Hungry Eyes: How to Visually Entice Customers with Pinterest


There are many ways to think of Pinterest: A digital scrapbook, an inspiration board, a showcase of product offerings, and a research tool. It’s also one of the most under-utilized social media platforms by marketers. But, if executed correctly, Pinterest has a boatload of potential, and as far as social media sites go, it requires a low time commitment to maintain.


Before you think, “I already have an engaged Instagram following, run monthly Facebook contests, manage my review sites, and I just downloaded Snapchat, there’s no way I’m about to pin anything.” Hold up.


A little bit of time on Pinterest goes a long way. The half-life (‘Half-Life’ is a social media marketing term to describe the first 50% of engagement a post gets) of a Pinterest post is 1,680 times longer than a Facebook post, at three and a half months. Put plainly, a single post on Pinterest is viewed longer and more often than a post on any other site. On top of that, Pinners are largely looking for food-related ideas. Chicken and cheese are amongst the most repined words. So if you update your Pinterest page with new menu items once every few months, you’re doing miles of good that will last until the next season’s menu comes out.


While we don’t advocate that you rely solely on Pinterest to drive your social media marketing, it is an excellent and low commitment buffer to your existing digital presence. It will only serve to increase your SEO, awareness around your brand, and reinforce any existing active campaigns.


Here are a few quick ways you can use Pinterest to drive brand engagement.


1. Tastefully Showcase your Menu & Venue

There’s a reason they call it ‘food porn’. As defined by, food porn is the act of “taking mouthwatering pictures of delicious food and proliferating them throughout various social media websites as status updates, thus tempting all those ‘not even currently hungry’ into blowing their heroic dieting efforts to hell.”


For restaurant marketers, food porn works – a delicious photo can entice pinners to repin or add your image to one of their boards, which expands your reach. At the very least, they’ll click through to your website.


When you look at your own click habits as you surf the web, it should come as no surprise: content with images get 94% more views than content without relevant images. Visual content is king. Since Pinterest is primarily a visually driven social media site – and because food is the top category on Pinterest making up 57% of discussions - it’s the perfect place for you to house particularly delectable images of your menu with, of course, links back to your website.


Pinterest Board Suggestions:

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Dessert Boards: Upload professional photos of your dishes and organize them onto their own boards.

  • Décor Board: Many restaurants also include a board complete with images of their venue, which can be especially beneficial. If your venue hosts weddings, graduations or special events, showcase the venue dressed up for these events and include keywords in the description so that pinners can easily find the image.


2. Share Expertise

One of the keys for effective Pinterest use is to repurpose your existing social media and marketing content. While Pinterest increases the lifespan of your posts, Pinterest users are looking for very specific content. They’re using Pinterest for ideas and to learn something. In fact, over 70% of Pinterest users use the site to teach them how to do things.


For every image you upload to Pinterest, you can link to an external site. So, if you’re using teachable content on other social media platforms, how-to guides or recipes, for example, make sure you link to them on Pinterest. Not only does this appeal to the Pinterest user, but it also allows you to transfer the user onto your other social media pages.


Pinterest Page Teachable Content Ideas:

  • Have an image of a sesame tofu bowl that makes mouths water? Link the image to a post about how to sear tofu perfectly without burning it.  

  • Do you have a novelty offering, like oyster shucking? Link to a 20 second video tutorial.

  • Do you have a barista on staff with particularly amazing cappuccino design skills? Showcase an image of them that links to a blog or Instagram post with tips on how to glamorize a cappuccino.


As far as getting expert content, use your team of chefs, bakers, baristas, and bartenders who have unique skills and knowledge.



3. Share Influences & Inspiration

If you happen to specialize in a particular type of food, coffee, culture or practice, share the things that influence you. In essence, when you do research or find compelling images or articles that reinforce your brand, either pin it to a board, or create your own pin that links to it. This helps drive your brand’s authenticity, which customers love, and reinforce the driving message of your restaurant.


Board Ideas to Drive Authenticity

  • Culture board: Are you a Japanese sushi restaurant? Share a board about Japan’s food culture to inform your customers of the intricacies of the sushi industry in Japan.

  • Sustainability: Are you a fair-trade coffee shop? Share images that relate to the impacts of fair-trade coffee or things you can do with coffee grounds.


Finally, be sure to follow TouchBistro on Pinterest. Repin our pins, find restaurant inspiration in our boards, and connect with potential customers!


Curious to learn more about how to use social media to grow your business? Download our Expert Guide to Restaurant Social Media for more detailed information and tips on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.




About the Author

Andrea Victory

Andrea is a Content Marketing Specialist and Editor at TouchBistro where she writes about restaurant and dining trends, restaurant management, and food culture. A self-affirmed food geek, Andrea devours cookbooks and food blogs. She also knows how to make a killer kale salad.

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