Social-media Pros Share Tips at Restaurants Canada Show

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TORONTO — Oliver & Bonacini’s social-media maven Cindy La, Maple Leaf Tavern chef Jonny O’Callaghan and Twitter Canada’s communications lead Cameron Gordon flexed their social-media muscle Sunday afternoon as part of a panel titled “Seamless Visual Storytelling,” moderated by Branding and Buzzing founder Sean Beckingham.

The panel shared tips on how to get your brand noticed on Instagram. “Have a consistent, well-curated Instagram account,” said O’Callaghan, who grows his follower base by posting food snapshots in natural lighting. “People are more likely to follow you if each photo is of similar quality,” he added.

Bloggers and social-media influencers have become powerful tools in selling your brand, the panellists noted. “The power of bloggers and influencers has grown,” said La, who reads bloggers’ posts to assess whether they are the right fit and are in line with O&B’s values.

Meanwhile, the fear of missing out (FOMO) phenomenon has led to the popularity of live-streaming apps such as Periscope, where users can easily tap in to view the action. “It’s opening up a world of possibility,” said Gordon, “but you have to be prepared to do it properly.”

What’s the future of social media? “The visuals are going to do the talking,” said Gordon. “The text at this point is so minimal; the average tweet is only 65 characters. Brevity is key.” La added, “Video is going to continue to make a strong push,” but there are still challenges to reaching users during the workday, for example, when they can’t watch videos with sound on their phone.

The panel also shared several tips to optimize each post, such as including between three and 10 hashtags per post and using popular Toronto-centric hashtags such as #TOfoodie and #Toronto. And, of course, aside from posting great visuals, exclusive info, don’t forget to thank followers for their comments.

 

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