How to Build Your Audience

Tips from the Eatwith Marketing Team

This year, travelers are opting out of international trips and will be looking for more intimate and authentic experiences closer to home. So what does this mean for you? It’s time to think local.

Here are our top tips for stepping up your social media game and really cater to your local audience. 

Eatwith host Marketing tips

Amplify your reach

Have a #hashtag strategy

Hashtags, if used correctly, helps bring more eyes to your post. People could be following a hashtag but not necessarily be following you. If you use a hashtag they follow, you have a chance of introducing your content to new people.

    • Do your research. Avoid using hashtags that have over 100k posts as yours could easily get lost.
    • Use local hashtags like #barcelonafoodies or #bayareafoodies #sanfranciscoeats

PRO TIP: Avoid using generic hashtags like #foodies, which many others are using. Locals are likely looking for things in their own city, so when you use the hashtag #barcelonafoodies, you’re reaching people who are interested in Barcelona and there will likely be less posts to compete with.

Add 10-15 hashtags to each of your posts

Make sure the hashtags are related to the post and the content of your profile. To find the best hashtags for you, take a look at what your most successful competitors are using and do your research on Instagram. Type in the hashtag and look at the quality of content for the hashtag and the number of followers. Ideally we recommend using hashtags between 30k-100k followers. Anything above will get you lost in the masses of content as they will be used by bigger brands and bloggers.

Tag locations

Getting ingredients at a local market? Have a favorite shop you like to buy products for your event? Tag the location. When you do that, you allow your posts to be discoverable when people are searching that specific place. Additionally, if there is a market or shop you frequent, you can explore potential collaboration opportunities where you tag each other. When you do this, both parties can reach new audiences.

Social Media Tagging Example
Tag and highlight complimentary accounts

If you use a special brand of handmade kitchenware  at your experiences, tag their account and highlight them in your post. Similar to tagging locations, you may want to reach out to the brand to see if there’s a potential to collaborate.

Social Media Tagging Example
Post by host Giuseppe, NYC
Engage with local culinary influencers

You don’t need to tell your life story, a simple like with a comment to start conversation will do. The more you engage, the more they notice you. Build online relationships.

Engage after you post

Get as much interaction possible in THE FIRST 30 MINUTES after you post by answering all the comments on the post. Keep in mind that the Instagram algorithm takes into account comments, shares, and sends – not likes!

Tag Eatwith!

Tagging @eatwith and using the #eatwith and #eatwithlocals hashtag in your postss will make it visible to our marketing team and can give you a chance to be featured. 


Messaging

Tell a story

Before you post, think of what kind of story you’re going to tell and how it can be relevant to locals. Paint a picture for your followers and potential guests. When you post a photo of a dish, tell us what ingredients you used, why you decided to make it, what’s the special connection we have with it, etc. Unless the photo is spectacular and can speak for itself, give your readers context. When thinking about local, maybe the dish you’re posting is full of local ingredients you can speak about.

Play up the unique selling points of your experience

Think about the unique selling points of your experience . Got a rooftop with an amazing view that other local dining options don’t offer? Got a dessert that’s as much entertaining as it is delicious? Think of all the things that make your experience stand out from the other local options and don’t be afraid to call out how unique it is.

Post quality and relevant content

If you’re bored writing it, chances are your followers won’t read it! Identify your point of view and what you want to be known for. Also, find out what your audience wants to see most by looking at your previous most successful posts.

Tone of voice

When writing your captions and even on-camera appearances, let your personality shine. Oftentimes social media is your guest’s first impression of you, so you want to be friendly and natural. Keep your copy simple and fun!

Avoid sales jargon like Book Now, Reserve, etc.

Your social presence tells people who are and what your experience has to offer. You wouldn’t introduce yourself to someone for the first time and then tell them to buy something from you, would you? Instead, use a link in your bio to direct them to your event page.Mention where they can book in your captions and posts.. Use language like “Get more information through the link in my bio”.

Avoid doing more of the same if it isn't working

If your posts aren’t generating interest, try to understand why. Posting more of the same content is not going to generate more interest, all it will do is bore your followers and lead to unfollows.  The best way to improve your performance is to test various elements of your post.

Include a call to action

If you haven’t added a link to your Eatwith experiences, we recommend you do! This will make booking easier for your potential guests on social media. In our digital world making things easy is key, every step from your experience page is an extra hurdle for your next customer.

Eatwith social media example
Host Raquel's Instagram account, Philadelphia

Frequency

Be consistent

Consistently posting and sticking to a content calendar will give your audience a regular rendez-vous. By being consistent you will also become a regular staple in their IG feed and allow you to stay top of mind.

Choose the posting time by testing and looking into Instagram Insights. Usually early morning [ 8/9 AM ] and evening [ 8/9 PM ] works well but don’t take our word for it. Look into your insights and find out how your audience is behaving!

Imagery (for posts, stories, and live)

Make it visually appealing

We cannot stress how important your imagery (photos and videos) are! Social media platforms are focused on visuals, it’s all about what you show. Posting with a low quality image/video or an unappealing picture/video will negatively impact your post or story’s performance.

    • Play around with color palettes on your images and videos to ensure they work together to create a mood on your feed.
    • If you have loads of really cool imagery, but can’t decide which to choose, ask your audience with a fun cool poll!
    •  
Eatwith Social Media Example
Host Chiara & Mattia's IG feed plays with a creen, tan, and white color palette that works beautifully together
Diversify your shots
    • Use your social posts to paint the full picture of your experience. Show people, food, drinks, and places.
    • Take photos and videos at your events and share them. If people are in the picture, ask them before posting and tagging). You can also go Live at your events, or when you’re prepping for the event to give your audience behind-the-scenes information that could be very engaging.
    • Tips to taking beautiful food pictures:
Use a template for your posts and stories

Templates are great for posts that incorporate text and for stories. There are so many free and helpful tools available. Some of our favorites are: Canva, Unfold 

Eatwith Social Template Example
Eatwith Social Media Example
Host Ryan, Philadelphia) uses templates for his menu

Seasonality and local trends

Make it seasonal

From a marketing standpoint, seasonal menus allow you an opportunity to showcase your connection to your local community. You can even spotlight different farmers and work together to tell each other’s stories. This also means you don’t have to promote the same thing over and over. Seasonal ingredients allow your menu (and your promotion) to be fluid so that your guests are always seeing something new.

For US hosts, see this helpful guide: https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/

Lean on local food trends

What seasonal foods are celebrated and considered a big deal in your area? In parts of the US for example, there’s Dungeness crab season. Host Geoff in San Francisco leaned into that local buzz and did a special crab menu with limited dates and seats. When it comes to food trends that already have a lot of buzz, think of ways you can incorporate it into your menu and your promotion.

Eatwith Social Media Example
Host Geoff, San Francisco, posted about his Dungeness crab menu

Grow your following

5 Tips to increase your followers
  1. Switch over to a Professional Account. If you also have a Facebook page, you’ll be able to connect both your IG and Facebook page to your one business account. If you don’t have a Facebook page, you don’t need one to  access your IG account’s analytics and insights. Having insight to these metrics will allow you to better connect with your followers by knowing who they are and the type of content they want to see. 
  2. Interact with other social media accounts 20 minutes before and after posting on your account. If they check out your account after you have interacted with them, they will see your fresh new content! 
  3. Follow similar accounts to yours.
  4. Ask for your guests’ IG account, if they give it to you start following them and share a great shot of the evening they share at your place and tag them and Eatwith in it.
  5. Benchmark your most successful competitors on social media: What are they doing? what’s their tone? what picture are they using? How frequently are they posting?

"Rocking social media" examples

Eatwith Social Media Example
Host Christina in Los Angeles posts a visually appealing photo with a lot of dimension and includes a story in her caption.
Eatwith Social Media Example
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