visual content
Chelsea Allenby

Chelsea Allenby is a Digital Marketer of 9 years and Managing Director of Allenby Digital Ltd, an online marketing agency she set-up in 2015, specialising in social media and content marketing.

The growing rise in popularity of visually based social networks such as Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat, have not been a coincidence. Images and videos are far more powerful than words alone; I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. The success of these platforms lies in this concept.

Images Tell a Story

Storytelling is a huge part of successful social media marketing and it’s made far easier through the use of images. When marketing your brand or business on social media, an image can deliver a message far more quickly and effectively than written content.

For restaurant owners promoting through this medium, images cannot be ignored, in fact they should be the driving force of your campaign. Even platforms such as Facebook and Twitter that are not specifically image based, are still driven primarily by visual storytelling.

Visual Content Increases Engagement

A striking image is much harder to miss than a written post, and it’s all about standing out in the congested news feeds of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, in order to reach more people. For this reason, photos on social media get a much higher engagement rate, compared to post’s with no added media.

When we talk about engagement rate, we are referring to the various interactions that happen on social media, such as sharing, commenting, liking and clicking on links. These actions help distribute your content further, increasing your restaurant’s brand awareness and often delivering more potential customers to your website, or towards your contact details as a result.

In the example below, restaurant ‘Bunnychow’ use text within their image to spread the message of their promotion through Instagram.

social media for restaurants

What’s the Best Type of Visual Content to Share on Social Media?

#food has over 180 million posts on Instagram alone, and there are many more popular tags related to food, that users love to post and share.

Get involved with these popular hashtags by posting your most photogenic dishes and sharing photos of the cooking process, or even the fresh raw ingredients when they arrive. Showcase what you have to offer and perhaps create your own hashtag to encourage more user-generated content.

food on social media

In the image below the restaurant ‘Zing Zing’, tweet a powerful photo of their tasty food and accompany the photo with their own hashtag #zingspeed. This is a consistent tag used throughout their tweets when discussing their delivery service. However, the message carries much more impact through the use of the added image.

marketing for restaurants

User-generated content is now a very big part of social marketing success. In simple terms it’s the process of using images, videos and other forms of media, that have been directly produced from your customers or social followers.

Typically users will post images of their food, or photos with family and friends at your restaurant. They could post them directly on your Facebook wall, tag your business on Twitter or Instagram, or alternatively use a hashtag that identifies your restaurant. These types of images are your most valuable and you should encourage them within your social media campaigns, so you can directly re-share them.

Firezza Pizza’ shared some customer photos on Instagram (shown in the images below). They directly influenced these photos by running a competition, awarding winners with a free meal.

social media


You might be promoting your restaurant, but remember it’s not all about the food, so try to showcase other elements through the use of images. Try to capture the atmosphere, the environment and your friendly team too.

Restaurant ‘Daddy Donkey’ regularly share photos of their team on their Facebook page. These types of images suggest an approachable and friendly service.

daddy donkey

Remember that social media is all about personality and getting your message across through storytelling.

Considering how important your visual content is for converting users into new customers, and for reminding previous customers to come back again, you want to showcase only the best content. Poor quality images will suggest poor quality food and services, so use a good camera and try to get creative.

If you need some inspiration, simply search through some popular hashtags like the ones mentioned in this article.