Everyone loves looking at pictures. Whether they are photos of nature or wildlife, photos of family and friends, cooking experiences, or even pictures of fun events, people take pleasure in living vicariously through other individuals via these photographs. This has come to include the interest of seeing a delicious meal that another food enthusiast was able to sit down and enjoy. Over the previous few months, I have really begun to see the affect that Instagram has had on the food industry, whether it is home cooking, eating out or trying new restaurants, people’s photographs have proven to be a unique promotional tool for anything food related. Often times, I have had to make a mad dash towards the kitchen cupboards in order to satisfy my cravings after seeing one of these mouth-watering photographs. Chefs that are cooking from home or individuals that have visited a certain restaurant are able to snap quick photos from their phone and post them to social media resources like Instagram for the world to see. As a result, it can spark another’s interest in trying that recipe, visiting that food establishment or it may just simply activate that person’s hunger for any food Buy instagram mentions.
I have been on Instagram for about one year now and during this period I have really enjoyed seeing the lives of friends and family through pictures and short videos. However, during this time frame, one trend that has really stood out to me was how proud these cuisine fanatics were about their food orders they put in or the meals that they had prepared. Eating is one hobby or activity that is going to be a part of everyone’s life and why not share your favorite recipes or cooking experiences with the social world? Any individual with access to the internet can snap photos of their appetizers, main dishes, desserts or even fancy beverages that they were able to consume, upload it to Instagram and within seconds, that tasty photo will be potentially visible to thousands of followers on some of the largest social media resources around the world. In addition to that, there are numerous different apps that will enhance these photos or even dozens of filters that will make the food and beverage item look even more mouth-watering. Even the most unappealing of food items can be made appealing through some of these fancy advancements in technology.
Another fun perk of using Instagram for meals is that this photo app also works with another app called Foursquare, which allows the user to share their location on a map with their followers. Individuals can “check-in” at certain food venues, buildings or other locations to let their friends know what they are up to. From this partnership, I see Instagram as being a unique marketing tool not only because restaurant goers and food consumption specialist are able to take appealing photos of their food and drinks, but they can also attach a location with that photo so if other interested parties want to experience that same menu item then they know right where to find it. Even if Instagram is not considered one of the most effective forms of media right now, I would recommend the free application to any chef, group or small business owner that is looking to promote any product or service.
Over the past year, this unique photo-related application has at times, proved to be sort of a motivator for me by seeing others accomplishments, it has helped me better engage in people’s lives that I do not see on a regular basis and it has even brought some awareness to me on certain things like local events or charity information. For example, I have found myself saying things like “well I didn’t know they served that food there”, or “wow that healthy meal plan has really paid off for that person” or maybe even “dang, I did not know that bar had that fun promotional there last weekend!” and by seeing photos of individual’s experiences in this situations, it has lead me to want to try new things, get more involved or not miss another similar event. Now is this going to be the feeling that everyone has who sees these photos? Not likely, but for being a free tool that anyone can use, why would groups and businesses not want to use Instagram as a marketing method? It definitely would not hurt the business or group at all!
Instagram can be a fun tool to utilize for any small business or non-profit that may not be looking to spend tons of money on marketing. For example, I began a kitchen related retail business recently with a blog, Twitter and Facebook page and as a fun marketing method I created a separate Instagram account from my personal account that was strictly for this ecommerce business. It allowed me to upload unique photos to all my other web sites as a way of interacting with my followers and visitors and my website has seen an increase in activity and engagement because of it. Now showing fancy photos of recipes that I prepared or menu items that indulged in will not necessarily sell products or make me a ton of money, but it can promote user engagement on all my pages and that is something that I want for my business.
The promotional photo options are endless and that is why I would really recommend including this resource in one’s marketing plan. Business owners like myself can snap and upload pictures of basically anything associated with their business, such as people having a great time using their products, the reactions of individuals tasting new foods, specials or discounts that are being offered for a period of time, or just photos of all the different menu items or product lines that managers and owners want to promote more. In my opinion, Instagram has not become as utilized of a free marketing tool as Facebook and Twitter, but I do think it could eventually reach that point, especially with the ease at which these users can integrate their Instagram with these other major social media sites. From all of this, restaurants and bars can promote their menu options through their visitors at no cost as long as those hungry patrons enjoyed their meal.