Insight

Going viral: How hospitality businesses can boost their brand awareness through customer social posts

Whether it’s a fancy restaurant, fast-food chain, traditional pub, or stylish cocktail bar, when it comes to the highly competitive hospitality industry, a well-designed venue with on-brand design goes hand-in-hand with the food and drink options when creating a memorable experience for customers. And a memorable experience for your customers has the bonus effect of encouraging them to share their visit with their friends and followers on social media. 

So, how can restaurants and bars encourage their customers to promote their venue on social media and get that brand awareness boost? The goal is to empower customers to take great content, influencing their followers that your venue is a ‘must-visit’.

Let guests do the talking

From instagrammable feature lighting to TikTok worthy background music, every element of the design contributes to the overall vibe of a venue – and it enables patrons to capture eye-catching photos or videos, enticing their followers to jump on the hype. Whether it’s Instagram, TikTok or Facebook, social media is the first stop for many in search of local restaurant and bar recommendations. With over two billion users on Instagram, and one billion on TikTok, social media opens up a world of possibility for hospitality venues looking to boost their visibility and credibility.

Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) is becoming increasingly visual, and an Instagram post or story from a trusted source is much more convincing than a paid ad. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over any other form of advertising. That word of mouth is key to having customers queuing out the doors and filling up booking spots.

And not just that, the mix of a tantalising menu and a trendy, welcoming atmosphere that keeps diners coming back time after time will encourage them to stay longer and boost customer loyalty.

‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ has never been truer than in the realm of restaurant marketing on social media. Stunning photographs and videos of mouth-watering dishes can evoke powerful emotions, triggering a desire to savour the flavours and indulge in the dining experience. Professional food photography, combined with creative storytelling, can elevate a restaurant’s online presence and distinguish it from the competition.

Light up their socials

Pairing functional and atmospheric design with great customer service and delicious food can gain any venue a strong social media presence. To capture the perfect ‘gram photo or TikTok video, diners need good lighting! The ideal lighting can transform any space, no matter the feel of the establishment.

The lighting choice for a venue will depend on the theme of the restaurant or bar, and the emotions you want customers to experience. From soft dimming options that create intimate pockets, flattering warm glow emanating from a low light source, to quirky, colourful LED displays, presentation is everything for gaining #food and #cocktails posts.

If you give customers a beautiful setting, good lighting, and aesthetically pleasing products — they’ll be more likely to capture and share their experiences on social media. Take the Johnnie Walker Experience in Edinburgh for example. While light and sound play a central role throughout the guided tours, they added to the brand experience by building light into the tables for guests to put their cocktails on, giving them an opportunity to capture pictures worthy for their social feed.

Amplify your following

What’s an atmosphere without music? Music sets the pace of the place, and whether your venue opts for loud music full of energy, or a more laid-back, sultry beat, the acoustics of a venue is an essential component of the impact for diners and the videos they’ll be sharing on socials.

Getting the audio integration in your venue spot-on means having a tailored sound that complements the atmosphere without competing with diner conversations. And a thoughtfully designed audio system ensures that the all-important visual impact isn’t disturbed with speakers and wiring, all while adding to impact of the customers’ ‘gram story.  

Some venues may opt to have live DJ sets at certain times of the week to entice customers in, but it’s important to keep the customer experience at the forefront even between sets. Having a sophisticated, tailored audio system in place means a smooth transition when switching from a live DJ to a playlist, keeping you on the good side of a make-or-break experience for customers.

Create the customer experience

The atmosphere for any venue, whether that’s a bar, restaurant or café, needs to enhance the overall sense of connection and enjoyment for patrons, so investing in high-quality equipment is crucial. That could be state-of-the-art sound systems for crystal-clear audio, seamless video displays for visual storytelling, or feature lighting for ambiance. Prioritising quality ensures that your venue stands out both in person and online. Investing in your venue will ultimately get more customers coming through the door, which is a win-win.

At Hutchi we do the hard work for you, managing every solution including audio, lighting and visual displays as well as network integration. It’s an exciting opportunity to create unique spaces that stand out from the crowd and inspire your customers to share their pictures and videos online – at no expense from you.


Ready to discover how you can enhance your space? Speak to our team today and start upgrading your guest experience.

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