As a restaurant, it’s difficult enough to maintain your place of business, let alone find time to manage your online presence. When the world is telling you that you need to have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, Yelp, Snapchat, and everything in between to stay relevant, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed. I’m here to tell you that really, as a B2C food business, there are really only two social media accounts that are a necessity.
The number one social media platform for food photography and restaurant businesses is Instagram. While some may argue that Facebook and other platforms have higher success rates in that more people spend longer periods of time on postings in Facebook, Instagram is still where foodies and hungry eyes go to browse.
With over 700 million active users on Istagram (and growing), there is huge potential for drawing in business through this platform. The beauty of it is that the real importance is for your Instagram account to exist; not necessarily that you need to create your own content.
Let me explain – once you are on Instagram, people who visit your venue can “tag” your account on their pictures. From there, you can “re-gram” or re-post pictures that you’re tagged in on your own Instagram account (generously mentioning the photographer’s Instagram account, of course).
This means you are accomplishing two things – getting great looking photos on your Instagram account without having to take the pictures yourself and encourages others to take photos in the hopes of being “featured” on your account (which hopefully has at least somewhat of a following, but if not, who doesn’t want to be featured/mentioned in a business’ post?).
This growing loop keeps exponentially increasing your restaurant’s reach and exposure for as long as the food you’re making looks good and your restaurant interior looks amazing.
Without having your location and venue information published on a Page on Facebook, you won’t be able to set up an Instagram account. Thus, Facebook is a necessary precursor to your Instagram account.
You might argue, why not have Facebook only and not Instagram, especially since the same company owns both platforms. However, both platforms are best utilized in different ways. For example, Facebook is great for helping to promote events and posting information/articles that are relevant to your audience. Instagram is great for just getting good looking content out, quickly and beautifully.
Also, without a Facebook page, your customers won’t be able to “geotag” your restaurant’s location on Instagram – which is extremely important for your online presence as well.
Instagram and Facebook are the musts. If that is all the social media accounts you can handle, that should be perfectly sufficient. If, on the other hand, you’re feeling ultra social-savvy, Pinterest is also a great foodie platform as is Snapchat. It may seem weird for a restaurant to have a Pinterest or Shanchat account, but consider if you’re a restaurant who solely sells ice cream. Posting only about ice cream recipes and places around the globe is a great way to garner attention on Pinterest that you can link back to your restaurant. Similarly, when you have a Snapchat account, visiting customers can mention your restaurant in their Snaps (and geotag your location).