Thanks to Instagram, ‘food-gramming’ has become an obsession and it’s redefining the way diners choose where to go for their next meal. Have you ever seen a photograph of a meal and immediately started craving it? If so, this is because of a protein hormone which controls both eating behaviors and metabolism. A study from 2012 revealed that levels of this hormone increase as a result of visual stimulation from images of food. When it comes to making food decisions, visuals have become just as important as written descriptions, if not more so.
Whether diners are deciding where to go or what to eat, many are turning to food bloggers and social media-savvy restaurants for inspiration. With more than 100 million active users and over 50 million photo uploads per day, Instagram has become the fastest-growing major social network in the world. What’s more, #food is the 25th most frequently used hashtag and allows users to find any and all food-related posts. Casual diners and foodies alike are turning to Instagram to share and find new culinary experiences.
Instagram makes it easy for users to find a particular restaurant by using the ‘Tag People’ and ‘Add Location’ features, in addition to using hashtags to mark and find related photos. Users can choose to tag a restaurant by adding the location’s Instagram user handle or by enabling the app’s location feature which will automatically populate nearby locations. Why is this important? Because the next time an Instagram user sees a photo of a new dish to try, that person will know exactly where to find it.
Some key points to keep in mind: be consistent, post often, and interact with users. While posting often is a good practice, be sure to post your best images – after all, that’s what will attract new customers. Be sure each photo is clear, well-lit, and free of any distracting elements to make your dishes more enticing. When other users “like” your photo or leave comments, be sure to reply appropriately. Even negative comments can be turned into a positive experience. Establishing relationships with your followers boosts your visibility and helps to increase customer satisfaction.