Ask any Mancunian for the best thing about our city, and you can bet one top answer would be the food and drink on offer. It seems like every day there’s a new place to check out. What sets the best apart, though, isn’t just their menus but their social media presence. Of course, selling an atmosphere is easy when there’s a physical place to show off or delicious food to entice people. Nonetheless, there are important lessons to be learned about the way their socials are expertly utilised. Let’s check out how our favourite MCR brands are killing it, and what social media lessons we can learn from them:
Giving them something to get excited about.
Everyone’s familiar with food porn, but what about when you’re not just selling food? You can’t really just call it porn.
Showcasing your product is a huge part of photo-sharing sites like Instagram, and one of the massive social media lessons to learn. You may have noticed the notifications tab has recently been relocated to make room for a new “shopping” button – proving how much people look to buy things on the platform.
Pizza and tequila joint Crazy Pedro’s Insta is a prime example of showcasing their wares. Their high-quality imagery gets your mouth watering instantly. The lighting’s on point and they know their way around the best angles. It also helps that their pizza is tried and tested delicious!
There’s not a single image on Broski’s feed that doesn’t make us ready for lunch. Their images are close-up enough that we can see the dirty burgers in all their glory, but not so much that we don’t know what it is we’re looking at.
Sticking to a clear (and clean) aesthetic.
For a lot of influencers on social media, aesthetic is a word that gets thrown around a lot. Improving the aesthetic is one of the biggest social media lessons you can learn as a brand. Instagram has turned “loving your grid” into a strange but oddly satisfying compliment, and you can see why with some of these next examples.
At the time of writing, Australasia’s post aesthetic is pinky-white. A quick scroll down, however, shows the grid is always growing and changing. Slowly and subtly changing the colour scheme as they do makes the feed seem ever-changing and organic. Several yellow-coloured posts are followed by a yellow-peach marble post, before transitioning towards peach, then pink and white. It’s something the content creator would have to develop slowly over time, but the result’s so pleasing that it’s worth it.
Australasia’s sister site, Sunset, also kills the aesthetic game. Sticking to more of a consistently powder-pink aesthetic, they make the whole feed look simple and clean, even when you’re quick-scrolling all the way down.
If you are struggling to maintain an aesthetic but know you want to, a helpful tool called http://www.myinstapalette.com/ can assess your current feed and recommend a palette to stick to. When it comes to the next time you post, refamiliarise yourself with the colour scheme and use this to locate new content to post. Your feed will be looking as gorgeous as theirs in no time.
Recreating an enticing atmosphere.
Albeit this is easier when you’ve got a physical site as a backdrop, a lot of brands can do this even if you’re posting from the office. Whether you’re trying to promote a particular lifestyle with your clothing, product or (like these guys) a dining experience, create the atmosphere your customers want to live in.
Peck & Yard don’t just promote their (delicious looking) food, but also how great their place looks. The neon “What’s Clucking?” sign feels cool and cheeky and makes you want to visit. It also makes us want a neon sign in our own home.
Whether you call them “Luck Lust”, “Liquor & Burn”, or completely full-name them, you have to admit their restaurant is a hecking cool place to visit. Their food is described as “Mexican-American road trip”, and can make you feel like you’re in a hipster dive bar in the middle of the US whenever you go in. Their posts entice you into another visit just for how cool it feels to be there (and also gets your tummy rumbling for a burrito).
A favourite Northern Quarter haunt is NQ64, the nostalgia-filled neon barcade. Every one of their posts showcases an eighties-inspired atmosphere and makes you want to get down there to relive your San Junipero fantasy as soon as possible.
Posting user-generated content.
One of our social media lessons that can get overlooked is the way that customers can play a part in posts. Reposting user-created images help readvertise products across your followers. Running “like/follow/tag/repost” competitions can widen your audience range. And when it comes to reposting user-generated content, Mancunian hospitality is doing it brilliantly.
Some brands fail to utilise their stories, which is one of the most frequented parts of Instagram and Facebook. Sicilian, however, are always reposting customer content in order to further showcase their products.
Stories don’t have to be the way forward, though – Yard & Coop reposts the masses of bloggers and influencers frequenting the site, and it fits in perfectly with their aesthetic.
Relatively new but already infamous baking company Gooey reportedly increased their follower count by about 5000 recently. This was all from running a competition where users could win a year’s supply of cookies for tagging as many friends as possible in their post. Although there was only one (very lucky) winner, Gooey won a massive increase in publicity and upped their already fast-growing notoriety using this method.
Taking social and political stances.
In the minds of some brand managers, this feels like a very risky thing to do. For others, it’s a knee-jerk reaction to the way our culture works. Either way, it’s essential to acknowledge the stances your brand takes for customers to feel seen and valued by your brand.
Two critical cultural issues right now are the Black Lives Movement (as seen here with Cane & Grain), and LGBTQ+ Pride. As a vastly liberal community, Manchester brands lead the way with supporting issues close to the heart of their customers. As if we need another reason to be proud to be based here!
Creating an authentic community
Probably the hardest one to accomplish on our list (especially if you’re a large business) is making your brand feel human. If you want customers engaging in the same way, they would with friends and family, it’s important to create an honest and down to earth brand voice.
Bunny Jackson’s accomplishes this flawlessly. The authentic American dive bar might not have the most consistent feed, but how many non-influencers do? Their brand is honest and fun, comes across as a real person posting. Seeing regular posts featuring the staff and patrons creates a feeling of knowing the community within that small bar on Jack Rosenthal Street.
There is a lot to be learned from the way Manchester’s hospitality industry is slaying their social media. Whether it’s user interaction, consistent content or just plainly selling their products to the masses, they’re doing fantastic.