InstaGrub! Why Social Media Is An Essential Ingredient For Your Food Business

InstaGrub! Why Social Media Is An Essential Ingredient For Your Food Business

Are you a food business? Are you using Social Media to maximise revenue into your company?

#Food is the most popular hashtag on social media. We eat with our eyes and as a race we are pretty obsessed with all things edible.

If you are a food led establishment the world is literally your oyster (pun completely intended!) when it comes to publicising what it is you do so well.

A picture tells a thousand words especially when it comes to showcasing something tasty!

You may already have some social media pages set up but how should you use them most effectively and what should you talk about?

Here’s my tips on quick social wins:

Choose your tone:

Think about the type of establishment you are, who your customer is and the tone you should communicate with them. Knowing your target market is key when looking to sell them the benefit of visiting your premises.

It’s important to show personality whilst being professional.

Check your Bio’s:

A really common oversight is companies fail to complete all the information about themselves on their social media platforms.

Look through your bio and make sure you have links to your website, your address, your telephone number and email address all filled in so customers can contact you and find you.

What to talk about?

Your business is a rich melting pot of things to talk about on your social media feeds.

From behind the scenes, staff, menu items, new lines of beverages, the new plants in the garden, weddings, celebrations and more.

You really shouldn’t be short of great material to post about. The most important thing is getting into the habit and mindset of “my customer would be interested in seeing that”, then take a picture and get it posted!  

Get visual!

I recently went for a fantastic afternoon tea at a place I found by chance on Facebook by searching in my area. When I discovered the pub’s social media pages, the photos of their food were literally fantastic. Customers had started to post to their page also sharing their pictures of their own afternoon tea spreads and occasions. I booked a table right away! Food sells!  

If your business is relatively new to social media, an easy place to start is Instagram as you can have it on your phone and set it up to post images to your Facebook page automatically.  

Instagram users now share a whopping 70million photos per day and it is quick and easy to use. Customers can also tag your premises in pictures they have taken their giving you additional content and social presence. Got a daily special? Share it!

Do not be afraid of Video either, it’s growing in popularity on Facebook which means it’s more likely to be seen by your audience. It’s easy enough to switch between photo and video on your smartphone so if you are posting a picture of that new cocktail, why don’t you show us how it was made?!

Don’t forget your hashtags:

All social media networks use hashtags and location tags called Geo tags to allow user to search for relevant content. A post without hashtags will effectively fall into a black hole.

Think about using hashtags that convey your location, unique selling points and what you are publicising.

If I was a cafe and I was showcasing a special cake I had just made I might use #Rachelscafe #Cake #Afternoontea #Yorkshire as hashtags. The first one being niche to my premises so we use them often to make your content searchable, the middle two tapping into really popular themes and the last one tagging our location.

On Instagram you can use up to 11 hashtags for the best results, the other social networks are best with 2 or 3.  

Theme’s make planning easier:

If you are thinking this sounds like A LOT of work, bear in mind there are ways to make it easier which I talk about below. One of the best techniques to help you know what to talk about is to plan your content roughly.

So for the current quarter you could have themes around School holidays, Summer, Alfresco dining, and Cocktails.

Then break it down into days of the week so Monday, a popular hashtag is #meatfreemondays or #mondaymotivation.

Pick a vegetarian option and a great drink deal (hello #Cocktails & #Mondaymotivation) and that’s your days posts sorted.

Repeat through the week based around what you have going on. #Twofor1 #Tuesday #AfternoonTea #FizzFriday etc.

Automate (a little) to get ahead:

Facebook has a really great post scheduler so a good habit to get into is doing most of your content at the beginning of the week and then any “live” images you can share from instagram.

This makes it less labour intensive and allows forward planning for events that you have in the diary a long time ahead.

An example of this could be the new football season, Wimbledon, or another sporting event. With a spare half an hour you could add posts for upcoming events and themes.

I am not a massive fan of scheduling really far in advance and don’t it myself as I think you lose the social element but planning some posts for the week ahead and scheduling them on a sunday night is good practice.

Twitter and Instagram also have scheduling tools which you can use by way of 3rd party apps if needs be. Make sure you utilise your smartphone.

Involve your staff:

Delegate dual marketing responsibility to a trusted member of staff by setting them as an admin on your Facebook page, and giving them password access to have Instagram, Twitter and any other platforms set up on their smartphones. When you are not there or if you are busy, encourage them to post to your pages. Once staff see the benefit of social media and how it gets customers talking, they will embrace it fully.

Make friends:

Be sure to follow other local businesses on social media for networking and visibility.

These are the people that are likely to use your premises and be interested in your posts and likewise.

Don’t forget to add a link on your posts to your website, menu, or online booking system so that customers can easily find out more and have a strong call to action.  

Deal with the doubters:

It is inevitable that when you put yourself out into the public domain you will get good and bad feedback. It’s important when it’s the negative kind to take a step back and consider if it is justified and can be labelled or if it’s just malicious or a difference in opinion. Personally Good or bad it is always wise to respond as it shows that you monitor your pages. How a company deals with a complaint I always think is actually more impressive than how they deal with glowing comments.

Do not respond straight away, give yourself a little time to construct a response that is factual, concise and never rude or patronising. Get another person to read it if necessary. Think of it as a learning exercise and feedback to staff if necessary and remember you will never please all the people all the time.  

Now go and get social!


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