Your Social Media vs. Your Restaurant Website

When it comes to which performs better for you, it's not even close. A case Study.

“Oh, I have Facebook. I don’t need to make my website better.”

Out of Business Restaurant owner.

Is that a cruel, presumptive way to start this analysis?

Maybe, but most times knowing the truth is better than sparing your feelings, especially when so much money is riding on the truth. You’re not reaching your hungry, money-carrying public if you only let them know about your events on Facebook, Twitter, and the like. You’re ignoring a disproportionate amount of your audience and, worst of all, you’re ignoring your potential new customers. In fact, your current users aren’t all that keen on revisiting your Facebook page.

Numbers Don’t Lie: Facebook vs. Websites

Here’s real-life, analytical and incontrovertible website visit data as proof of how your website outperforms Facebook by 10 to 1 in this case. I’ve seen even higher ratios, too, but let’s just start here. This restaurant, a popular spot, also has a dedicated social media person posting to their social media on a very regular basis.The verdict? Facebook got 1,126 views, the website got 11,116 sessions, the rough equivalent to views.

facebook-v-restaurant-analytics

You had no idea, did you?

Notable, too, is that the website had 9,453 unique visitors, 83% of which were first-time visitors. I’ve written here, in Let’s do some Restaurant Math about what that could mean for your restaurant website in terms of dollars and cents, as well as the direct value of having an attractive, mobile-friendly website. That’s for another time.

So, nine times out of ten, if they have heard about your restaurant from someone else, or from a magazine article or advertisement, then they are going to Google it. And nine times out of ten, the top search result will be your URL. Not your Facebook or Twitter, but your actual website. And studies show that if you have a poor mobile experience, not only will the user not spend money in your restaurant but they will also not recommend that restaurant to their friends. Not “I don’t like this website” and remain silent. They will actively tell others not to go there.

I know. People can be fickle. Just read your Yelp! reviews.

That’s ten times more traffic from the website than from Facebook. Ten times more people who are actually interested in finding out more about you as a place to eat. And ten times more people you are disappointing right off the bat. Right away. Immediately. Instant fail.

Not only do they want to see photos of your restaurant or the food they might have and spend their well-earned money on, but they also want to see if you, for lack of a better phrase, have your shit together.

“I saw you on TV, Heard about you on …”

This same restaurant was featured on a popular local cooking show. That show gave them a shoutout on Facebook, too. In the graphic below, you can see two spikes, on the left, for Facebook visitors. On the right, website visitors. The data provided is from Facebook Insights and Google Analytics, respectively, and it’s not even close — 127 views from Facebook, 1,296 from the website.

facebook pages versus websites for restaurants

That’s ten times more traffic from the website than from Facebook. Ten times more people who are actually interested in finding out more about you as a place to eat. And ten times more people you are disappointing right off the bat. Right away. Immediately. Instant fail.

Guys. Let’s Not Fight.

This information was not designed for you to abandon your social media. Quite the opposite. It was designed to get you to understand the realities of how your customers find your business and the best way to draw them in. If you’d like, we can even make it so that your website communicates with your social media and when you add new content to your website, it will push that content to your Facebook and Twitter automatically.

Two birds. One Stone.

Let’s fix your Restaurant Website

Let’s make your website beautiful on every device. Let’s make it functional. Let’s make it work for you. Let’s make it so you can post information to your website and have that information automatically go to your social media — we can do that — so that we can kill two birds with one stone and get as many people coming into your restaurant and enjoying your food as you dreamed of when you started you first opened your doors.

I hate to do this, but in the spirit of the political season, I will. Philadelphia restaurant owners — Let’s make your restaurant website great again!

Share this information to Help Someone Else