If you are in the food business, you are exposed to effects of the social media influence, even if you don’t have an official Profile or Page. Just think about Yelp reviews, tweet comments or #foodporn Instagram photos that customers are sharing through their social media profiles and in that way helping others, especially millennials, to create an opinion about your restaurant, bar or a café. Many restaurant owners are indeed aware of the power that social engagement has on their businesses, so they are trying to bring more customers through social media by talking back to Twitter followers or posting statuses with upcoming weekend menus but not many of them use the most important tool for their industry: visual marketing.
We have all heard that “people eat with their eyes” and we know that the vibrancy, appeal and taste of food must be experienced through good photos. After all, younger generations today refuse to eat their meal before they take a picture of it and post it across different social media platforms. Creating quality and appetizing photos is not easy so if you want to improve your skills please check out How to Make Your Food Photos Look Great: 7 Mouth-watering Tips and Filters and download free design application Content Creator, which features dozens of different filters that will help you create truly drool-inspiring food photos. However, as necessary as they may be, no amount of great looking photos will keep the interest of your fans for a long time. You need something that will inspire conversation, keep you at the top of mind and make people come back. If this is something your business is struggling with here are few ideas for a well-balanced mix of engaging posts (the ones that are interesting to your followers) and conversion posts (the ones that encourage them to take action):
1. Promote Good Food
Great photo of a popular dish can be combined with a creative and delicious recipe for an engaging and shareable post. You can opt to give just a small piece of the recipe in the photo post and place a link that goes directly to your website where you can convert visitors to make a reservation or sign up for your regular recipe newsletter.
On the other hand you can give a full recipe in the visual post and that way make it more shareable to others. When writing recipes, use simple sans-serif fonts that are easy to read such as Bebas, Glober or Panamera and make sure you emphasize different parts of the text with different colors. For more inspiration check out the Recipe section in the Content Creator application and look for dozen free templates that will help you create beautiful recipe posts in minutes.
2. Talk About Cooking
Another classical way to start communication with fans is to simply ask them a question. You can base the question around your restaurant or the type of food you are serving and combine it with a great photo of your signature dish. Use Content Creator ready-made templates that will help you create focus and make your message stand out by leaving enough white space around it. The white space is necessary as it gives your design some breathing space and significantly improves readability of your message. This type of content will not only help you break down the wall between you and your fans, but will help you to get an insight about what people love or know about your food and restaurant/bar.
Great food is a combination of imagination and inspiration. If you believe in this cooking philosophy and want to inspire the same sense of creativity in your fans use your social media platforms to share “foodie” tips and ideas. Think about secrets you can share with your fans and ways in which they can improve their food preparation, food arrangement or even table decorating skills. Pay attention to important holidays and season changes and create your posts in advance. Try to keep a personal tone of conversation by using Content Creator’s script fonts such as Dancing Script OT or Permanent Marker as they make every task look simple and achievable.
4. Show the Fun Side of Food
No matter how serious you business is some non-offensive and industry relevant humor will make you more relatable, as fans will get the feeling that there is a human face behind the brand. When creating such posts remember that the entire design has to enhance the message so use simple backgrounds or a photo that is relevant to the message. If your background image is too busy use Content Creator filters, such as Gaussian Blur, to slightly blur the background image and help your text stand out even more.
5. Be a Good Host
In an industry where the competition is fierce customers need a compelling reason to visit one restaurant or bar over another. Discounts and special coupons limited only to social media followers have a potential to become viral and encourage visitors to participate. A great time to provide such promotional deal is when you are celebrating a major milestone: certain number of followers or a restaurant anniversary. Beside social media posts and banner ads that you might create for the promotion don’t forget to create special Cover Photo that will share the spirit of the celebration and help you communicate most important elements of your offer. When you are designing promo materials that have a lot of text don’t forget to apply the principle of font hierarchy. That means that the most important words, such as the ones that showcase the number significant for your celebration, are bigger in size. Also, highlight certain parts of text with your signature color to make them pop out and capture the attention of viewers.
6. Build a Community
There’s nothing that encourages interaction or brings more fun to your fans like a prize game. You can invite them to sign up to your newsletter for a chance to win a free dinner. They can send a picture of their favorite food from the restaurant menu for a chance to receive cooking lessons with the restaurant Chef or some other valuable and experiential prizes. When communicating prize game through visual posts remember that simple things go a long way so use a picture with a lot of empty space, choose your signature font and contrast its color with the background so that the message is easy to read. Try to preserve consistent branding for these “prize game” posts, including the same font, color or filters, as that will help your fans to recognize them in their Newsfeed more easily.
7. Know Your Guests
For restaurant business, local is the name of the game. People are looking for good places to eat or hang around close to home so it’s smart if you invest in geo-targeted ads that ensure that only users within specific radium from your restaurant or bar see your ads. In that case you will eliminate costly, non-relevant clicks, save money and showcase your ad in front of your real customers. For inspiration on food related templates check out the Barbecue section in the Content Creator application and remember the 20% rule according to which for any Facebook or Instagram ads your text should not cover more than 20% of your photo.
Hope you will find these ideas useful for your business! Now go and boost your engagement! For more design templates that will help you create posts, ads, covers and many other promo materials download free design application Content Creator or contact us directly.