How Brisbane Restaurants Can Use Social Media to Tell Their Story

Bridget Haigh
April 14, 2021

You’ve mastered the art of the roasted pork tenderloin, conquered the croquembouche, even perfected the crab pappardelle arrabbiata. Now it’s time to up your game in restaurant social media marketing.

With more than 440 million posts tagged #food and 45 million with #drinks, it’s very likely that your customers are already posting—with or without your interaction. So, you know it’s important to be contributing to the conversation, but do you still find yourself staring at blank captions boxes wondering what magic combination of words will get your brand in front of your customers? Are you ignoring your social media channels altogether? Or are you using them to spread promotional content… and little else?

That’s where we come in. Want to turn those likes into leads, clicks into conversions and comments into paying customers? The answer is simple. Your call to action must be direct, your content on brand and your messaging on point.

Love at First Like: How Brisbane Restaurants Can Use Social Media to Tell Their Story

1. Get Sharing

Got a great review? Share it. A great write-up? Share it. Any opportunity to reinforce your brand’s positioning is an opportunity to elevate your digital presence. Here are some tips to help you do so successfully.

2. Be Ready to Respond

It’s a two-way street, so it’s important to be an active part of the food-filled conversation. Real-time customer service isn’t just appreciated, it’s expected, with 42% of consumers now expecting replies to their social comments within 60 minutes.

3. Keep Captions Catchy

Save the long copy for that novel you are totally going to finish. Short, sharp descriptions and witty one-liners often perform better than half-baked attempts at humour. Less is more here.

4. Get Your Hashtags Right

#Seriously. Using the right hashtags is the single biggest thing you can do to drive organic impressions and increase your reach.

For a one-sentence Instagram hashtag strategy, it's "use a healthy mix of what's popular and what you want to become popular." Here's a good Instagram hashtag strategy summary in more sentences.

5. Feature User-Generated Content (UGC)

Two words: social proof. It’s free, it tells your audience you’re a food destination in say, Eagle Street Pier or Fortitude Valley, worth visiting, and it’s only a click of a button away. By utilising UGC, you give real people the opportunity to tell real stories – something that may be inherently missing from brand generated content. In doing so, instead of broadcasting, you create opportunities for conversation by adopting the role of navigator, cleverly guiding the user journey.

Here are a few places to look for this social media content:

  • Look up your location on Instagram to find photos taken at your restaurant.
  • Conduct a hashtag search with your restaurant name.
  • Look at the photos and posts you’ve been tagged in.
  • Ask! By running a restaurant social media contest, you can generate a library of user-generated content, as well as create more brand recognition and awareness.
  • If your business is located in the haven of boutiques and eateries that is James Street, Fortitude Valley, put your restaurant on the map (literally) by hashtagging #jamesstreet. With 53,460+ posts and counting, this hashtag will put you within click’s reach of the many foodstagrammers heading your way.

6. Post Promos

People like to feel that they are a part of something. Social media gives you the ability to share exclusive offers and deals with your audience which can lead to immediate Howard Smith Wharves foot traffic.

Your customer's phone eats first.

As noted in Sprout Social’s guide on the best times to post on social media, research shows restaurants should post their best content on Wednesday and Thursday between 1-3pm before the dinner rush when they’re most likely to receive the most engagement.

Also, be sure to follow the 80/20 rule of promotion. That is, your feed should be made up of 80% entertaining and engaging content and only 20% promotional content. This approach delivers bite-sized marketing material, making it more focused and easier to digest.

7. It's Story Time

Instagram stories play a huge role in being an engine for discovery. Knowing that over one third of the most viewed stories are from brands, it’s about time to tell yours. Check out our post on the basics of Instagram stories.

8. Ask a Question

Getting in front of your customers is one thing, keeping them engaged is another. It’s important to remember here that not every question needs to relate to your business. Conversion shouldn’t be your only goal as social engagement in and of itself is worth its weight in culinary gold.


The secret sauce? Show up on social media with lip-smacking content and meet that tummy grumble with a restaurant experience that matches the brand you are online. Culinary trends come and go, but the recipe for social engagement is here to stay.


  • Advocacy. Don’t be afraid to let your followers do the talking. User-generated content is a great way to strengthen ties with existing customers and deliver social proof.
  • Engagement. Create and nurture relationships and encourage your customers to share their experiences socially.
  • Positioning. Instead of creating content, it’s all about creating opportunities for content creation: digitally-shared moments and inspiring experiences.