Let’s cut to the chase. Instagram may be a worthwhile aspect of a social media strategy for businesses such as personal trainers, but for food businesses, users must carefully consider their content. Posting photos without considering the below can not only be ineffective, it can actually damage your food/beverage brand. So here’s some tips to help out restauranteurs, cafe owners and other Gold Coast / Brisbane food businesses:
1) A recent study has shown that looking at too many food photographs can often DECREASE the viewer’s appetite. By looking at multiple food images, their senses become satiated and get ‘tired’ of the meals before they’ve even eaten one! To avoid this, give your followers some visual relief by uploading different types of images to your profile, such as venue, decor or produce shots.
2) Following on from the above point, be sure to upload photos of the management and staff in the workplace. Humanising your food brand in this way is one of the most effective methods of building a restaurant or cafe that’s relatable in it’s day to day operation and people will want to see you succeed.
3) Other than risking a well-deserved chair attack from a patron for being arrogant, flash photography is also making your shots look awful. Unless you’re using diffused pro studio flash, don’t use flash at all. Certainly not your phone’s built-in flash. The edge vignetting is enormous, the colour balance is thrown out, highlights blown out and unattractive shadows are created. Use natural light instead. If close to a window or light source, try bouncing some light back into the darker side of your plate from a white menu or serviette.
Another consideration is perhaps REconsidering our use of Instagram as a platform itself. Two top-line reasons that come to mind are:
4) Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram increased the shamelessness of it’s disregard for your rights (SURPRISE!), by relinquishing you of your image rights:
By uploading your photo to Instagram, you now still ‘own’ the image, but have just given up your rights to benefit from it in any way (yes, a spectacular oxymoron and technically illegal in the world of copyright law). So should a competitor restaurant like your food image, for instance, they can now legally use it for their own f&b marketing.
5) Instagram’s woeful conversion rates for business:
Instagram is the HQ of modern runaway narcissism and offers little else other than the self-sanctity of accumulating meaningless likes. For businesses, this does not convert to real communication, targeted exposure or solid leads and it therefore, for me at least, has seen me lose faith in the worth of the time investment. Put bluntly, if you see me post now on Instagram, you know I’m sitting on a toilet somewhere.
Having just slammed narcissism, it feels a tad hypocritical of me to post examples of my ‘quality’ food photography in this post now. So I’ll instead leave you with some samples of REALLY bad food photography from Instagram – courtesy of Martha Stewart, who does considerable and ongoing damage to her brand by posting horrific shots of food. So bad they’re funny. You can see more of them HERE.