How to win with user generated content as part of your restaurant social media marketing strategy

User generated content image on social media marketing

How to win with user generated content as part of your restaurant social media marketing strategy

User generated content is the ultimate weapon when it comes to social media marketing, and it turns out it’s even better when it comes to restaurant social media marketing. Who else to create content and talk about your brand than the people dining in your restaurant, right?


Last year I was engaged by a client in the Mornington Peninsula to manage their social media marketing and help launch their new restaurant. Timelines were tight, they didn’t even want a full strategy designed. What they did have though was a great Chef, location, and brand. From there, the rest was on me. But how was I going to help launch this great new restaurant with no social presence?


It was a tough question but I had an idea. To incorporate user generated content as part of our social media marketing strategy. Almost 12 months on and the business has grown from strength to strength, is constantly busy and now has a social media following in excess of 3,000 people. But today I’m going to teach you the three key tactics I implemented to do help them launch their restaurant and keep growing.


#1 Target Facebook and Instagram users who upload photos

According to a Neilsen 2012 survey, 92% of people trust people they know than any other form of advertising. So a big part of our social marketing strategy was to harness this insight and drive online recommendations through content sharing. But we didn’t have a big budget or following.


So we set up Facebook campaigns targeting people who liked to upload photos and enjoyed eating out. The results soon started to flow on. We saw it start small with 16 pieces of user generated content uploaded in the first month to Instagram alone. This number may seem somewhat small, but when you consider that on average Instagram users have at least 319 friends (Sensis Social Media Report, 2017), that means we’ve potentially reached over 5,000 people. All of which would be seen as peer recommendations. And the more we focused on this part of the strategy the better the results.


Soon we started see content uploaded from users who had 1,000s of followers.


User generated content on Instagram


#2 Ask for permission to use their content

Whilst people are tagging us, mentioning how great our food was and how much they enjoyed coming in. We couldn’t exactly just take their content. It’s just not right. So we asked for their permission to use it.


There’s not much to this one really. But it is absolutely important to do. I’ve seen situations where someone didn’t know their content was being used and then saw it advertised. Let’s just say, it didn’t end well.


Permission to use user generated content

Handling user generated content rights.


#3 Learn what customers think about your brand and play the positive

UGC reveals a lot about your brand, products and services. The way they use it, who they use it with, and even what they hate about it. When we started seeing photos posted about the restaurant, we noticed a trend. There were a couple of groups who liked our product most.


We had one who seemed to be very social and loved going out with friends, another who loved working out but enjoyed a good feed, and another who really enjoyed going out with their family.


Focusing on these three groups, we built out content and advertising that worked alongside the restaurant’s social media marketing strategy. Helping us start to build a cult-like following.


That’s it! Three easy to implement tactics that if you’re a restaurant owner, you can implement too. Well actually, you could really take this model and implement as any business owner.

Don’t have time, or want to see what could be done for your business? Get in touch for a free consultation today.



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