#Zomato Instagram Contest: The Idea And The Value Addition [Case Study]

The story behind the concept of #Zomato Instagram contest and what the brand gained in return.

Do you remember the #Zomato Instagram contest held this July? Here’s the story behind the concept and what the brand gained in return.

In March this year, Pramod Rao, the Vice President of Marketing at Zomato, received a DM on Twitter suggesting Zomato to be on Instagram. Instagram was one of the hottest new things on social media and had just launched its app for Android. Then in April it got acquired by Facebook. Meanwhile in the Indian context, Zomato had just started to see people get to Instagram. Also on Twitter, there was an increase in Instagram shots being taken at restaurants and Zomato was being tagged in some of them.

That’s when it decided to give a shot to Instagram as well. This led to the idea of #Zomato Instagram contest - Zomato was all about food and what better way to associate with food through photos via Instagram.

Contest objective:

Combine the popular trend (Instagram Application usage) with the concept of Food (core to the Zomato brand) and the need to share experiences (social media).

Intuitive Contest design:

The contest design was a simple two step process 1) you had to take a food shot 2) share it on Instagram hashtagging it with Zomato and you could submit multiple times. It also made a connect with the brand easily and did not make the users think twice on what needed to be done. The grand prize was a digital camera which was again relevant to the activity being run.

Salient features:

  • Simple. Take a food shot (with or without your foodie-self in it)
  • Share it on Instagram, mentioning the hashtag #Zomato in the caption (e.g. Butter Chicken at The Great Punjab Restaurant #Zomato).
  • Photographs without the tag will not be eligible.
  • Multiple entries allowed
  • Winner will be decided based on quality, content and votes
  • The best picture won a digital camera and for the drool-worthy pictures there were goodies.
  • Winners were announced on August 19th, World Photography Day.


Zomato received an overwhelming response for the contest owing to the factors mentioned above:

  • 1267 food shots received over a period of 1 month.
  • ~65,000 votes generated.
  • ~100,000 page impressions, widely shared on social media (228 shares on FB, 86 tweets of the page on Twitter).
  • Resulted in creating probably one of the most delicious pages on the web - http://zomato.com/instagram which is still live.
  • Good initial traction on Instagram: Before the contest the brand had 0 followers, and post the contest it rose to nearly 150. Currently, there are 184 followers and most of them are the ones who took part in the contest.

Since then, the brand has started to slowly use Instagram on a regular basis. It posts fun things related to food or Zomato  and responds to any food shots where it is tagged in.

Social media is a new medium that needs exploration and brands like Zomato have been doing that a lot, be it with crowdsourcing for a new TVC or experimenting with a whole new social network that relates to its business. Some time back, we took a look at how open are Indian brands with new social networks and Zomato ranked high for this Instagram contest.

Hopefully, with these encouraging numbers, we see more brands embracing new networks.