The Power of Students Using Instagram
With the recent, highly anticipated opening of FSU College Town near the campus of Florida State University, it should come as no surprise that many of its businesses are off to a successful start. Tallahassee was long overdue for a new entertainment and shopping area that was not only a short walk from the football stadium on game days, but also provided an upscale option for FSU students to socialize. Although College Town launched without everything ready to open, it already offers something for everyone: several sports-bar style restaurants, a boutique, and my personal favorite – Brooklyn Water Bagels & Pizza Co.
Brooklyn Water Bagels & Pizza Co. is a restaurant chain that uses Brooklyn-style water in all of its recipes, which is said to give their dough its distinctive taste. I personally thought the “it’s in the water” concept may have been just a marketing play, but after trying the bagels and pizza myself (and being from New York) I have to say, the food is authentic.
One of the most interesting things about Brooklyn Water Bagels & Pizza Co. is how quickly it became popular. The wrap-around line I wait in almost every time I go is a huge indicator of how well it is doing here in Tallahassee. While the food is delicious, I think the main reason Brooklyn Water Bagels & Pizza Co. has had such rapid success is because how it has been marketed on social media. I found out about the restaurant because pictures of their fresh bagels and coffee (with coffee ice cubes) flooded my Instagram feed daily. I trusted that the food truly was great quality because so many of my friends felt the need to not just take pictures of it, but share it with all of their Instagram followers. This ultimately drew me to Brooklyn Water Bagels & Pizza Co. to see what all the hype was about.
What I’ve learned from the company’s dynamic launch and success is what a powerful target market students are. With 28% of Internet users between ages 18 and 29 using Instagram, it is expected that when students like a product they’ll use social media to talk about it. Students often use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and – in this case – Instagram to give notoriety to a product and show how much they like it.
In order to resonate with students, (and have your product wind up all over their social media accounts) it is important to have a product that photographs well. When I see Instagram posts of Brooklyn Water Bagels & Pizza Co.’s menu items, the pictures aren’t of the outside of the store or of customers eating the food. They are strictly pictures of the bagels and pizza, or their coffee with their unique “Cubsta” ice cubes that have coffee inside of them. Because the restaurant sells items that are aesthetically pleasing, customers are eager to use social media share with their friends the great-looking meal that they are about to consume.
While photos of Brooklyn Water Bagels & Pizza Co.’s food still often appear on my Instagram feed, it was toward the beginning of this semester (when it had just opened) that my Instagram was completely filled with them. This is because when students discover something new, they are eager and excited to share it. Brooklyn Water Bagels & Pizza Co. seems to have found a perfect market in Tallahassee; one that will continue to return (and snap photos) for a long time to come.