Innkeepers, think before you post…a photo

tom blog

Not professional photographs, but which one would you rather eat?

I am the first to lobby that innkeepers NEED to post photos on social media, especially food photos. Photos are what sell a brand, and attract the most attention, and are the most shared, especially food photos.

BUT, think before you post. When was the last time you trolled your own Facebook or Pinterest accounts for photos you have been happily posting or pining for the last year or so plus? Look at them all together.

Those food photos you posted last January for example? Too dark? Is it appetizing looking? Can you even tell what is? If not, delete!

Those pictures are there for all to see, forever and ever or until you take them down, or Facebook bites the big one.

I bring this up, because I just this morning came across an inn’s Facebook page (and had to check out their Pinterest account as well) and of course had to click on their albums.

I troll, I do, I admit it. All in the interest of what innkeepers DO on their social media accounts.

Honestly, and I never thought I would say this, but Ughhh. To see one not so appetizing food picture is one thing, but to see hundreds and hundreds together…….

I applaud the enthusiasm, I do, I really do, but question the judgment.

If I was a potential guest, and I have to try to look at it from the point of view of one, I don’t think I would want to stay there for breakfast.

I know for a fact that the place has excellent breakfasts and a very talented, former professional chef. But that’s me, I happen to know that because I took the time to read their about us page and check out some of their reviews.

A potential guest wouldn’t know that at first look, and probably wouldn’t take the time to check it out, especially if they got turned off by the food photos, plus most people just don’t read anymore.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take good pictures of food. There are photo editors out there (free) see: http://chefforfeng.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/some-food-styling-tips-for-bed-and-breakfasts/ for some ideas.

But more importantly, just think a second before you post a food pic, is it attractive enough to look appetizing to someone else? i.e. a potential guest? While it may not be as spiffy as one a professional photographer would take, look at the most important aspect, would you eat it? Would you WANT to eat it?

If you’ve posted it already, ask someone you know about it. They can give you a additional perspective, If you are not sure yourself, get a second opinion.

I know as a former chef, dishes that I KNOW tasted great can sometimes come out looking less then yummy in a photo. Looking at photos I took years ago at restaurants I ran, so that my line cooks could know how a dish was plated, in hindsight look rather unattractive.

But at the time I took them I viewed them with the eye that I knew how they tasted, that does influence your take on a photo, I know that for a fact and I’m glad we never used any for advertising purposes.

And this brings up the point that you should periodically evaluate all your photos in your social media streams, are they current? Did you redecorate a room or two? Pictures like this can be confusing to potential guests. If it’s out of date, take it out.

If a photo doesn’t do anything for your inn or it looks bad or unattractive (or out of date) it’s damaging your brand. Delete!

About Heather Turner

Innkeeping Tip and Tricks: Please check out some marketing ideas for Inns and B&Bs, Blogging ideas, Facebook Tips and Social Media Tutorials http://chefforfeng.wordpress.com/marketing-for-lodging-resources/
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6 Responses to Innkeepers, think before you post…a photo

  1. InnkeeperVA says:

    I actually think PINTEREST is a great tool for all innkeepers to see HOW THEY SHOULD photograph food! It is free, go for it! Emulate it. Here is a page I recommend: http://pinterest.com/bnbfinder/delicious-breakfasts/

  2. InnkeeperVA says:

    Let’s be frank here, if you post photos that look like vomit, then maybe not so great to share. I know they smell and taste delicious and the guests love the breakfast! It is a fine line. I made a nice breakfast, simple but delicious the other day and due to the morning artificial light in the kitchen, and the food, everything looked orange. It didn’t work out like I had hoped. It was crispy, light, flavorful – but photographed ORANGE> I was in the middle of serving, didn’t have a chance to get a proper photo. So prob better not to even share those!

  3. Tammy Doriot says:

    Thanks for the reminder Heather. I do post a lot of pictures from breakfast, while I try to get the very best shot, I don’t always get a perfect one. As if I didn’t have enough on my PLATE, I will be looking at what I have posted and filter out the bad ones. It probably doesn’t hurt to do a house cleaning every so often anyway.

    • Chef Forfeng says:

      Tammy, most of the photos I see innkeepers post are fine, I don’t think they need to be perfect by any means, but I do see the occasionally cringe worthy one posted (by restaurants as well) which I kind of wonder about. I think people just need to take a step back and eyeball what they post (and have posted.) yes housecleaning is always fun isn’t it. Great way to put it.

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