How does one choose where to eat and drink these days? Many would tell you their decision comes from Instagram - myself included. 

I search location tags and hashtags on Instagram to find the place with the most appealing images based on the type of cuisine I feel like. Sound excessive? Well I'm not alone in taking this social media-first approach to dining out.

According to research by UK restaurant chain Zizzi, 18-35-year-olds spend five days a year browsing food images on Instagram, and 30% of them would avoid a restaurant if their Instagram presence was weak.

Meanwhile, US review site Zagat found that 75% of its users have chosen a restaurant based on social media photos alone.

Opening an eatery (or almost any business for that matter) nowadays without investing in social media seems like playing with fire. 

So, when Ballarat's The Lake View Hotel approached me to help with their social media strategy, I was excited to help them realise the benefits of this marketing approach. 

I worked with Alecia - in charge of the marketing - to overhaul the Instagram and Facebook pages by being strategic about the content and timing of posts. Here's more, from Alecia...

 

Before we worked together

I felt I needed some one on one guidance in terms of having a general strategy of how we would use social media to our advantage, a plan for what to post and when, how to use hashtags effectively and how to target certain audiences.
 

What we worked on

Emily helped me look at the importance of aesthetics and how to make our Instagram page look pleasing to the eye by using simple techniques like editing photos in the same way, brightening images, and using the same fonts and font sizes each time.

We worked on a content plan and Emily taught me the importance of always having a ‘call to action’ so that people weren’t only looking at a pretty image, they could read on to find out something about the Hotel whether it be current specials, opening times or a new coffee promotion etc. 

We also looked at the most effective times to post and how we could target more people and meet our goals, by posting at say 7am instead of 9am.
 

The outcome

We have been able to fill the gaps in our quieter periods and quickly and effectively reach our audience with what we want to communicate. 

Our patrons have had the opportunity to communicate more with us through our posts and they share this content with friends. It’s great to get regular feedback from our customers and continue to grow and evolve.

Because of the ever changing nature of social media it’s hard to keep track of all the updates and changes so it’s great to know Em is all over it and continues to offer advice and help when it’s needed!
 
 

The Instagram page 'Before'

 

The Instagram page 'After'

 

Check out The Lake View Hotel on Instagram and get in touch if you would like help developing a content strategy for your business. 

Header image: Jo O'Kelly for The Lake View Hotel