Create Social Media Content that Gets People Talking

We’ve already discussed how to establish your profile and get your name out there. But people aren’t going to bite unless you have consistent, high-quality content.

This doesn’t mean you have to post 400 times a day. In fact, marketing research is finding businesses that limit their posting to once or twice a week are more successful in building a following. It’s a simple “quality over quantity” strategy.

So what exactly makes up a good Instagram post?

Upload quality pictures only.

Camera phones have come leaps and bounds from the old, pixelated flip phone camera. A professional photographer (although nice if you have one on deck) is no longer necessary when creating quality photos that will make mouths water just by looking at them. Here are 4 helpful hints when taking photographs,

  1. Lighting is everything. When photographing food, natural light is always best. Overhead artificial lighting will do, too. Avoid dimly lit photos or using the flash. Be sure to consider your lighting in the dining and bar area as well. Good lighting makes your establishment more “instagrammable” for the customers to snap photos of their own and share them on their own profiles. Keep this in mind with decor as well. People love to snap photos with interesting decor like neon signs or colorful murals.

  2. Filters are your friends, but be sure not to overdo it! Remember food is the focal point, not your sweet editing skills. The filters provided on Instagram are great (be sure to take advantage of the brightness feature at the top, too). If you’re looking for a little extra pizazz to your pictures, try free editing apps like VSCO, Over, Photogrid, Replay, Latergram, and Flipgram. The Boomerang app is also a fun one to play with, creating short little videos to capture the viewer’s attention. Boomeranging a customer chowing down on a new special or a bartender crafting a signature cocktail is sure to snag some attention (and likes).

  3. Garnish is a necessary extra flair to a dish or a cocktail that can really set it apart from the rest. It provides a bit of color and contrast, making it more visually appealing to your followers. Just be sure to stay consistent. Make sure the food in the photo looks like the food being served, otherwise you may have some customers expecting food art and disappointed when it isn’t what was advertised.

  4. Plating should be clean, simple, and the perfect accessory to the main focal point: your delectable food. The plating of the food should be simple enough for your chef to carry out consistently for every order, but elegant enough to deem it “instaworthy” for your profile and your customers.

Don’t be afraid to use emojis.

Depending on your brand, we highly recommend using emojis on your profile and in your engagement with customers to make you seem more personable and less robotic.

A study done by found that posts with emojis had a 15% more interaction rate. Use them when commenting and responding on other profiles. It increases likeability and approachability.

Considering there are over 2,000 emoji options, it’s important to not get carried away. One smile with heart eyes will do but ten in a row with five heart emojis might be a little much (not to mention borderline creepy).

A fine dining establishment may want to consider their brand before incorporating emojis in posts. It can still be done, but if they are going for a more professional theme it may not be the best option.

Whatever you decide, be sure to 1) stay consistent and 2) don’t overdo it.

Show what’s going on behind the scenes.

People love to feel like they are a part of the action and will appreciate getting to know the heart of your staff. When employees are having fun, it shows to customers. It keeps them coming back for not just the food, but the atmosphere as well.

If you work in the hospitality industry, you know how silly the employees can be behind the scenes. Don’t be afraid to capture funny moments that accurately depict the personality of your restaurant.

Employee spotlights are a great way to make customers feel included. It can also motivate employees to work hard with a smile for the chance to be featured.

Talk about a win-win!

Looking for more ideas? Check out this article for more strategies to engage your followers.