The holidays are always a fantastic time to create authentic holiday content and post on your restaurant’s social media pages. With food specials, decorating, and community events; you’re never short on content. And with holidays as varied as they are, there are always easy ways to get in on the holiday fun while being authentic and showcasing your restaurant’s personality!
Marketing Influencer Neal Schaffer says, “Holiday posts foster a sense of community. Sure, you might take this opportunity to offer a super deal to your audience, (people tend to spend more money around the holidays) but a well-crafted holiday post can encourage people to feel a part of something bigger.”
So, now you may be thinking – “Ok, great. How do I create holiday content that is authentic and engaging?” Well, that’s what this blog is for!
The holiday season is upon us so let’s get started on how to create authentic holiday content!
Keeping It Authentic
Photo by Social High Rise
At Social High Rise, we are firm believers in posting social media content that is authentic and unique to your restaurant. So candid photos of your food, drink, staff, customers, interior, kitchen – all that jazz.
This is especially true during the holidays when many super-busy restaurant owners are tempted to slap any over-the-top Google-Searched image on their pages with a generic caption.
Why is staying authentic so important?
Your customers took the time to follow you on your social media pages. They absolutely did not have to but they did, and that’s because they love your restaurant. So how would they feel if they went out of their way to follow you on Facebook or Instagram only to find all the content you post is terrible stock photos of food you don’t even serve or tacky holiday graphics from the laziest corners of the internet?
Not great, right? Yeah, don’t be that restaurant.
All right, now that we’re on the same page, let’s get into some ideas!
Your Holiday-Themed Food/Drink & Decor
Photo Compliments of A Sweet Affair Patisserie
First thing’s first. If you have any holiday-themed food or drink happening – Promote those! Seriously!
Not only is this festive, but it gets your customers good and hungry/thirsty for your Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake or Egg Nog Martini! And don’t forget to showcase any decorations you have set up – Nothing like a sparkling tree to get people into the holiday spirit.
Not to mention, what’s more authentic than using your own food and drink? Nothing, that’s what!
And don’t just think photos of the final product. Hop into the kitchen or behind the bar and take some shots or quick videos (videos receive way more engagement) of your team preparing ingredients or hanging up your winter wreaths. It’s not only authentic content, but it shows your customers how much love and care goes into your restaurant’s food and atmosphere.
Taking even fifteen minutes to whip out your smartphone and take photos/videos will give you some amazing content to work with for the entire season!
If you don’t have any seasonal specials going on and/or you want to take your holiday posts to the next level, try including a small holiday-specific prop into the photos of your regular food/drink. You can snag one of the decorations already around your restaurant or make a quick trip to the dollar store.
Some holiday prop ideas:
- Mini pumpkins (real or fake)
- Painted acorns
- Christmas Tree figurines
- Ceramic Deer
- Twinkle lights
It’s amazing how a small prop can take a classic food photo to the next festive level.
Pro-tip: If you are going to buy a prop, keep your restaurant’s vibe in mind. If you’re a classy bar; the garish, pot-bellied Santa figurine is not for you. Opt for a glass Christmas tree figurine instead.
If you missed out on taking photos of your holiday offerings:
- It’s likely some of your customers got some pics and uploaded them onto Instagram!
- Search your restaurant’s location to see what comes up
- Just be sure to give credit if you do use a customer photo!
Our Account Managers are pros at finding authentic content from your customers online. Schedule a demo with us to see how we can help you with this!
Your Community’s Holiday Festivities
Photo by Social High Rise
Unless you live under a rock, chances are something festive is happening in your area. Whether it be a Run-For-Food, or a Christmas Tree Lighting, or a New Year’s Day parade – Something’s going on. And those are wonderful to post about!
It’s authentic content that your customers will recognize because they’re part of that community too. It also shows you’re invested in your community and you care and are excited to be where you are! Posting about local events or places can really take your holiday content up a notch.
- Pumpkin Patches
- Corn Mazes
- Holiday Parade
- Tree Lighting
- Food Drives
- Clothing Drives
- Local Performances
- Local Hiking Trails
Pro-tip: If you or someone on your team is heading to one of these events, send them along with some of your restaurant’s products or that prop you’ve been using from your food photos. Snag a few pics with those so you get a post about your community and your restaurant all-in-one!
As mentioned above, you can always do a location search on Instagram to get some wonderful shots if taking a trip to the local pumpkin patch isn’t in your wheelhouse right now.
For Holiday Crunch Time – There’s Engaging Stock Photos
Again, we highly encourage photos taken at your restaurant or within your community so those are instantly recognizable to your customer base.
But hey, sometimes life happens and before you know it it’s Christmas Eve. When did that happen?
This is where many business owners managing their own social media turn to Google Image Search and come up with this:
My eyes. They hurt.
To avoid that, check out these sites for top-quality, free-to-use stock photos. Look up whatever you want in the search bar and take what you need.
Just like with the holiday-specific prop I mentioned above, keep your restaurant’s aesthetic in mind. A black and gold New Year’s Eve post would look odd on the page of a pastel-colored patisserie. Try searching for a photo pink or purple confetti instead.
As a general rule, don’t post any stock photos of food or drink as that may confuse customers into thinking you’re actually serving that food/drink. But if you find a stock photo of hot chocolate or champagne that is just so perfect you have to use it – Be sure to be extra clear in the caption that you are not serving that hot chocolate or champagne.
- “Happy Holidays, everyone! We’re taking the day off to enjoy the holiday and sip on hot chocolate with our families and we hope you’re doing the same.”
- “Cheers to a New Year! We’ll be closed this evening to pop some champagne with our friends but we hope to see you soon!”
We know this is a lot to take in, so if you need some more advice on your restaurant’s social media pages – We’re here to help!
Happy Holidays, restauranteurs!
Did you know?
We've been managing social media accounts for restaurants since 2012. For almost a decade, we've partnered with restauranteurs who are serious about using social media to generate business. Whether you're a good fit for our service or not, let's schedule a call and we'll give you free personalized advice on how to improve your social media presence. Either way, you'll walk away from the call more confident about your ability to promote yourself online - completely for free.