If you’re connected to any social media platform, you have seen, and probably even partaken in, the hashtag or term ‘food porn’. It’s something that the restaurant-goer is getting great at shooting.
A food photo, or food porn, doesn’t really get that title until it’s gone through Instagram. After a couple of tests of different filters, you decide that the ‘rise’ filter works the best, and perhaps the radial blur adds the perfect effect to the plate. Now, you think, that really makes the mouth water.
We, the consumers, love taking pictures of food and sending them to Instagram. But why don’t restaurants themselves pick up this ingredient and add it to their marketing mix?
We have all seen pictures of menus online. We can read descriptions, but in this day and age, forget that. Instead of reading descriptors, let’s see what people are actually eating and enjoying through photos.
In fact, just recently, one restaurant in New York, Comodo, is featuring an Instagram menu. Instead of the restaurant taking pictures and doing the editing, they are leaving it up to the patrons to build their Instagram menu (take a look at the video).
I personally think that is great idea. The restaurant is creating an organic buzz with their target audience. While this is going on, you’re having customers create the scene, and they are spreading the word of your restaurant to hundreds of networks with just one photo – GENIUS! Most of the time, the comments that are associated with the photos are going to be positive and people are going to believe those personal opinions more than what you have to say about certain dishes. It also adds one more way for your dedicated customers to share their best experiences at your restaurant. And, for those who can never decide on what to get, a picture will help them decide much quicker.
Restaurants need to pick up this medium as soon as possible. It’s another tool for them to uniquely promote their business, create a unique buzz, and connect with their customers.
Here are a few tips to form a successful Instagram campaign for your restaurant:
- Complete your profile.
As obvious as that sounds, many restaurants forget to put some crucial information into their bio. Fill that bio in with what style of food you serve, contact into, and other social media links to connect with. Another good bit of information might be to add the hours you are open. Also, don’t forget a good looking profile picture!
- Pick a hashtag, and own it!
Make a hashtag that is relevant to you and be consistent with it. Consistency is key. This helps people get an understanding of what to post, also, if they see your business name associated with the hashtag, they will know it’s the real deal. You can make the hashtag as simple as your restaurant name, or highlight a signature dish or drink.
- Don’t just leave it on Instagram.
So, not everyone has joined the Instagram wagon so make sure people can at least see the photos being posted to your account and hashtag. Share them on your Facebook page, twitter, even your website!
- Make the hashtag rewarding.
Give out a gift card to your restaurant for your favorite photo, or the most likes on a photo. You make great dishes, you can get creative!
Don’t forget to interact with your customers, they love to hear from you as much as they love talking about you. If it’s a great photo, say something! If they complement you, say your ‘thank you’s’! If something goes wrong, address the problem so you can fix it and get it right the next time.
Back to number two, pick a hashtag and own it, you can view my Des Moines Foodster hashtag feed here.