Have you ever browsed through your personal social media feed and been besieged with a ridiculous amount photos of people's food? Have you been at an event and watched as people took so many selfies you wonder if they actually saw the show? While this may seem completely ridiculous to you, or even distracting at an event, this can be a company’s greatest treasure.
One morning last weekend my family and I went to grab breakfast and a family next to us appeared to be celebrating a young adult female’s birthday. As we quietly waited for our food to arrive, we watched as this young woman began arranging the plates of food brought to their table. It appears that this was not the first time, because they sat patiently waiting for her to collect the photos she needed. It was a long 3-5 minutes or so as she shuffled plates around, moved food around on their plates and the like. Even as their food cooled off, they waited.
While this may seem like an annoyance to many, for small business owners this can be valuable for their business. Not only is this free advertising and publicity, but it provides them with a wide range of images to use for their own social media accounts. Reposting consumer's posts about your business can help you reach 2 different groups of people by who can lead to boosts in sales and visibility.
The first group are people who are always looking for recognition or validation. You may have seen people who get excited about a celebrity “liking” or commenting on something they posted. Social media has given people more of a chance to have that “celebrity” encounter and businesses are no difference. By sharing these posts, the person who posted has instant 15-minute of fame. They will ride this feeling and continue to post hoping to be on the business page again and this continues to provide free advertising for the business among their peers and provide more images for your business to choose from for your accounts.
The second group of people who you will reach are the people who suffer from FOMO - fear of missing out. This group has grown exponentially since the creation and growth of social media. People are worried about someone having an opportunity or experience that they haven't, and these people are a prime target for businesses selling products and services. These people sare looking for a way to achieve that same “nirvana” or out do the original post. They want to be on the forefront of what is popular and they want to see their own posts on a business page and receive their own 15-minutes of fame.
Both of these groups will give your business visibility among their peer groups and also provide you with additional images to use for your own social media posts. This is a tremendous help when you are wanting to keep your business at the front of consumer’s thoughts and also provides a “referral” of sorts, because you are posting real consumer reactions. This goldmine is a great way to increase visibility and interest in your business services or products.
It is important however, to thoroughly review a photo, even the background, so as you aren't posting something that could cause offense to consumers and potential customers. You don't want to display anything that could negatively impact your business image with these posts, so always keep the ideal image you want to portray in mind. Reposting an image of your restaurant's meal may be further harmed if there is a person changing a diaper in a booth in the background (I've seen that happen to a non-client and it was not easy to shake that negativity.)
All in all, while we may or may not be happy seeing post after post of food on our social media feed, there is a business out there benefiting from it, even it it just makes someone choose that restaurant for dinner over another. So when yo are out and about, go ahead and snap those photos, you never know who your post could influence!
** Thanks to my family and friends for letting me use their faces on this blog post. Image 1: My dad eating BBQ at Killen's BBQ in Pearland, Texas; Image 2: Race to Rhyme-ville Virtual 5K medal and bib from Moon Joggers Run; Image 3: Mattie Rhoades Haines from Quiltsmart visiting Joe's BBQ in Alvin, Texas.