As an editor at a pizza magazine, I’ve seen some pretty bad photos come in from pizzerias over the years. It’s not always their fault. Many times operators are dealing with poor lighting, metal counter tops that put off an unappetizing glare, and old-school cameras that don’t help the matter.
What you may not realize is that you already have a personal stock image library–and a bevy of free photographers–at your fingertips. All it takes is a bit of searching online. With proper permission and attribution, you may be able to use customer-snapped images in your marketing materials, social media and more.
1. Search Online: How many times do you spot customers taking photos of their food? Personally, I’ve taken hundreds of food photos. Where do all those photos go? They usually end up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Plug your pizzeria’s name into various social media sites, or better yet, do an image search using the pizzeria name on Google. Once you find the photos you like, reach out to the photographer for permission.
2. Free Photo Shoot: Easier than searching is simply asking for photos. Place a tent card on each table letting customers know that if they use a specific hashtag in their photo and you feature it online, they’ll win a prize. Instant photo shoot!
3. Photo Contests: Keep the photos coming in by running ongoing photo contests through your social media channels. Change up the theme each week to keep things interesting and get you different photos (Best Pizza photo, Best Friends and Pizza photo, Best Pizzeria photo, etc.). Let entrants know that the photos they submit may be used in future marketing materials.
Have you used customer-snapped photos in your marketing materials? Tell me about it in the comments below.