Online Engagement among Restaurant Customers: The Importance of Enhancing Flow for Social Media Users [Summary]
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This study provides valuable implications to industry practitioners. Numerous restaurants are using social media for a variety of purposes. Our study revealed that information quality is the most important predictor of flow, therefore, restaurants need to especially focus on providing high-quality information through their social media platforms. Surprisingly, many restaurants overlook this basic issue. Customers usually do not spend a lot of time when they search for dining-out information on social media so the experience should be fast and stress free. Restaurants should optimize pertinent information like hours of operation, contact information, and address should be easily accessed on the profile page. The restaurant’s uniform resource locator should be available on the profile page so customers can easily navigate through different sites. Any changes to relevant information must be updated and announced immediately so customers do not get confused. For example, some restaurants have different operating hours on holidays but do not update this most rudimentary information on their social media websites. It is a good idea for restaurants to announce on their social media platforms when they are sold out of their most popular items. Customers also want useful and credible information that is detail oriented. Adding filtering techniques can also provide customers with flexibility and allow them to filter out irrelevant information. Today’s customers look for all sorts of information, from menu ingredients to the furniture brand in the restaurant. Therefore, restaurants need to attentively have the most up-to-date communication and try to deliver extra information as well.