Stressing the Selfies: B2C Mutual Self-Promotion

If you were hoping to finally get an explanation for the whole selfie craze that’s taken over the interwebs, we’re going to have to disappoint you. We have no idea what that’s all about either, but we do know that it’s a fad still on the rise among a generation that is spending more on what they call ‘experiences’, such as travel, events, coffee and food, than any generation before them.

Stats from 2016 suggest that visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media and it will certainly get much more engagement than any textual content, however interesting. And a recent study by the Georgia Institute of Technology revealed that photos with faces in them are 38% more likely to garner likes and 32% likely to receive comments. Know what else gets that kind of engagement? Images of food. Just imagine if you could put the two together and slap your brand on the image too.

So let’s all just get on board with this experience thing and give potential customers added reason to take a selfie at your establishment or a picture of your products. For small businesses in the food and beverage industry in particular, the look and atmosphere of your place of business and your plating techniques have never been more important. Retro, colorful, and out-of-the-ordinary are still highly popular and almost guaranteed to get you more exposure, all with the help of your patrons.

Apparently, people like to promote themselves and show off their lifestyles and experiences. Who woulda thunk it? So give them more reason to do just that and promote your business and your menu while they’re at it. This promotion thing is, after all, a two-way street.

Encourage engagement

Use plating and serving to encourage photos and social media sharing, by adding social media friendly or meme-related images, notes, and text to your food and beverages. Add cocktail stirrers that read “Instagram Me” and “Drink Me” or a short food-related message on a plate such as “Delicious”, “Hot” or “Sweet”.

Color and outstanding or unusual plating also bring out the smartphone cameras, so make sure your business’ logo is right there on the plate or in the vicinity.

Cafe Louis branding by Dyer-Smith and Frey.


Putting up social media, meme-related or just unique and unusual decor around the place will also get patrons to snap more photos and incite sharing and conversations. Conversations pieces are bigger than ever and it could be something as simple as a life-sized cardboard Instagram frame with your logo and a humorous message on it. Yeah, that still works.


My favorite burger joint in Belgrade, Serbia. Instagram-worthy, but their mistake? They didn’t make their brand or location visible. In marketing terms, that’s like a well-done burger. Your marketer hates you.


Openly invite patrons to snap pics and share on social media. Whether it’s cocktail stirrers with custom printed messages, place cards asking patrons to snap pics and tag you for a freebie or a small discount, or a humorous message of the day on a board up on your wall. Get creative. Give your space plenty of personality and a reason to share.


Inspirational image quotes work IRL too.


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