As a foodstagrammer myself (@feedmefoood), I am always on the look out for new and exciting foods to feature on my page. Instagram is also the platform I use to find new restaurants. I will often make my decision to go based on pictures taken there. Every once and a while there are certain foods that go viral and fill up my Instagram feed.

A few months ago, it was the taiyaki ice cream sandwich from Taiyaki NYC. These cute fish-shaped desserts flooded Instagram. Even I  made the trip from Boston to New York just so I could experience the hype first hand.

The latest trend which I am sure everyone has heard about is Stabucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino. This majestic married two of the internets favorite things: unicorns and sugar. This short-lived drink was only available from April 19th to April 23rd, which added to the exclusivity of the product as well as the desperation of consumers.

UBS equity analyst Dennis Geiger, says “Many of our channel checks indicated that drinks were sold out in stores before the promotion ended (with customers visiting multiple locations to find the drink), and stores indicating 20+ customers per day coming in for the viral drink which generated ~180,000 hits on Instagram in just one week.”

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But Starbucks did not just enjoy increased brand awareness from this marketing stunt, their stock price saw a spike during the Unicorn Frappuccino event.

Social Media marketing has proved to be a low cost, far reaching option to foster brand awareness.

So the question becomes, how can you go viral?

1. Be creative

Coming up with new menu items can be difficult, especially if your aim is to go viral. The unique a menu item is, the more likely consumers are to share it on social media.

spaghetti donut🍝🍩🤔😍| NEW YORK📍

A post shared by Eat and Rep(eat) (@eatandrepeat) on

Being creative can often mean going a little overboard– and that’s OK! In this game there is no such thing as too much anything.

2. Know your niche

Not everyone on Instagram is into the whole 10 scoops of ice cream thing. There is also a vibrant healthy community on Instagram who would rather post about acai bowls, fresh pressed juices and avocado toast.

When coming up with a new menu item think about your customer base and make sure to stay true to your values.

3. Own your hashtag

Hashtags are the prefect way to go #viral. Make sure to hashtag your own posts and encourage consumers to hashtag theirs too. This is also a great way to engage consumers and create brand loyalty.

4. Make it easy

I can’t tell you the amount of times I have wanted to share a delicious meal but the picture just wouldn’t come out nice. The culprit was more often than not, bad lighting.

Make it easy for customers and guarantee their meal is picture perfect! Plate presentation, restaurant decor and lighting are all essential for an instaworthy picture.

my favorite type of study break

A post shared by Gracie Simmons (@gsimmms) on

This place seriously had the best iced mocha I've ever ever had 😱☕️

A post shared by Courtney Cooper | Atlanta (@mrscourtneycooper) on

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