The ABC’s Of Instagram For Restaurants

Be selective with the images that you repost on your Instagram account. Don’t be anxious to repost every picture, instead, focus on the “best” user generated content.

When you display your product in a poor light this will adversely affect your business.

Bad pictures, bad perceptions.

There’re a couple of businesses in the town that I live that seem to repost everything (they are the inspiration for this post) that comes across the radar.


Bad lighting.

Bad angle.

Bad shot in general, etc, etc.

Just because somebody has the Intsgram app DOES not make them a photographer.

And just because someone doesn’t own a professional camera doesn’t mean they aren’t artistic. (hipsters take note)

Identify The Best

The beauty of Instagram is that talented people can create beautiful images of your product and service for you on Instagram.

But the flip side is, lots of untalented people can create lots of horrible images for your product.

Below are the ABC’s to help you remember if you should repost an image when you find one…

The ABC’s of High Quality Pictures:

Artistic – fun angles, maybe some other props like a glass or fork in the meal
Bright – look for images with great lighting, preferably bright
Clean – not blurry, crowded with other objects, or far away with little detail

Get Permission

Make sure you get the users permission to re-gram their photo on Instagram. Even though you credit them in the comments it is important to first ask.

Disneyland does a great job of this.

Pick any photo in their feed, they have tons to choose from that is why their whole stream is user generated, find who they credited, go that user’s profile, find the pic that was regramed and wah-law there is the consent to share.

The ABC’s of permission:

Ask – ask the user for permission in the comments of the original pic and tag them so they get a notification.
Bail – Scrap the original caption and add a short unique headline of your own. Most of the time people post pictures with no thoughts of headlines because that’s just not where their head is at.
Credit – us this format to apply credit after your headline (photo: @username)

Additional Enchantment

Let’s say you found a great pic and it falls into the first set of ABC’s of regraming but…

there are elements that are just a bit off.

You can use an app like Snapseed to bring out some of the details or lighten some shadows.

Don’t do too much editing though.

You want to make sure to respect the original Instagramer.

Plus, you are going to take some heat if you alter it and end up posting a picture that looks horrible.

Think about how you would feel if a brand edified one of your photos and made it look horrible and then posted it saying it was yours originally…

yeah, you are probably not going to be a happy camper. I know I’d be upset.

The ABC’s Of Editing:

Authentic – keep the picture as close to the original as you can. Try not to touch it at all if you can.
Beautify – only add subtle details to your edits like details and lighting, if you have to edit it at all.
Conservative – this is someone else’s art. Do NOT add filters. Less is more so be wise when touching these originals.

But How Do You Find User Generated Content

This can be both tricky and simple. Depending on how lazy you are that day.

For me it’s 50/50. So I try to give it my all once a week.

1) Use the star feature on the IG app and type in your brand name and search hashtags.

2) Post a picture and add your business location. After it is posted tap the location tag just under your account name when you are in the feed.

Side note: Great Local SEO signals here too, so make sure that you tag your location always. Even if you arent there you can search you business and still tag it.

If you can’t find your business then you need to either claim and optimize your foursquare listing or create a foursquare page for your business.

Other great app’s to use are statigram, hootsuite (you can search hashtag’s with the instagram add-on), and worldcam.


Your Turn

Get out there and find some user content. Ask permission to re-post and then do it.

Make sure that you tag the original IG’er in the comment section and add your business location.

Try to find one picture a week to re-gram.