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Us+P Social Media Series Food #3


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Here is a look at what is happening in the restaurant industry via social media.

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Us+P Social Media Series Food #3

  1. 1. Tweet This!If you think going social might bea good idea one day, make thatday today.SOCIAL MEDIA SERIES #4Food Sector 2011US+PARTNERS 1674 Broadway 4th Floor New York, NY 10019 T 1-212-712-9119
  2. 2. HOW WE CAN BENEFIT YOU. RIGHT NOW.We -- at US+Partners -- are delighted to share this latest “state of social” briefing on the quickservice food sector. It’s part of our ongoing executive series on trends in new and social media. AtUS, we help companies and organizations leverage and navigate the Second Digital Age -- in whichbrands become social and consumers drive the terms and speed of engagement.In today’s virtual world, social media conversations are having a direct impact on quick service res-taurant sales and brand reputations. Every day, customers are questioning their food and diningoptions and making product choices based on their online conversations, many of which consist ofun-edited and un-qualified user-generated content.With the increased popularity of tools such as Twitter, Facebook -- and now Google+, among othersocial networks and online communities -- families and teens are able to interact with each otherfrom across the globe. They’re doing this in unprecedented numbers at unprecedented speeds. Formany people, the first place they seek food selection and pricing/”deal” information is online.Consumers also are sharing invaluable information online about their preferences and behavior.Correctly understood and leveraged, these insights can potentially help all functions of product se-lection and development - from menu diversity to special pricing - to produce and promote moreeffective and healthier, more cause-conscious offerings.Read on>US+PARTNERS 1674 Broadway 4th Floor New York, NY 10019 T 1-212-712-9119
  3. 3. YOUR OPPORTUNITY WITH (1) HEALTH (2) ‘DEAL HUNTING.’Health and ‘deal hunting’ are now as important to some consumers as having the shiniest, biggeststatus symbols: increasingly, consumers will expect healthier, less expensive products and servicesacross the marketplace to prevent misery if not improve their quality of life.Some signs of the times: • 73% of US consumers consider being physically fit important to being ‘well’, with 74% in- cluding ‘feeling good about themselves’. (Source: The Hartman Group, August 2010) • An estimated 500 million people worldwide are expected to be using mobile healthcare applications by 2015. (Source: Reasearch2Guidance, November 2010) • The heaviest use of healthy food apps is by young adults: about 15% of those aged 18 to 29 have such apps, verus 8% of users aged 30 to 49. (Source: Pew Internet Project, 2010)In the next 12 months, count on even more “personalization” (self-monitoring) technologies be-coming portable or even wearable, as well as getting cheaper (the smart phones held by manyconsumers are now more advanced than most dedicated medical devices).Also, both regular and dedicated food-spotting and dining social networks are giving audiences a newplatform to share, compare and discuss their personal food choices and issues with other consumers.Consumers are engaging in online conversations about quick service food choices, coupon deals,community activism and health/environmental concerns - whether companies participate or not.US+PARTNERS 1674 Broadway 4th Floor New York, NY 10019 T 1-212-712-9119
  4. 4. THE NEW LANDSCAPEFurther, new appetites for personalization’ in products and services in the new ‘mobile market-place’ means that more consumers will choose products with embedded deals just for them -- ei-ther targeted to their buying histories and perceived needs or based on “just-in-time” supplystrategies geared to hourly/daily changes in supply and demand. Also on the rise: consumer appe-tite for good causes and businesses that support customer efforts to advocate for social problem-solving in local markets. Consumers want their quick service food shops to share their willingnessto experiment with healthy new products, environmentally-conscious packaging and sustainablesupply chain strategies. Increased local sourcing of dairy and some meat products, for example,along with buying experiences that are actually well-designed, desirable, accessible, fun, tasty, inter-esting or storied also are being seen as ever-more important as mobile technologies are just begin-ning to enable new consumer experiences. Some examples: • Temptd is a mobile app that lets people share their food choices with friends in real time, enabling them to build an event around a fast-service food gathering or help members of their social networks try new alternatives or healthier choices. • Munch on Me and Jack’s Munchie Mobile trucks offer location as a service offering; watch- dog sites offer nutrition guides and on-the-spot data on allergies and ingredients • US+Partner’s Fan Nation on Facebook platform enables NFL fans to share food choices around tailgaters • Mobo - offering its busiest customers (or specialized groups of customers) even ‘faster food” with a mobile app that lets customers order ahead for even faster “pickups.”You’re stronger with “personalized” services. Consumers are creating their own so-cial networks to help them to become active and discuss their individual food, health, dining andlifestyle choices and “finds” and monitor their efforts to become more cause-minded. Non-corporate and non-industry “helpsites” also are cropping up to supplement and challenge“company-speak.”EXAMPLE: Quiet Riots - a new consumer app and community that offers members new waysto share and learn from social networks when it comes to their food- buying and dining experi-ences. It is also using the power of the crowd to negotiate special deals between members andquick service food brands.US+PARTNERS 1674 Broadway 4th Floor New York, NY 10019 T 1-212-712-9119
  5. 5. “People share what works; what they trust to be true. If your mental model is that you need estab- lished companies to help you decide what to buy, that’s not how the market works anymore. There’s been a dispersion of activity; networks of individuals versus institutions and established brands. Thoseinformal, social networks are the most trusted and comfortable ways to explore new consumeroptions; they are the most influential in purchasing decisions. They carry the most clout assources of health and food-choice information and brands can find success in promoting sharedvalues. That’s what the fast-food industry looks like in 2011.”BE SURE TO ‘DO SOCIAL’ IN WAYS YOUR COMPETITORS CAN’TWHAT IS. How are some companies and brands responding to the challenges so far? By turningthe prevailing wisdom that quick service food is too constrained by process on its ear. True, thereare important legal and privacy considerations and policies that exist in the quick service food in-dustry. Yet we, at US+, applaud some of the creative efforts that companies and brands have takenso far to “go social” despite these challenges. It’s not about deciding whether or not to “go social.”Your consumers are already there. Rather, it’s more a matter of how to “go social” in new ways.With less risk. Using “cause” as a clear way to convey shared values and community loyalty. US+ isinnovating how brands in this sector can embrace digital more effectively.WHAT’S NEXT. At US+Partners, we think it’s all just the beginning. Much more is possible.US+PARTNERS 1674 Broadway 4th Floor New York, NY 10019 T 1-212-712-9119
  6. 6. FOUR ANSWERS TO YOUR ‘HOW-CAN-WE-DO-BETTER’ QUESTIONS1. Should you be on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn?LinkedIn is a business network and a great place from which to source physicians. The problem isthat not a lot of conversation happens there. It’s good for introductions and for trying to take con-versations elsewhere. There are LinkedIn groups, and some are very active but many are not. Twit-ter is a great place to share thought leadership and find out which conversations you’re missing.And Facebook’s Event Pages and News Feeds are effective places to interact with your customersas they experience your brand -- on THEIR feeds, not just yours.2. It’s not totally about YOU.One of the things people do when they start conversing on social media networks is forget to talkfrom the “we” side of things. Instead, they tend to tell people what they should buy and why orwhen. Customers, though, are looking for information from their side of the conversation. They’renot just looking for information about your burger; they are looking for new ways to maintain andimprove their busy lifestyles. Their teamwork in the community. They want to know that you’re ex-perimenting with healthier choices and want to know how you can help them to make their bus-ier lives more convenient and affordable. They’re looking to have a conversation from their side ofthe fence. They want conversations that make the customer the hero -- not those that push yourburger to the exclusion of the bigger picture.3. Listening is the new black in quick service food outlets.Use social media to listen and better understand what people are saying about you and the issueschallenging you as a company. What are some of these tools? There are professional tools like Radi-an6 and Trackur that all have different levels of listening ability. And there are others -- Spiral6 andCrimson, to name just a few. Sure, you can employ some tools to listen for free but that won’t getyou all the info you need and it won’t help you to log data that’s needed for reporting. Best yet?Task your staff to do it. Twitter is not idle chatter.4. It’s all about the connections.Foster new connections with people. Build relationships before you need a business function tocome of it. Using social media, this could mean using social networks to draw attention to newproducts or processes, or to favorable articles. Be on the social networks that your customers are.If you think teens and families and sports fans are there, they probably are. Go there. If you’re notin those conversations, you’re irrelevant.US+PARTNERS 1674 Broadway 4th Floor New York, NY 10019 T 1-212-712-9119
  7. 7. THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUWe believe there’s a lot more to be done. Some areas we’re forging:Peer-to-peer networks: As growing numbers of consumers are choosing to turn to social net-works for the information that matters to them, we’re helping some of our clients make better useof private social networks -- member-only communities of consumers that help each other exploreeverything from new dishes to the best new deals and experiences around out-of-home dining andquick service food experiences. Example: and its private social network ofmembers-only deal-catchers. We’ve helped them to figure out a digital, private way to help newcommunities experience food at new lifestyle change-points. These new private network strategieswill foster more ‘gated’ conversations that members can trust, enhancing their credibility and yours.Augmented reality: Embedding the mobile images of a consumer’s world with meta-data aboutcaloric intake and healthy menu selections and new food opportunities in real-time. Which foodscontain transfats and which do not? Which fish are mercury-free and which are not? Which herbscan help alleviate your symptoms - right now? US+Partners is working with “personalization andhealthy food apps” that provide a service to quick serve companies and offer new ways for cus-tomers to engage with them in the name of shared customer values and branded experiences.Personalization: We’ve already alerted you to Temptd. There are dozens of other social networkscropping up that are giving dining/food choices the power of the crowd. Another of our favoritecrowdsourced self-monitoring apps? Mobo -- allowing brands to offer “faster food” to targetedgroups of customers, along with a new way to share food finds or tips on restaurants/quick serviceoutlets willing to offer something extra. Another? FLOW -- giving citizens the power to monitorwater safety for branded groups that need it. The new customer food networks are data-driven.US+Partners is working to provide branded applications and partnership opportunities to inter-ested clients looking to out-innovate their competitors in the quick service food field.Let US help you innovate -- not simply play catch-up with your competitors.US+PARTNERS 1674 Broadway 4th Floor New York, NY 10019 T 1-212-712-9119
  8. 8. GO AHEAD. GET SOCIAL WORKING FOR YOU.* 25% of search results for the top brands link to user-generated content. Like it or not, your cus-tomers have taken to social media to express their feelings about your brand. Now is the time toengage these customers and assure that widespread, viral sentiment generates increased revenueand customer loyalty, not headaches.* The average person has 195 social media “friends.” Even ignoring the viral capability of social me-dia dialogue, remember that your customers have a direct line to the ears of 200 people. In tryingto establish your brand, generate business and rebound from shortcomings, where else can youfind such clear influence?* Word-of-mouth has been deemed nearly six times more effective than television advertisementsabout shaping consumer opinion. How are you using this knowledge to optimize return on market-ing spend and assure your television campaigns are not being nullified by ill-sentiment online?#foodspotting We believe that “going social” is more urgent now in the quick service food sector than ever.Played strategically and selectively, social media can provide a great service to society while innovat-ing existing brands, restoring trust and delivering new, healthy value to today’s consumers.And one last thought. If brands don’t engage now, they become like a dead star -- still emitting lightbut cold at the core.So what are you waiting for?Let US help. We’re US+Partners. You, me and everyone we know. US.US+PARTNERS 1674 Broadway 4th Floor New York, NY 10019 T 1-212-712-9119