area in which many restaurants are choosing to dedicate resources, be it time, employees or money.

What kind of social media is your company focusing on now? Are there social media companies you would like to learn more about?

Image credit: webphotographeer, via iStockphoto