Currently in the world of marketing, social media is the name of the game. In the hospitality world, this is obviously no exception. People are spending a staggering amount of time on their social media apps, with Vox reporting that the average Instagram user is spending 53 minutes daily on the app. With so much time being spent on the app, it becomes simple for restaurant owners to create their own accounts for their business and post appealing photos and videos, and then pay for ad space so that Instagram will prioritize showing their posts on people’s feeds.
This method of advertising can feel disingenuous, however. Some users may find it annoying and invasive to be bombarded with ads from local up and coming restaurants, while many will simply scroll right past your ad without a second thought or glance. This is where the space of influencers comes in. Social media influencers are people who’s accounts, usually specialized in one field or another, garner massive followings.
For restaurants, getting in touch with influencers and using them as a vessel to expose themselves to a broader audience is a no-brainer. Instead of forcing their way into feeds, by speaking to an influencer in their space who can promote them in a natural way, they can draw the attention of hundreds of thousands of people inconspicuously.
The instagram account @streetsoftoronto has a pretty broad scope. They post beautiful photos of the city, but just as many photos of the food you can find here. There’s never an unattractive photo posted, all of the plates and dishes look professionally shot, as if they were planned to be in a photo shoot. And that’s because they were. These influencers don’t just live out their lives and go to restaurants and take pictures by chance. These are strategically planned visits to show off the best parts of the restaurant and their menus, designed by both the influencer and restaurant owners or managers. It’s artificially designed to feel like “authentic” content, so as to not put off the account’s followers.
Traditional marketing for restaurants in this digital age is simply not something consumers want to see. Hiring a social media director is a great way to take advantage of the benefits of social media as a means of reaching customers, and it can be a full-time job. If your establishment is smaller in stature and can’t afford to hire someone to manage all of your accounts, influencers are a convenient tool in the space to utilize and take advantage of as a means of marketing your business.
Molla, R., & Wagner, K. (2018, June 25). People spend almost as much time on Instagram as they do on Facebook. Retrieved from https://www.vox.com/2018/6/25/17501224/instagram-facebook-snapchat-time-spent-growth-data
Streets Of Toronto (@streetsoftoronto) • Instagram photos and videos. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://instagram.com/streetsoftoronto