Nation's Restaurant News Top 3 Social Restaurant Brands

PHOTO CREDIT: NRN.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: NRN.COM

Social media plays such an integral role in a brand's marketing strategy. Nation's Restaurant News recently ranked restaurant brands that are outperforming in this category. Whataburger, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, and Legal Sea Foods have won the top three spots. Whataburger has a following of over 1.9 million across its social media platforms. They highly value their relationship with customers and make sure to reply as much as they can to their questions and concerns on social media. Potbelly Sandwich Shop prides themselves on handling their social media accounts in-house, which allows them to communicate authentically with their followers. The number three spot holder, Legal Sea Foods, has one employee whose sole job is to engage with consumers on social media. This allows them to build excellent customer relationships and frequently interact with the people that love their brand most. Clearly these brands have mastered engaging with their fans online. To learn more social strategies from these restaurants, click here

Chipotle Is Mentioned The Most On Social Media

PHOTO CREDIT: PIXABY

PHOTO CREDIT: PIXABY

NetBase analyzed FastCasual.com's top brands and found that Chipotle is number one when it comes to social mentions. Chipotle was followed by Panera Bread, Wingstop, Five Guys, and Jimmy Johns. While these big brands seem to demand the most social media attention, it is the smaller brands that are evoking passion among consumers. Both Sweetgreen and Blue Lemon appeared to be most loved by the public according NetBase's passion intensity index. Which Wich, Zoes Kitchen, and Giraffas also had very passionate fans. To learn more about the rankings and tips from NetBase on how to create social media impact with your brand, click here.

Taco Bell Blackout Results In New Mobile Ordering App

PHOTO CREDIT: TACO BELL

PHOTO CREDIT: TACO BELL

In a genius marketing move, Taco Bell's social media accounts as well as their website experienced a 'blackout'. The only only thing you could find was a link to their new mobile app download and the statement, "The new way to Taco Bell is #onlyintheapp." Taco Bell becomes the first fast food restaurant to offer a mobile app with both ordering and payment options for drive-thru and dining room orders. To make the app even more appealing, there are some items that can only be ordered through the app. This industry-leading technology announcement highlights the important role that tech has in the food industry today. To learn more about this new app as well as other restaurant tech news, click here.

Give Your Audience What They Want With Facebook Metrics

PHOTO CREDIT: SOCIALMEDIATODAY.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: SOCIALMEDIATODAY.COM

Facebook has opened many doors of communication between brands and their customers. However, just because the opportunity is there does not mean you don't have to work for it. Facebook metrics provides a detailed look into your audience engagement and with proper understanding, it can set you apart from other brands. Page likes are an obvious way to check your page's popularity. As long as the likes are genuine and not bought, they are beneficial for your brand. Using page insights to find out where likes are coming from will allow you to identify your key demographic. By going a little more into your insights, you will discover reach and engagement. These are very informative tools to measure your influence. A few other key areas to look at are the 'posts' and 'people' tabs. Under 'posts', you are able to see how individual posts are doing such as which ones people are engaging with most. The 'people' tab gives you a better idea of who your audience is. When you know who your fans are, you will be able to write content tailored towards them and their interests. To learn more about how to interpret your Facebook page's metrics, click here.

Pie Five Pizza Gives Back With #PieItForward Campaign

PHOTO CREDIT: PIE FIVE PIZZA

PHOTO CREDIT: PIE FIVE PIZZA

Pie Five Pizza celebrates National Pizza Month by giving one free pizza away every day this October. Once a chosen customer reaches the counter, they are surprised with their free pie as well as a Pie It Forward Card to give to someone else so they can also receive a free pizza. The brand says they were inspired by the acts of kindness that they witness from their customers every day and they wanted to find a way to celebrate that. #PieItForward can be used to share uplifting stories of helping others on social media and Pie Five Pizza will pick winners to reward with cards and gifts. To learn more about this campaign, click here.

Atlas Helps Facebook Lead The Pack As A Social Media Advertising Platform

After the launch of Atlas, an ad server with people-based marketing technology, Facebook has made it easier for marketers to target specific consumers across various devices and platforms. With over 1.3 billion users on Facebook, sharing statuses, liking pages, and posting pictures, the social media network has an ocean of data. This new program enables Facebook to effectively use that information to individually market to the public. When logged into Facebook on a mobile device, Atlas can also show what other apps are being used and then place messages on them. While some may feel that this is an invasion of privacy, others would rather have advertising geared towards their interests rather than any random ad. What do you think? Does the convenience and value outweigh the cost? Click here to learn more about how Atlas works.  

There is just a huge shift to mobile and we’re capitalizing on it by offering personalized marketing.
— Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg
PHOTO CREDIT: KUNI TAKAHASHI/BLOOMBERG

PHOTO CREDIT: KUNI TAKAHASHI/BLOOMBERG

Snapchat Makes A Daring Move And Jumps Into Advertising

PHOTO CREDIT: SNAPCHAT

PHOTO CREDIT: SNAPCHAT

Snapchat will soon begin incorporating ads into their personal Snapchat Stories as well as launching "Snapchat Discovery," a new feature for disappearing ads and content. Unlike Google and Facebook, Snapchat's ads will not be contextual, which can lead to some challenges. Because the ads will not be tailored towards the user's interests, they may become more of a nuisance than appreciated. Disappearing ads also pose a new challenge for marketers who will have to get innovative in order to make the most out of ten seconds. It will be interesting to see the direction that Snapchat takes after their recent $10 billion valuation. To learn more about the upcoming changes of Snapchat, click here.

Ditto Helps Brands Scan Your Social Media Photos For Clues

PHOTO CREDIT: DITTO

PHOTO CREDIT: DITTO

Everyday, over a billion photos are posted on social media sites. Marketers are always trying to find ways to be able to use them to their advantage and now they can. Ditto, a photo analytic provider, turns insight into action by unlocking brand data hidden inside the billions of photos uploaded everyday. Their software scans photos for brands and analyzes the facial expressions of those photographed. That information is then used to create profiles that brands can use towards targeted advertising. Big names such as Coca-Cola, Budweiser, and Adidas are already taking advantage of the program. To learn more about Ditto and what privacy campaigners are saying it means for users, click here 

French Bank Allows Patrons to Transfer Money Via Twitter

PHOTO CREDIT: REUTERS/JACKY NAEGELEN

PHOTO CREDIT: REUTERS/JACKY NAEGELEN

France's second largest bank makes an interesting move by allowing customers to transfer money to one another through 'tweets'. The bank already allows mobile transfers via text message but wanted to attract even more attention to the mobile features they offer. Transferring money through the social media platform is easy because you can transfer money to anyone regardless of the bank they use and without knowing the recipient's banking information. Twitter has also begun its own mobile payment option with "Twitter Buy." As Twitter attemps to break into the mobile payment field, they demonstrate their value as not only a social networking platform but as an advertising one as well. Click here to learn more.   

CardBlanc Creates Mobile Sized Shopping Mall

A new app called CardBlanc aims to make mobile checkout easy while incorporating social activity. This application targets millennials and their affinity for social media. Consumers can share products they like, receive feedback from friends in the form of likes and comments, as well as share purchases. While CardBlanc currently links with your PayPal account, more payment options are in the works. There are over 100 retailers linked to the app including popular names such as Forever21 and Nike. CardBlanc hopes to catch on in a crowded smartphone application market but so far, it really seems to standout. To learn more about this app, click here

PHOTO CREDIT: CARDBLANC

PHOTO CREDIT: CARDBLANC

Startup 'Impossible Foods' Cracks The Code On Fake Meat

PHOTO CREDIT: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

PHOTO CREDIT: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Patrick Brown, a professor from Stanford University has created a company called, Impossible Foods, that is trying to solve the world meat crisis that is quickly approaching. This startup has developed what looks like a raw bloody beef patty, but is actually made of plants. Brown discovered that heme, a molecule found in hemoglobin, is the key to creating that distinct meat taste. When cooked, this plant-based patty sizzles just like a beef burger and leaves behind a "bloody" residue unlike any other veggie patty. According to food critic Evelyn M Rusli, the patty is still lacking. While the consistency may resemble animal tissue, she noted it tasted less bloody and slightly lighter than a real gourmet burger. Brown will continue to work on the flavor but believes his product will be ready for consumers very soon. To learn more about this amazing advancement and possible answer to the future, click here.   

NFL Fans Choose Facebook Over Twitter

PHOTO CREDIT: NFLPICT.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: NFLPICT.COM

When it comes to the NFL, Facebook is winning the social-mobile turf war against Twitter. A survey completed by RadiumOne shows that the ratio of NFL fans that choose to share content via Facebook over Twitter is 6 to 1. Another interesting yet unsurprising fact is that 91 percent of these fans said they check social media and NFL related apps on their smartphones during games. This percentage just goes to show the prevalence of technology and social media in our lives. It is curious why Facebook seems to be the social media platform of choice for this group while others gravitate towards Twitter or Instagram. To read more about this social-mobile stand-off, click here

Yahoo! Has Potential $20Mil Investment in Snapchat or AOL

PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES/CNNMONEY

PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES/CNNMONEY

After selling $5 billion worth of Alibaba stock, Yahoo! has some serious cash at their disposal. According to recent reports, Yahoo! is looking to invest $20 Million into one of the fastest-growing mobile apps on the market, Snapchat, which values the company at around $10 billion. However, not all investors are happy about this potential investment. One activist investor is pushing for an AOL merger instead. Investment firm, Starboard, would also rather see a partnership with AOL over Snapchat and with Yahoo's CEO under scrutiny, it will be interesting to see the outcome of these reports. Click here to read more.

McDonald's Reshapes Their Food's Image With Social Media Q&A

PHOTO CREDIT: HUIZERS.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: HUIZERS.COM

What's in McDonald's beef? What's that pink slime I saw on youtube? Why are your burgers so cheap? These are everyday questions McDonald's is asked, and now they are ready to answer them.

McDonalds turns to social media to shift consumers thoughts on the image of their food options. With the continuous declining visits to fast food chains, McDonald's is struggling with a negative connotation to their brand. Through question and answers with real consumers, McDonalds asks what makes their brand unappealing to them. The previous Mythbuster host, Grant Imahara, takes consumers through the answers of these consumer questions, determining if the thoughts of the consumers are actually reality. Read more here about McDonald's new social media campaign.

The Search Is Over. HealthyOut Finds Your Perfect Health-Conscious Restaurant

PHOTO CREDIT: HEALTHYOUT

PHOTO CREDIT: HEALTHYOUT

Many struggle with finding a healthy option when eating out. Well look no further, the free HealthyOut app will do all of the work for you! This app allows you to customize your search for food in your area by dietary and nutritional preferences. Every dish found on the app is around half the fat and calories of a typical restaurant meal, allowing even those on a diet to be able to have a nice dinner out or a delicious (nutritional) meal delivered to their home. The app contains more than 20,000 restaurants in over 500 cities as well as Yelp ratings to give the consumer a better idea of what they are ordering. To learn more about the game changing app, HealthyOut, click here.

Newest Launch: Square Order For Coffee Lovers

PHOTO CREDIT: ADWEEK

PHOTO CREDIT: ADWEEK

Mobile ordering, the hot topic that everyone can't get enough of. Seems like the release of ApplePay has had a huge impact on the rapid launch of other big name players to step up to the plate. 

Square has just launched their Square Order app which connects with local baristas and notifies them when to begin brewing the customers coffee by proximity to the shop. The purpose of this application is to ensure the coffee orders are made at a specific time that indicates the range in which a consumer is close to the store to make sure the coffee is hot upon arrival..... GENIUS. Read more here.

Why is Starbucks Mobile App So Fabulous?

PHOTO CREDIT: FOOL.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: FOOL.COM

Mobile apps for restaurants seem to be popping up everywhere nowadays, but what makes the Starbucks app fly high above the rest?

The Starbucks app is one-of-a-kind in its market, making the integration between the app and their business model rather flawless. The day-to-day functions in which a consumer uses their phone for gives users the ability to use the Starbucks application with ease. The Shake to Pay feature within the Starbucks application was introduced in March as a great way to continue your daily browsing through your emails, newsfeed, or timelines and still be able to pull up their barcodes with a simple shake of their phones. Making coffee drinkers all over the world geek out. Read more about the Starbucks app here and how it should be an inspiration for all app developers. 

Dunkin' Donuts Jumps On The Mobile Ordering Bandwagon

I don't know about you, but this is what I have been waiting for all my life! Not only do lines at QSR stink in general, for some reason Dunkin' Donuts is 1000000x longer. Dunkin' plans to debut mobile ordering technology which gives customers the ability to skip the line, and order for quick pick-up. Music to my ears!

By making improvements to catch up with many restaurant chains, mobile/online ordering has become a hot commodity. As the Millennial generation continues to reign in the consumer world, the need for time-starved and tech-savvy restaurants is a must. With the launch of the Dunkin' Donuts mobile app as well as the DD Perks program, the demand for consumer-centered applications have made their mark. Read more here about Dunkin' and their progression towards mobile ordering.

PHOTO CREDIT: NRN.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: NRN.COM

NYC Beacons in Phone Booths Collecting Data, Secretly.

PHOTO CREDIT: BUZZFEED.COM

PHOTO CREDIT: BUZZFEED.COM

Throughout the busy streets of Manhattan, the secret life of beacons residing in telephone booths go completely unnoticed. Titan media company, who sells advertising space throughout the city, has installed 500 beacons to collect data from passing mobile users. This data is a giant matrix of hidden commercialization which can be used to deepen surveillance throughout the quick-paced environment. But why has these beneficial beacons caused such a ruckus? Privacy, that is.

Without informing city go-ers of this new innovative technology hitting the Manhattan streets, privacy advocates are not all for it. "Consumers should be aware when they're in a one that projects beacons, the lack of transparency is of even greater concern." Read more about NYC's secret beacons here.

Everyone Has Already Gone Mobile, Have You?

IMAGE CREDIT: FASTCASUAL.COM

IMAGE CREDIT: FASTCASUAL.COM

Face the facts, the world is going digital. Are you onboard or jumping ship?

 

 

Eventually, the need for wallets, keys, identification would be virtually available on our devices making it easier for consumers to have their belongings with them at all times. Restaurants are adopting the new mobile and digital trend with confidence and great expectations within the near future. Currently, 71% of restaurants have a mobile web presence and 35% have a mobile application; with these numbers growing well beyond their current points, we can see the possibility of new consumer-based features in our near future.

Not to mention the release of ApplePay, mobile payment is on its way to skyrocketing and becoming the #1 method of payment in 2015. As of yet, 15% of restaurants accept this payment process, but it is expected to reach over 65% within the next year. Are you ready?

Read more here about why going mobile should be a no-brainer.