It’s perfectly common to research a restaurant or café online – and one of those avenues is through user-generated content.
Simply put, user-generated content is organic and unpaid content voluntarily produced by a brand’s customers. In fact, 79% of customers regard user-generated content as being highly influential in their purchasing decisions, according to Stackla. The more social proof there is, the more likely we are to want to try a specific restaurant.
Without further ado, here are the types of user-generated content you should be making the most of:
Photos On Social Media
Running low on content? Search your geotag on Facebook or Instagram or view posts your restaurant has been tagged in and discover how customers get creative with capturing your food.
While you’re there, be sure to like, comment and share your customers’ posts to let them know you appreciate their support. If the photos are of high-quality, you can repost them as long as you give credit to the relevant user. As a free resource, this also means less spent on marketing!
Remember that when it comes to food, customers are visual. By reposting stunning food shots, you’ll be turning heads and inspiring more customers to post about their dining experience. To drive more user-generated content, you can even run a competition where the best food photo wins a meal voucher. Trust us, you’ll see engagement flooding in!
Seeing as we’re constantly on the go, Instagram Stories are the perfect alternative for customers who just want to share snippets of their day. In seconds, they can let their friends and family know what they’re up to – and more specifically, where they’re getting brunch or grabbing their coffee from.
To encourage your customers to post about your restaurant or cafe, you ought to visibly display your Instagram username or branded hashtag on your menu or at the payment counter. Once you’ve been tagged, you can reshare it with your own followers with the click of a button!
While Instagram Stories only last for 24 hours, you can add each of them to a Story Highlight on your profile, titled ‘Our Customers’ (or something along those lines). This shows your followers, both old and new, that you care.
Reviews & Testimonials
Facebook, Google My Business and review sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp are the go-to places to find reviews of your business. From time to time, you can feature positive reviews on your social media or website. Think word-of-mouth at its finest.
When negative reviews appear, it’s important that you address them and provide a viable solution. This way, you also establish credibility for your business. For more on how to handle negative reviews, check out our guide here.
With that said, if a customer messages your business page or gets in touch with a glowing review, don’t be afraid to ask them if you can use their kind words for your next testimonial. We can guarantee they’d be flattered!
Website Photo Gallery
As mentioned, customers feel valued when you feature their photos taken at your restaurant. As such, why not fill your photo gallery on your website with plenty of user-generated content?
Not only can you showcase your offerings through authentic content, but you will also strengthen the connection with your customers. As a business owner, it’s the little details like these that help you to build a community around your restaurant or cafe!