The hospitality industry is a tough one to conquer.
With competition everywhere (sleep with one eye open, restauranteurs!), it’s an industry driven by current crazes and modern trends.
Customers now spend their time looking for ‘the next big thing’ to post to their Instagram stories and fees.
The #foodporn hashtag has grown throughout the last few years, with foodies searching for fun hashtags to add a little flavor to their posts all over the globe.
After all, Mondays have improved dramatically now that we know the next day brings #TacoTuesdays, right?
Nowadays, it takes a lot for a hospitality franchise to truly kill it on social media, with some opting to educate, and some simply aiming to make us pretty damn hungry. Either way, if you want to drive brand awareness and build a loyal relationship with customers, social media is fundamental to a brand’s identity.
We’re going to focus on one of our favorite franchises over in Melbourne, Australia, that knows how to get us feelin’ that little bit peckish, and always coming back for more…
Now all you need to do is to hone in and perfect it.
Enter, Chin Chin.
Celebrated for hitting the sweet spot when it comes to their cuisine and their social media strategy, Chin Chin is part of the Lucas Group restaurant empire. After 22 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Chris Lucas is clearly a man with a natural ability to gage a trend, roll with it, and make it work. He decided to work with foodie blogger Jess Ho to lead a teaser campaign via social media before Chin Chin opened. Featuring behind the scenes images and a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, people were hooked from day one.
Chin Chin opened its doors in Melbourne in 2011, and unlike its competitors, the hype surrounding the Asian-Fusion eatery hasn’t slowed down since. Known for its no-bookings policy, you can expect a two-hour wait around the block – yep, even on a ‘school night’ our favorite Flinders Lane restaurant is packed.
Fast forward a few years (and air miles) later, and Lucas launched Chin Chin Sydney in late 2017. The restaurant powerhouse not only provides some of the signature dishes from the Melbourne eatery, but more salads and seafood dishes have been added to the menu.
Why, you ask? Sydney’s hotter and more humid – makes sense, right?
Evidently, the team has focused a lot of energy on identifying and connecting with their target demographic. Chin Chin has their target audience down to a T, and they’ve got the online presence to prove it.
Boasting 112k Instagram followers, this hot spot is defined as #GOALS by the many millennials and young professionals of Australia.
So who is the Chin Chin customer? Though the popular franchise is often packed with people of all ages, a huge proportion of their following are the millennial and young working professional demographic.
We’ve done a little digging, and found the exact age split between the Chin Chin followers on Instagram, and the results make a lot of sense when it comes to analyzing their Instagram strategy.
Statistically, the largest proportion of Instagram’s avid users are women ages 18-34, followed swiftly behind by men of the same age. It’s plain to see through their feed that their social content is strategically crafted to promote not only their (extremely instagrammable) menu, but just how Chin Chin can fit perfectly into their particular audience’s lifestyle. Their ideal lifestyle, in fact.
Each of their posts receives between 400–1000+ likes, followed by countless comments. Just take a look here:
43 comments of compliments, conversations between friends discussing their experiences at Chin Chin, with some users even begging for a London restaurant to launch. By accompanying vivid quality, and aesthetically appealing imagery of their dishes, with sassy tongue-in-cheek captions, they reach out to their target demographic effortlessly.
Is worldwide domination on the cards? Possibly. (Please come to the USA, Chin Chin!)
Straight from the horse’s (Instagram feed) mouth, they ask – “Did you really Chin Chin if you didn’t ‘gram it?”. This call-to-action points directly at its young professional followers, almost making them feel as though they don’t post or share their Chin Chin experience that they are the ones missing out. It’s not about what the customer can do for Chin Chin, it’s what Chin Chin can do for the customer. Interesting.
We did a little more digging, and found the most popular audience interests as follows:
So how do the Chin Chin team use the above information to the advantage of their social media strategy?
All the content posted represents one, if not more, of the above categories. It’s all about how they can fit into your lifestyle, and their strategy certainly goes beyond just posting pretty imagery to actually engaging the audience with compelling brand storytelling through their creative content.
We’ve broken down the Chin Chin Instagram into different categories that we find the most useful in terms of social media strategy. If you haven’t started drooling yet, you’re certainly about to.
FEAST YOUR EYES ON… BAR/ RESTAURANT/ FOOD POSTS
Where would we be without a little cocktail porn to get us excited for our weekend plans? There’s nothing better than a social media taste of the real thing to get you pumped before you visit a place. The Chin Chin Instagram feed features a kaleidoscope of cocktails and dishes that’ll rouse your palette before you’ve even walked through the door.
Of course, great content is absolutely vital. We want to see bright, tasty looking dishes and drinks. And we want it all. Versatility is key when it comes to their feed – we’re talking trendy restaurant shots, simple flat lays, and close-ups of Kingfish Sashimi with Lime, Chilli, Coconut + Thai Basil… Bar and kitchen images like this are used throughout, including captions that allude to new and exciting things on the menu – makes you want to check it out, doesn’t it? There’s no need to worry about what’s on their menu with cool, quirky shots like this.
PERSONAL INVITATIONS INTO THE CHIN CHIN FAMILY
Take the below shot for example:
If your heart isn’t currently melting at the sight of two of the Chin Chin staff falling in love and marrying, then… well… you’ve got a heart of stone. We’re welcomed in to the ‘family’ through their love story, background information and all.
Damn, the Chin Chin marketing team even know how to get us invested in their staff that we’ve met only once through Instagram.
Sure, food and drink posts look divine, but that won’t be enough of a reason for customers to keep coming back to you if that’s all you can offer. There’s got to be a little somethin’ somethin’ more, and Chin Chin has got it all. By sharing personal (and ADORABLE) images of their staff, we’re given an intimate insight into the restaurant that offers so much more than just promoting their delicious food. Posts like this help to create a community of Chin Chin lovers and friends, enticing followers to engage. Wedding bells always deserve a congratulatory comment!
FUN CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES
A unique element to Chin Chin is their cheeky persona and vibe. For starters, Chin Chin actually means penis in Japanese… say no more.
Speaking of cheeky, meet the neon bunny.
This trademark pink neon rabbit sign is an eye-grabbing and fun part of the dining experience for young professional foodies that love a selfie. Anything share-worthy like this will lead to more customer photos, which means more hashtags, which means FREE social promotion for your restaurant.
Reposts like this show that Chin Chin are invested in their customers and take notice of what they are up to. Why try out a rival restaurant when you know that a trip to Chin Chin feels more like a celebration than a sit-down dinner?
INSIGHTFUL VIDEO CONTENT
Keeping it personal and fun is at the heart of what Chin Chin do. They filter video content throughout their feed, consisting of behind-the-scenes short videos of their chefs cooking up a storm in the kitchen and our eyes—and bellies—LOVE it.
Our favorite type of video content though? Videos showing the Chin Chin staff pairing together the different dishes and wines that work best together on the menu. Insightful, funny, and pretty mouth-wateringly good, these guys strengthen the relationship between customer and brand effortlessly. With 2,728 views, it’s safe to say this type of video works extremely well when it comes to gaining their followers’ attention.
Comments between customers, the official Chin Chin account and even owner Chris Lucas can be found right here. Talk about engagement! It’s a two-way street when it comes to engagement, so if you leave a comment for the Chin Chin guys, more often than not you can expect something back.
Last but not least, Chin Chin uses Instagram stories to their advantage (they’re geniuses – of course they use it to their advantage). Think more of everything. More behind-the-scenes footage, more promotional content, more food imagery. They invite people in, enabling them to feel the kind of exclusive, VIP vibes that simple images don’t. Promotional offers and deals are also featured throughout their stories as well as their feed – new dishes, drinks and certain deals on the menu ensure their followers don’t get bored and will keep coming back for more. We may be speaking for ourselves here, but who doesn’t love a special offer!?
Ultimately, Chin Chin uses social media, particularly Instagram, to interact and connect with their customers in a fresh and modern way. There’s nothing boring about their content, from captions, to imagery, to videos; they know exactly who they’re talking to and what they want to say. The marketing and social teams completely understand their business and the metrics that matter to them as a franchise.
Tourists and busy Australians have been lining up at their doors since 2011, and we don’t see the queues getting shorter any time soon.