Local food magazine, Edible Indy, has experienced firsthand the benefits of social media. Instagram provides instant market research for smaller, locally owned businesses. On average, Edible Indy gains 100-200 new followers each week through interaction and by tagging restaurants. It’s a win-win for the publication and for the restaurant.
Cross promotion on both accounts (Edible Indy and the restaurant’s account) means that a person is more likely to follow both on Instagram and possibly go one step further: read the magazine or dine at the restaurant.
If you do a quick Google search, you’ll find countless articles with social media tips about what to share, when to share it, the best lighting, how to stand on the table to get just the right angle of your sandwich…. While these are important visual considerations, none of it matters if you have too many chefs in the (social media) kitchen.
For instance, take a restaurant chain that manages ten different Instagram accounts (one for each location). Each account averages less than a hundred followers and rarely shares content. The brand has the opportunity for thousands of followers, yet their posts are sporadic, forced, and difficult to find. There’s no consistent posting and the consumer is left to wonder if anyone really cares. Consumers no longer browse a restaurant’s website for the menu; instead, they head to Instagram first to see what the food looks like.
Café Patachou is an example of a restaurant brand that has successfully expanded while keeping their persona intact across social media platforms. There’s only one account for Café Patachou restaurants, even though they have six Café Patachou locations. It might be tempting to create an account for the Hazel Dell, 49th and Penn, and the Indianapolis Airport locations, but it becomes confusing to consumers as to which account to follow and tag when they eat at the restaurant. The same philosophy is applied to their artisanal pizzerias, Napolese. There are three Napolese locations, but only one Napolese Instagram account.