2018 Social Media Analytics Guide for Restaurants

Niraj Sharma |
 01/17/18 |
3 min read

All brands share the need to define and grow their business, build better campaigns, increase engagement, and improve their overall customer experience – and social media analytics are the best way to do that. Our 2018 Restaurant Industry Best Practices Guide serves up best practices all brands should find appetizing.

How to build – or rebuild – your brand

For Wendy’s, the passing of Dave Thomas meant a shift in how they connected with their audience. In January of 2017 the previously quiet, wholesome brand became a snarkier new entity – which fans loved.

Brand awareness and engagement soared, and sentiment rose as well – above the industry average by nearly 30%.

If you’re Wendy’s, how do you measure the effectiveness of such a change in personality? You look at conversation volume prior to the change, and after, to ensure the impact has been positive.

You also measure share of voice against competitors – because competitive differentiation is critical to thriving. The report explains how to do this in greater detail. In Wendy’s case, they saw a significant and sustained increase in share of voice with their new No Chill approach. Who doesn’t want that?

Everyone’s getting in on the roast action now

Optimize campaigns by looking at nuances

Restaurant brands rely on limited time offers (LTOs) as part of their ongoing campaign strategy, to drive continued diner interest. You never want an ad campaign to be wasted, so optimizing at every step is paramount.

Some considerations:

  • Benchmark campaigns by type, such as value/discount, product/menu updates, limited time offers, and beverage
  • Assess the tactics used for each campaign as you decide whether to continue or course correct, i.e., paid influencers, sponsors/partners, social marketing, traditional media, etc.
  • Analyze organic conversation versus shared content
  • Analyze sentiment around the campaign priority (i.e., food, experience, price, etc.)

Panera used these best practices to assess the impact of changes to their menu over 2017. Initially their new, clean foods menu – launched early in the year – appeared to be the big winner, based on conversation volume. But if social analytics has taught us anything, it’s that no single metric tells the full story.

Looking at the volume trends over time, the updated kids’ menu appeared to be their biggest success. But again, there was more to the equation.

Analysis by post type revealed a spike in original content around the spring menu. So what’s the takeaway here? Panera has success on three fronts – but each requires a different action for that success to continue.

What are those actions? And what opportunity for improvement did a closer look at sentiment reveal? Read the report to find out! Hint: It all comes down to communication.

Improve your customer experience by focusing on customer care

Customer care isn’t a silo’d affair where all complaints fall under one umbrella – at least, it shouldn’t be. Just as you segment your audience by topics of interest, brands should segment customer care issues by category, such as Hospitality/Service, Price/Value, Food & Quality, Ambiance/Cleanliness, Speed of Service, and Order Accuracy.

Measuring both conversation volume and sentiment will show you where you most need to focus your energy to please your guests.

For example, in the Quick Service category, Order Accuracy and Speed of Service are the biggest consumer concerns, while Value is a top – and growing – concern in the Fast Casual and Casual categories.

Of course, just because the category as a whole shares an issue doesn’t mean it’s the most important to your brand. Use social listening to gather the feedback that matters most to you.

Apply complex keywords, bio terms, follower counts to filter the data coming in. Doing this reduced response time for one client from 30-45 minutes to 6 minutes. Amazing the time you save when cutting out the posts that don’t matter!

Stay hungry for information

Social media analytics are your path to success – whether you’re a restaurant brand, or any other. And when you measure social data before and after your campaigns, or before and after customer care intervention, you gain all you need to prove ROI to those in the C-suite. Be ready to offer a second helping!

Ready to see how our social media analytics tools assessed our restaurant brands? Reach out for a one-on-one demo! And be sure to review the social media ranking index.- it offers a global brands leaderboard, comparing mentions, reach, awareness, and most importantly, how passionate consumers feel about each brand.



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