In the last year there seems to be a trend among restaurants in holding competitions on Instagram whereby customers upload photos of the food from the particular restaurant they are eating in onto the restaurants Instagram in hopes that they win a prize.
This emerging trend is quiet innovative in the way that it costs the company nothing but a good service to their consumers (which they should be providing already!). This method allows customers to post about their experience in the restaurants through photos, which not only drives the amount of traffic to the site but is also allowing potential customers to see what the service in a particular restaurant is like.
Let’s take a look at two restaurants that have engaged in this kind of promotion, they include Eddie Rockets and Milano:
In February 2013, Eddie Rockets launched their Instagram campaign which allowed customers to post pictures of the food they received at the restaurants on their Instagram using the hash tag #eddierockets. At the end of each week, the best photo chosen by Eddie Rockets wins a €20 voucher for the restaurant. The winning picture was also posted on other social networking sites such as Facebook along with other photos submitted by fans.
By allowing customers to create the content on Instagram themselves, prospective customers could really see the positive feedback the restaurant was receiving as well as photographic evidence of the quality of food they would be receiving. It is genius to think that all this content was done by the consumer yet benefited the company in a large way.
Although exact figures of the impact of this campaign are not certain, judging from the level of traffic to the Instagram site we do see an increase in the content available to visitors of the page.
Now let’s take a look at Milano; although they did not go down the exact same road as Eddie Rockets did, they still managed to get a response from the public. With the launch of their new Calzones, Milano promoted a campaign which allowed customers give their ‘Seal of Approval’ about the new main course through their Instagram and twitter pages.
Although it did not have the same effect as Eddie Rockets campaign, which we see from the amount of uploads that consumers gave on their pages, it still gave the same effect of allowing the customer to show how well of a service and quality food they are receiving.
Now the question I have to ask is: ‘is this the new way forward for the restaurant industry? Allowing the customer to create the content of your Instagram page, allowing competitions such as what Milano and Eddie Rockets ran which persuaded customers to come back for more so they could enter the competition again, while influencing prospective customers in a positive way and attracting them to try the food for themselves’
If done correctly, I do think that this is a marketing tool that makes a much greater influence to consumers than posters do, the fact that the photos come from an actual customer who was at the restaurant themselves eating the food they are posting on such sites, means a lot more to prospective or even current customers than a poster generated by the company themselves.
However, if not done correctly, a low amount of posts can turn people away from the restaurant, but there is also a chance of negative comments being made about the food or even the service. So if companies do choose to go down the Instagram road, make sure your staff know exactly what level of service to deliver, or your marketing strategy may backfire!