Having worked in marketing well before the delights of social media, I can say that restaurants and bars survived just fine. Although that’s the case, people’s behaviours have changed. We mindlessy walk around (occasionally bumping into things) endlessy scrollong down pictures of food and drink. We follow our favourote brands because we have been there, a friend has recommended it or some ‘top ten’ guide has told us to do so. We look into the kitchens of restaurants across the globe from the comfort of our postcode. We salivate at cocktails (perfectly styled), as we decide what will be our spirit of choice, unless a ‘top ten’ guide has already geared us towards a serve. Basically, today and tomorrow is about pictures and instagram is the winner for restaurants and bars.
I am on twitter and I find the interface to be more text driven and not necessarily built for enticing imagery to stand out amongst the barrage of words. There is a significant move towards imagery on Instagram to promote food and drink, with a twitter handle only being snagged so no one else gets it.
For my clients, I have used it less and less as the engagement is low in comparison to instagram. On instagram your fans @ you and check-in sharing their imagery of your food/drink far and wide. So why put any resource into twitter? I guess it depends on the client. A new brand I am working with has said no to twitter and only has facebook because of the business element and its connection to instagram for advertising and sponsored posts. I envisage this being the case with many newbies, because as I trawl through some of my favourite brands posts I see the following:-
- Content primarily created for instagram.
- Normally scheduled via hootsuite to simultaneously post to all three channels, with no specific love shown for twitter and facebook.
- Minimal twitter interaction if anyone comments or asks a question.
- Minimal twitter engagement from anyone.
Basically the 3 likes you get on twitter for the same post you put on instagram (which got 30+) tells you where to put your money and time.
As instagram is, in my opinion, an important part of the marketing function, you need to give it the respect it deserves.
- Find your look and feel for posts to look on brand. Your brand. Play around until you find the fit then stick to it.
- The images need to be right. Out of focus, unattractive food, boring cocktails are a no – invest in a good photographer or at least, a decent phone.
- Post regularly.
- Don’t duplicate. There is nothing lazier than me loving a pic of a plate of pasta, only to see it again the following week. Do the work. It will benefit you with better engagement and growth. A lot of people I know (myself included) promply unfollow these culprits who cut corners.
Twitter is not dead, but in a coma. Instagram is bursting with life but only if you give it sustenance.
by Sam Samuel