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3 trends reshaping restaurants' social media

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1. Emojis

Brands (and baby boomers) discovered the power of emojis, the lexicon of choice for today’s young consumers. Although 64 percent of millennials communicate using the expressive pictographs, it’s not enough for brands to slap a happy face on the end of a tweet. When Denny’s used emojis to mock a family conversation, it received more than 60,000 favorites. However, the surrounding buzz was a mixed bag of confusion.

2. Tapping Web celebs

Leveraging the fame and followers of popular Vine and YouTube personalities can widen the reach and authenticity of a brand’s post. YouTube-famous a cappella band Cimorelli helped generate more than a million YouTube views for Subway’s Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt. Panera Bread employed Vine star Kian Lawley to talk about his love of fresh fruit—something the chain pushes on its menu—tapping into Gen Z’s desire for transparency and the teen heartthrob.

3. Perks and giveaways

Trolling hundreds of restaurant posts revealed that coupons and freebies still incite a ton of interaction. When Carrabba’s Italian Grill posts a coupon, Facebook likes more than double. But it can backfire: Bogging down a feed with offers appears to deafen its voice, resulting in diminishing returns.

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