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Like toppings on pizza, pictures portray your brand's personality on social media

| by Ashley Davidson
Like toppings on pizza, pictures portray your brand's personality on social media

From emails and text messages, to news stories, ads, and social media posts, there's a lot fighting for customers' attention in the social media universe these days. In fact, the amount of content we're bombarded with every day can be overwhelming, leaving most regular social media followers little time for anything more than a passing glance a pizza brands' posts. 

As a result, we're increasingly becoming an image-driven society where fewer words can actually lead to more engagement. As users of platforms like Instagram and Pinterest continue to grow (those two collectively reached 1.25 billion users last year), every successful brand is riding the wave of image-focused content.

But across the image spectrum, from videos to still food shots, it's more important than ever that pizza brands be selective about what and how they use images in social media posts to truly engage customers and generate more business. The following five tips for both creating and curating the best visuals for social media platforms will help your brand break through the noise and grab consumers' attention.

Find your style

Take a look at some of the world's most successful brands. They all have a distinct style and voice across their social media channels. Wendy's Instagram page, for example, has a consistent "food is the star here" look that also creates a sense of style and fun. Meanwhile, the New York City-based franchise, Melt Shop, draws people in with its special "food porn" style of photography that focuses on super tight shots of ooey-gooey melted sandwiches. The idea is to create and concentrate on your brand's style and then keep it consistent across social media channels.

Have a goal for each image

Brands should have a reason behind every single image they share. Hone in on the particular item or service you want to promote or message you want to convey in that specific post. Purposes of such posts can run the gamut from using an image to drive awareness of LTOs or prompt participation in an upcoming event, to spotlighting new or different décor or great employees. 

Remember though that a single image post is rarely sufficient to boost sales or traffic, so think about posting a series of images that drive a specific customer action or engender desired feelings for the brand among customers. 

Keep your audience in mind

Always remember your core customer. If your restaurant typically attracts millennials that enjoy great burgers, share images that show customers delighting in those offerings or a beautiful photo of a hot-off-the-grill offering. 

On the other hand, if your brand caters to a health-conscious crowd that craves salad, choose images that connote the freshness and color variety of the vegetables used.

But, always remember to keep track of the image posts that illicit lots of "likes" and comments. These serve as your guide for future posts. 

Add text ... sparingly

Remember that many in your social media audience are typically passively scrolling through their social media feeds until something grabs their attention. As a result, there are probably not reading most captions or posts of more than a few words. To play to this, consider superimposing text directly on the image in some manner to grab their attention, like McAllister's did in this post that also grabs attention by highlighting a great review. 

Hire a professional photographer to build an image library

Let's be honest. If you work in a restaurant, you are probably busy from the time you walk in the door until the time you leave, so -- particularly if you're a smaller brand with limited resources -- the time to create great images and edit them appropriately for social media use is sparse. 

In these cases, strongly consider hiring a photographer to help your brand build a quality image library that you can regularly pull from as needed. But keep in mind as you peruse available photographers that most have their own particular style and approach to image creation, so do some online research and review their portfolios to find an individual or several individuals that suit your brand. 

Once you've contracted with a particular individual whose work you find resonates with your customers, you will find the look-and-feel of your content stays consistent and delivers returns that beef up your bottom line.


Photo: iStock

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Food & Beverage, Marketing / Branding / Promotion, Online Ordering, PCI Compliance, Pizza Ingredients, POS

Ashley Davidson

Ashley Davidson is senior director, Media & Industry Relations, at Fish Consulting, a national public relations agency specializing in franchising.


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