The Reel World: Creating an Genuine Instagram Presence

  • Alex Koons, whose Reels have garnered a whole lot of hundreds of performs on Instagram for Sizzling Tongue Pizza, taught himself the artwork of the short-form video.
  • “Don’t attempt to be humorous if that’s not your power,” he advises. “Being genuine is every little thing. That’s why each restaurant’s Reels will differ.”

By Alex Koons

(Editor’s observe: Alex Koons’ progressive and offbeat Reels for Sizzling Tongue Pizza earn hundreds and even tens of hundreds of performs on Instagram. They sometimes characteristic Koons and his associates or staffers portraying oddball characters, dancing awkwardly or lip-syncing to pop-music audio clips, or, in a few noteworthy circumstances, placing a gushing vein of “white gold” (ranch dressing) beneath a rock or “farming” the brownish water of the L.A. River to make dough. Sizzling Tongue’s July 19, 2022 Reel poking enjoyable at a sure vegan cheese model garnered almost 165,000 performs. You possibly can observe Sizzling Tongue on Instagram at @hottonguepizza. In the meantime, we requested Koons to share his ideas about making a Reel that feels, you recognize, actual with out spending a number of, you recognize, dough and what-not.)

Let’s be sincere: Social media is usually a enormous ache within the ass. Working a restaurant already entails an almost insurmountable quantity of different, extra pressing points to resolve every day. Dedicating your valuable time to one thing outdoors of the day-to-day operations can seem daunting as all heck. At the very least, that’s what I believed at first…

My introduction to Instagram Reels took place 5 months in the past. I seen Instagram had shifted away from photography-based content material and was going onerous on this short-form video factor. I hated it. I had no concept the right way to make a Reel. As at all times, change is difficult.

I made a decision to start out small, so I practiced my expertise at house. I made Reels that nobody would see of random issues round the home. I recorded my animals within the yard or simply my spouse watching TV. (I don’t suggest that—she wasn’t into it.) This little train helped me perceive the right way to edit, use captions and lettering, and add music.

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As soon as I felt snug making a Reel, it was time to take what I discovered with me to Sizzling Tongue Pizza. The very first thing I wanted was an concept. Often a very good place to seek out an concept for a Reel is to take a look at what already exists on the market that’s had some success. Success is all relative, in fact, however sometimes I begin broad, see what’s trending and take a look at what greater manufacturers outdoors of the pizza trade are doing on Instagram and TikTok. I devour some content material to see what’s on the market. As I do that, I’m considering of the way I can incorporate pizza into these current concepts. My philosophy is to steal what you’ll be able to and make it your individual.

Sizzling Tongue Reels are an extension of the store and what we stand for. They’re a visible illustration of our tradition. I’ve steered away from food-focused content material and use Reels as an alternative for humor and enjoyable. The way in which I see it, somebody may be capable to take a greater picture of meals than us, however completely nobody is having extra enjoyable than we’re. Having a bit of enjoyable and exhibiting off our vibe creates a full of life, pleasing environment for the workforce. It additionally offers our prospects a window to see how a lot we love what we do and the way completely ridiculous we’re.

Probably the most necessary features to making a Reel is that it’s actual. Don’t attempt to be humorous if that’s not your power. Being genuine is every little thing. That’s why each restaurant’s Reels will differ. What’s genuine to 1 place received’t be the identical for one more. It’s a must to make Reels that you simply’re pleased with. If the meals is your ardour, seize that. In case your dough course of is loopy and that’s one thing you’re pleased with, discover a option to hone in on that. For those who’re a humorous particular person, see the place that takes you.

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Don’t overthink this. Listening to your individual voice and seeing your self on digital camera may be extraordinarily uncomfortable for anybody. Similar to the rest, the extra I did it, the extra snug it turned.

Creating Reels can devour a number of time. I’m not going to lie: Typically they take me quarter-hour, typically it takes three hours. It’s necessary to have a plan and to carve out a bit of time to work on them. I do know, I do know: three hours??!! I personally shoot and create all of the Reels at Sizzling Tongue presently, so there isn’t a funds aside from my time. Social media managers and videographers can price a good amount of cash, however should you don’t have the time or need to create the content material your self, then discovering somebody you recognize who can create the content material you need might be the easiest way to go.

Lots of people ask: How typically ought to I put up? What’s the most effective time to put up? These are questions for somebody like Bruce Irving from Good Pizza Advertising and marketing. (For those who aren’t following him, do your self a favor and go do it now.) I don’t get too caught up within the “whens” and “hows.” I fear about making a stable piece of content material that we’re pleased with. It’s all about honesty, high quality and enjoyable for us.

For my part, a Reel offers a restaurant the chance to construct a persona and to change into extra human. The persona at Sizzling Tongue is actually foolish, a bit bizarre and high-energy, however I feel folks get to see how a lot enjoyable now we have doing what we do. That enjoyable is what makes our customer support top-notch, our meals scrumptious, and our house welcoming and genuine. We aren’t making an attempt to do something aside from be ourselves, and creating these Reels has given us that chance.

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On the finish of the day, pizza is meant to be enjoyable. For those who and your workforce are having a good time creating content material, then you definately’ve already succeeded earlier than even hitting “put up.” Strive to not destroy it for your self by taking it too critically. These social media platforms are instruments you can leverage to boost a buyer’s notion of your restaurant and assist with advertising. Each operator will do properly to keep in mind that social media is a instrument, not the taking part in subject. Actuality will at all times be the winner, and likes and reposts don’t at all times equate to gross sales and retention. SO JUST HAVE FUN!

For those who’re already creating content material and in search of methods to kick it up a notch, contemplate investing in some fundamental gear. Listed below are a few gear suggestions to make Reels a bit of simpler to create and better-looking: An LED mild or two and a few mild stands can actually take your content material to a brand new degree—with out breaking the financial institution. This gear can even double up for meals pictures. Don’t underestimate the ability of excellent lighting. Do you have got a tripod to your smartphone? This could actually assist regular your photographs. Additionally, it’s essential in case you are creating content material solo!

Go on the market and get wild! Good luck and godspeed!

Alex Koons is an trade marketing consultant and the proprietor of Sizzling Tongue Pizza, an all-vegan pizzeria, and Purgatory Pizza in Los Angeles. Koons led a seminar on vegan pizza on the inaugural Pizza Tomorrow Summit, held November 9-10 in Orlando.