Sometimes, social media seems to rule the world. Maybe it does. After all, Facebook has more than 2.4 billion monthly active users. That’s billion with a B!
Social media’s popularity means that you can use it as a marketing tool. Of course, every other restaurant in town also uses the platforms to promote their foods.
Try these five ways to get your food noticed on social media. You make food with attitude. It deserves recognition!
Use Themed Pictures to Attract Holiday Customers
Holidays give you an opportunity to share stories on social media. You can tell any story as long as you get your food involved. With each photo, you add something new and refreshing to your content. Every restaurant shares images of their food. How many share images with a President’s Day theme?
Even the most esoteric holidays can help you create a theme for your social media content. Some holidays, of course, have obvious tie-ins. During a local marathon, you can post pictures of runners digging into post-dash breakfasts. On Groundhog Day, you can share a picture of a groundhog stuffed toy eyeing one of your cupcakes. Or, you could follow La Cava Del Tequila’s example by suggesting followers drink straight tequila to overcome an extended winter forecast.
Find Hashtags That Work for Your Brand
Hashtags make it easier for social media users to find and share posts that interest them.
For the best results, focus on hashtags that fit your brand identity. You can use standbys like #food and #nomnom, but your posts will get lost in the avalanche of other restaurants that use the same tags.
Instead, of following common trends, that everyone can easily associate with your restaurant.
For example, V-Grits and False Idol Brewery, two brands that share a building and devote themselves to vegan recipes, often uses the hashtag #veganfoodandbeer. When you search #veganfoodandbeer on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, you find posts from the businesses and their owners.
Betsy’s Best gives you several other examples. The brand’s posts often include hashtags like:
All of these terms refer to something important about the Betsy’s Best brand. They also help social media users who want to find posts about plant-based foods, superfoods, and non-GMO foods discover a brand that they might not know.
Encourage Fans to Post Pictures of Your Food
You only have a certain amount of time to post updates about your food and restaurant. If you manage to post more than two pictures per day, you’re doing better than most professionals.
A couple of pictures each day, however, isn’t going to turn your social media page into a sensation. You need to recruit your fans so they can help you reach your social media goals.
The Sweet Green chain of restaurants has managed to attract over 211,000 Instagram followers, many of whom post and tag pictures of the eatery’s food.
Some of your customers will post pictures of your food simply because they enjoy doing it. Do you even know when those pictures go up, though? Place signs on your website, social pages, and tables asking customers to tag you in their posts. Then, you can share their images and words with your followers.
It’s free advertising content, so take advantage of it!
Not everyone thinks to take pictures or share their experiences on social media, though. You can push them toward generating free content for your pages by:
- Posting images on your website and giving attribution to the person who took the picture.
- Holding contests to see who get the most “likes” from a picture that includes your food.
- Coming right out and asking your customers to share their experiences, tag you, and include your hashtags.
If you hold a contest, offer the winner a gift card to your restaurant. It won’t cost you much, and it helps ensure that the person comes back.
Also, don’t forget the power of asking. Customers know that small businesses need help reaching new people. If you give someone a great experience, they won’t mind sharing with their friends.
Write Brand-Aware Copy That Adds to Your Images
When it comes to sharing social media posts of food with attitude, photographs do most of the heavy lifting.
The right text, though, can add a lot to your images. For example, Red Tractor Pizza in Bozeman, MT uses snowstorms to remind customers that the restaurant delivers.
You need to know your brand well when you write text for social media posts. A fancy Italian restaurant with high prices shouldn’t use the same language as a snow-cone shop with a small playground out back.
Know whether you should use a serious or whimsical tone.
Also, be wary of jokes. If you can write a good joke, then use it. Most people, however, aren’t as funny as they think. You might have your friends in stitches, but that doesn’t mean you can tell a joke that gets the whole world laughing.
Know your strengths and weaknesses. If you need help, recruit assistance from a professional writer.
Find the Best Ingredients to Get the Best Pictures
Taking a great picture takes a lot of practice and patience. For some reason, capturing the perfect image seems even harder when you use food as the subject.
Plenty of online resources can give you advice on taking better food photos. This article from Insider is particularly straightforward and useful.
No matter how many photograph tricks you learn, though, your images will never look great unless you make food from the best ingredients. For example. you can make your recipes look unbelievably delicious by including Betsy’s Best nut and seed butters in your recipes.
Photos of a Fall Harvest Salad With Cinnamon Almond Butter Dressing will always look unappetizing when the salad has wilted spinach. Purchase fresh ingredients to help your photos stand out on social media. You won’t believe the difference it makes in photo quality.
Dressing up your food can also make it look more mouthwateringly attractive. If you take a picture of a Toasted Coconut Creamsicle Smoothie, it will just look like yellow liquid in a glass. It could be just about anything. After you dress it up with a fresh orange slice and sprig of mint, though, it might convince someone to visit your restaurant to quench their thirst with a sweet treat.
You will need to experiment a little before you find the perfect tone for your restaurant’s food. Pay attention to which of your posts get the most attention. When a post does well, figure out why people like it so much and learn from the experience.