Isn’t it ironic, after years of striving for flawless, lifelike images of the highest achievable resolution, people are still drawn back to vintage photographs with light-leaked softness? There is just something about the tones and hues of the snapshots that add character and personality to even the most ordinary day-to-day events in life.
That is the perception Instagram hit the ground running with and they were dead on. Since launching in October 2010 Instagram has captured 80 million+ registered users, 4 billion+ uploaded photos, 5 million+ photos per day and they are still growing beyond belief. And it’s obvious that among those millions are chefs, restaurants and foodies who are using the app to connect with their fans as another social media avenue.
Instagram is mainly used as a personal mood board but there is, however, a fraction of chefs and restaurateurs out there using the app for much more. The cleaver tool becomes an outlet to show off food porn including new menu items, fancy cocktails, tasteful desserts, customer and employee candids and artistic close ups. Below are a few great example of how Instagram is being used in the Food Service industry to inspire and reel in fans.
Food trucks can also greatly benefit from Instagram. Take daily portraits of your ever changing and creative menu – the tasty food items themselves, not the chalkboard menu – as well as snapshots of private events. You can also mix in some silly photos of staff, hanging out at home with a decadent cocktail in hand or researching new fancy flavors. It’s truly the personalization that lures fans in. They become more invested in your brand when you let them into your personal life than if you were just a random food truck they only came in contact with once a week.
A neat feature Instagram encompasses aside from 18 filters is the sharing option. You can share your photos taken through Instagram on Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Flickr and foursquare. Sharing your photos is a great and easy way to let existing social media fans know you are present on Instagram. In addition, when posting a picture, don’t forget to geotag, hash tag and call out other users in your photo’s description (ex #Tequila tasting with @mgpatter0106 at Zolo Grill). Again, easy ways of letting fans find you.
Lastly, customers, friends and family have the option to engage with you through the app. Similar to Facebook, users can comment and “like” your photos. In fact, if they really dig your picture, they can tweet it to their followers – BONUS!
In the end, the technology is there for your taking. You can use it for your personal photo album or a soft-filtered glimpse of your restaurant and workings of your business. Just remember that is it a fun, free way to connect with your fans and it’s not going away anytime soon!