Getting the Most From Social Media

Social Networking Stats infographic

Did you find this blog through PMQ’s Facebook or Twitter pages? Have you posted to your own social media pages today? A few years ago, no one had ever heard the words “tweet,” “hashtag,” or “friend me.” Now, social media seems to be taking over, with more than a billion users on Facebook, and Twitter running a not-too-distant second. recently compiled an interesting infographic (partial graphic shown here; visit the site to see full graphic), which outlines 100 Social Networking Statistics and Facts for 2012. Some of the big stats that stood out for me were that although one million new Twitter accounts are created every day, 40% of users have never sent a single tweet. I was also surprised to find out that only 34% of medium-sized, and 27% of small-sized businesses, are currently using social media. What didn’t surprise me as much was the statistic that 70% of brand fan questions on social media are not responded to. It’s a clear sign that while social media can be a good way to build a following, if you aren’t paying attention to what your fans and followers are saying, you can end up losing customers because of it.

So, how do you keep up with it all? Once you have a presence on social media, is it a requirement that you send out 30 tweets a day and glue yourself to Facebook? Of course not. But, just like anything else, you can’t let the cobwebs collect, either.

I asked around to find out some opinions on the importance of social media in the pizzeria, and here’s what I found.

Social media sites should never be left inactive, but the frequency of updates really depends on the nature of the business. You don’t want to post updates simply for the sake of posting something. If your pizzeria tends to change its specials often, that’s often a relevant topic (new beers on tap or a new gelato flavor for dessert). Special deals are also great (i.e. show your waiter this tweet and receive 10% off of your bill).” —Jason Feirman,

Operators should approach social media similar to traditional media outlets by offering promotions, giveaways, interviews, and product announcements on Facebook/Twitter pages. Having a promotion with Facebook fans, with a beginning and end date, garners more response and increases social media activity. Social media needs to be managed daily, for no more than 15-30 minutes, typically.” —Linda Duke, Duke Marketing

Social media is critically important, but not everything. Pizza buyers tend to be younger, and social is where they hang out. I recommend updates to Facebook and Twitter 2-3 times a week.” —Ed Zimmerman, The Food Connector 

If you’re going to use social media, then really use it. Run promotions several times a week, offer giveaways through apps like FourSquare or Facebook. I think it becomes really valuable when you actually work at it and build a following. But if you’re only going to do it once in a blue moon, it’s hard to really build a loyal following that takes advantage of social engagements.” —Vanessa Maltin-Weisbrod, Delight Gluten-Free Magazine

Anyone who ignores social media is truly wasting a great opportunity. These things are free right now and they are the perfect way to spread your message virally. You can blast out deals and coupons or just show folks in real time what you’re up to in the kitchen. Posting to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. should be part of the daily routine. I don’t mind a couple blasts a day, but too many more than that is annoying.” —Scott Wiener, Scott’s Pizza Tours

Social media messages must be relevant to the customer’s daily life so that it strikes a chord. ‘Don’t want to cook mid week?,’ ‘Looking for a place to see the game?’ While for any business social media is very important, customers are relating that they are bombarded and that most messages are just white noise. On some level, try to make the message relevant to the customer’s real life, rather than just repeating glowing messages about your product.” —Jeff Varasano, Varasano’s

Social Media is important to businesses, but not for simply drumming up business. It’s a way to give customers and future customers a glimpse into your operations and engage with them. I doubt it’s viable to depend on it for sales, but it helps to build the brand.” —Jonathan Porter, Chicago Pizza Tours