Home Study: Social Media-Savvy Consumers Dine Out More

Study: Social Media-Savvy Consumers Dine Out More

A 2011 study by the National Restaurant Association confirms that consumers who use social media, including apps, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, UrbanSpoon and more, not only dine out more, but are more likely to become return customers. The study divided these techie-type consumers into two categories, based on data from the Association’s 2010 National Household Survey: “connected adults,” which refers to people who frequently use email and the Internet, and “social media-savvy adults,” who use at least one of the following tools: Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and other food review sites, or mobile-phone apps like Foursquare and UrbanSpoon.

On the whole, 30% of social media-savvy individuals either posted or read reviews on Yelp, while only 27% of connected adults did. Additionally, 29% of social media-savvy adults have checked out a restaurant’s fan sites and pages on sites like Facebook, MySpace and YouTube. Twitter is not a frequent destination even for the tech-obsessed – unless there’s a fun gimmick behind the food product, such as a food-truck – one example of that is FindLaFoodTrucks.com, a site that aggregates LA food trucks’ Twitter feeds or street-food vendors who use Twitter.

The good news? This study predicts that restaurants will start using more social media in the next two years.

Currently, a total of 94% of social media-savvy individuals said they enjoyed going to restaurants compared to 88% of the general public. 51% of social media-savvy individuals and 48% of connected adults said restaurants were an essential part of their lifestyles.

In the meantime, here’s a neat ReadWriteWeb guide for creating a great restaurant Facebook fan page.

Image via Maggie Hoffman.

Does your restaurant use social media to engage customers? Tell us about it in the comments.

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