To webmasters and ordinary people hooked on social media sites, it’s pretty obvious how advantageous social media sites can be. Users can communicate and interact with others instantly, from any place and at any time. Many businesses have recognized the marketing advantages of social media sites as these platforms allow businesses to showcase their products and services as well as engage with customers. One particular industry that’s taking notice of the benefits of social media sites is the restaurant business.

According to research from the National Restaurant Association, more restaurateurs are joining the social media bandwagon and using these sites as a marketing strategy in addition to other common forms of marketing such as television commercials and print advertisements. Of the respondents in the study, 87% said that social media is an effective way for businesses to communicate with customers.

While traditional forms of marketing may still be effective for reaching audiences, they lack the continuous customer engagement that social media sites provide. The social media world virtually never sleeps with users interacting every second. This is the perfect opportunity for businesses to engage with customers and build a strong social bond. Also, traditional forms of advertising can become repetitive and old, losing customer interest. Remember, customers crave the latest news, technology or event currently taking place.

Social media sites not only allow users to write posts, but they can also share pictures and videos, which web audiences love. Audiences not only want to learn about a restaurant’s latest dish, but they want to see it. Show your customers the latest dish that has left countless other customers drooling for more. Do your chefs have hidden talent of juggling cooking utensils while stirring up something tasty? That’s what web audiences want to see on video. Show them that your chefs can do more with a knife and fork than just chop some meat.

A major benefit to social media sites that customers can take advantage of and businesses can utilize is customers can provide their feedback. This allows restaurants the opportunity to understand how their customers feel and learn what they should change or improve upon to keep customers happy. While a positive tweet is a good sign, don’t neglect unhappy customers. Now is your chance to show customers that you truly do care about them.

So, if you’re a restaurant owner looking for a way to help your business gain more exposure, now is the time to enter the social media world.