Papaya’s Monthly Social Media Snapshot – May 2019

Due to popular demand, our monthly social media snapshot is back! We’ve done the tough work to bring you the top social media stats and news that affect the hospitality industry. Here’s the #downlow for May 2019.

Papaya’s Monthly Social Media Snapshot - May 2019 1

Australian Social Media Rankings – February 2019

1. Facebook – 15,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users (steady)

2. YouTube – 15,000,000 Unique Australian Visitors per month (UAVs)

3. Instagram – 9,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users (FB/ Instagram data)

4. WhatsApp – 7,000,000 Active Australian Users 5. Snapchat – 6,400,000 Monthly Active Australian Users (Snapchat data)

Papaya’s Monthly Social Media Snapshot - May 2019 2

1. Instagram is taking its consumer experience to the next level by testing out e-commerce features such as buying products without leaving the app. Now that’s a one-stop shop destination!

2. Say good-bye to Google Plus! Launched in 2011, Google decided to shut down its short-lived social network on April 2, 2019. Make sure to delete those Google+ social buttons off your website!

3. Instagram has added a quiz feature to its stories. Introducing Instagram quiz stickers, a multiple – choice question sticker for stories. Similar to the poll sticker, this allows users to be more interactive with their stories, allowing up to 4 answers within one question.

4. Are you haunted by how many likes you get on your Instagram post? Instagram is testing out ways on hiding the like count on users posts to reduce the pressures of social media and the affect it has on personal wellbeing.

5. Facebook will be removing its Messenger codes from August 15, 2019. The Messenger camera will no longer support or scan Messenger codes. Businesses that use Messenger codes within their marketing strategy will have to seek alternatives such as QR Code Generator.

barista preparing a green smoothie

Niche is the word: experts reveal 2019 restaurant trends

With an ever-growing number of restaurants opening across Australia, it’s more important than ever
for those in the industry to keep on top of the trends. We spoke to three industry experts to find out
what will be hot when it comes to food, technology, tourism and more over the following year.

Catherine Slogrove, who is director of food and beverage marketing agency Papaya, believes
executing niche, high impact promotional concepts will be a major trend in 2019. “From Bistecca’s ‘no phones’ and impressive steak hunks to Josh Niland’s Fish Butchery featuring seafood sausages, venues are creating exciting experiences based on a core theme,” she says.

Gone are the days of being everything to everyone, these days restaurants are choosing to do one niche thing and take it to the next level in a way that sets social media abuzz.

She says restaurants are also becoming more socially and environmentally conscious, with many boycotting plastic straws and taking measures to reduce food waste. “Campaigns like ‘Parma for a Farmer’ saw the pub industry unite to support Australian farmers through the drought crisis, which was heartening to see,” she says.

With a high concentration of restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne, Slogrove believes the biggest challenge restaurants face is differentiating venues from their competitors and staying relevant.

Niche is the word: experts reveal 2019 restaurant trends 3
Catherine Slogrove from Papaya PR. Image Letícia Almeida

“Everyone gravitates to the new and noteworthy, so how can you create innovative experiences to draw them back to your restaurant? It’s a cut-throat and challenging cycle,” she says. “Eat out at places that are drawing in the crowds to get inspiration, speak to different suppliers in the industry to form promotional partnerships and most importantly talk to the customers you have, and the customers you don’t, to find out what offer will resonate with them. Social media will tell you quicklywhat will resonate with your community and what won’t. Test your ideas through social as a quick litmus test for promotions.

When it comes to food, chefs will be endeavouring to create prettier, more colourful and impressive dishes for Instagram. “2018 saw epic burgers, fairy-floss French toast and ice-cream boas,” she says.

“I can’t wait to see what food porn 2019 brings us.” Slogrove believes social media will continue to rise in value as a marketing tool in the food and beverage space. “With 17 million people on Facebook in Australia and nine million on Instagram, we’ll see this as a growing mechanism to interact, market and communicate with clientele,” she says. “New features, such as the rise of ‘chatbots’, within these platforms will draw communication away from phone and email and towards Facebook and Instagram.”

Read more here:

Food and drinks birds eye view

Papaya’s Monthly Social Media Snapshot – JULY 2018

Papaya’s Monthly Social Media Snapshot

Each month, we do the tough work to bring you the top social media stats and news that affect the hospitality industry. Here’s the #downlow for July.

Papaya’s Monthly Social Media Snapshot - JULY 2018 4

Australian Social Media Rankings – June 2018

1. Facebook – 15,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users (steady)
2. YouTube – 15,000,000 Unique Australian Visitors per month (UAVs)
3. Instagram – 9,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users (FB/ Instagram data)
4. Snapchat – 6,300,000 Monthly Active Australian Users (Snapchat data)
5. WhatsApp – 6,000,000 Active Australian Users

Papaya’s Monthly Social Media Snapshot - JULY 2018 5

  1. Instagram TV has launched and big brands like BuzzFeed are already embracing the new vertical format and 60 minute duration. IGTV is perfectly suited for longer form content including recipe videos, interviews and more!
  2. Select brands are now able to use shopping tags within Instagram Stories, so users can be redirected to their website even quicker. A sticker with a shopping bag icon will allow users to see more details about the featured product.
  3. Instagram Emoji sliders for voting – why give something a rating of 1 to 10 when you can go from sad face to happy face?
  4. Facebook Clear History will allow people to easily clear their entire Facebook history, causing headaches for fans of retargeting adverts.
  5. Instagram is cracking down on fake followers and Instagram pods (secret groups that jack the algorithm by commenting on each other’s posts). Partnering with authentic influencers’ is more important than ever to avoid the backlash.
wetherspoons closes social media accounts

The Shout: Papaya on JP Whetherspoon closure of social media accounts

The Shout: Papaya on JP Whetherspoon closure of social media accounts

The Shout spoke to Papaya’s Catherine Slogrove on whether social media still has relevancy for Australian venues following JP Whetherspoon’s announcement. Big, fat YES from our perspective. Check out the full story below:

UK pub giant, JD Wetherspoon, has made the radical decision to shut down all of its social media accounts, including group and individual venue accounts.

The group, which operates more than 900 pubs across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland released a statement on Twitter at the start of the week announcing the decision.

“In a world of social media, J D Wetherspoon has decided to close down all Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts for individual pubs and head office.

“Rather than using social media, we will continue to release news stories and information about forthcoming events on our website ( and in our printed magazine – Wetherspoon News.

“If you’ve been active in contacting us through social media, please continue to feed back at your local pub or via customer services, through our website.”

That official twitter account has now been shut down.

JD Wetherspoon founder and chairman, Tim Martin, has since called social media “a waste of time”, and in his own statement explained his reasoning for “going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business.”

“I don’t believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever, and this is the overwhelming view of our pub managers.”

In an article for The Drum, UK PR agency founder Rich Leigh argued that Martin had made the right decision, arguing that so many social media accounts gave patrons too many avenues to voice negative opinions of the brand publicly, and that it was too hard and ineffective for the pub’s marketing team to combat those opinions.

Local perspective

In Australia, the reaction to the Wetherspoon decision to eschew social media altogether – and so abruptly – has been met with a mix of opinions.

Mitchell Stapleton-Coory, co-founder of SHOUTback, a video discovery platform and marketplace for the hospitality industry, understands the decision, citing a marked decrease in the reach allowed by social media channels.

“The decision of Wetherspoon to veto social media is not at all surprising. The truth is that these platforms simply do not add the same value to small businesses as they once did. Everything goes in cycles.

“Facebook had a decade of dominance, and it opened up a lot of possibilities for small business. But the zeitgeist is changing, and people are looking for a more nourishing experience online these days. Unfortunately, this is not something that a goliath like Facebook can offer people anymore. I expect this to be the first landmark example of businesses turning away from large social media platforms in search of a more bespoke and relative digital solution, but I don’t think it will be the last.”

Some industry participants just can’t see such a drastic cut from social media working for hospitality groups in Australia.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a considerable number of venues following JD Wetherspoon’s lead in deleting its social accounts. Like it or not, leaving the conversation does not make the conversation go away. People will still be sharing reviews with family and friends on those platforms regardless,” suggested Catherine Slogrove, director of Papaya PR.

“In Australia, the numbers speak for themselves: 15 million on Facebook and 9 million on Instagram with the ability to place up to 1km radius around the venue. Until the market leaves, it just makes a whole lot of sense to direct marketing efforts to platforms that have the volume and the unique ability to target such granular demographics and geographics.”

As the group marketing director of Solotel, one of Australia’s largest hospitality groups, Dan Lacaze believes current strategy should focus on quality over quantity.

“Social media plays an important part of our communications mix. However the reality for a diversified group like ours, with 31 venues, 40 brands and over 80 social media accounts across Facebook and Instagram, is that the resources to manage these effectively doesn’t always stack up for the return we get.”

He continued: “We are trying to focus on fewer, bigger, better initiatives that entertain our customers in social, not sell to them.

“Our ultimate goal is to engage with our customers, regardless of the media channel – be it social, traditional or experiential.”

Slogrove suggests that the issue that social media channels need to address is regulation of the channels.

“I think the real question here is: what is Facebook going to do about regulation? Almost every venue has been hit by a fake review from a disgruntled former employee or someone who is just plain unreasonable. Until the recent Cambridge Analytica saga, they’ve touted the ‘freedom’ banner. Whether it’s the US government, boycotts or competitors taking market share, something will force them to change and hopefully that will trickle down to community standards for venue pages.”

(The Shout)

Catherine bright eyed and bushy tailed with Barmetrix

Catherine, bright eyed and bushy tailed with Barmetrix

Catherine, bright eyed and bushy tailed with Barmetrix

This month Catherine guested on a webinar with Barmetrix’s Jason Jelicich on all things marketing in the food, beverage, restaurant and hospitality industry. It was at the tender time of 7am to catch the USA audience but we think she did a’right.

Catherine, bright eyed and bushy tailed with Barmetrix 6

woman taking a photo

Papaya’s Monthly Social Media Snapshot – January 2018

Papaya’s Monthly Social Media Snapshot

Each month, we do the tough work to bring you the top social media stats and news that affect the hospitality industry. Here’s the #downlow for January.

Papaya’s Monthly Social Media Snapshot - January 2018 7

Australian Social Media Rankings – January 2018

  1. Facebook – 15,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users (steady)
  2. YouTube – 15,000,000 Unique Australian Visitors per month (UAVs)
  3. Instagram – 9,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users (FB/Instagram data)
  4. – 5,700,000
  5. WhatsApp – 5,000,000 Active Australian Users
  6. LinkedIn – 4,200,000 Monthly Active Australian Users approx

Papaya’s Monthly Social Media Snapshot - January 2018 8

  1. Instagram has now launched number of profile views for business pages, making it easier to track the visibility to consumers
  2. There has been an increase in the use of Instagram stories. A study has found that over 300 million people use Instagram Stories each month. This is over 50 million more than Snapchat.
  3. Instagram is starting a new version of story ads where you can include three photos or videos instead of the standard one.
  4. You can now follow hashtags on Instagram!
  5. Live stream is expected to explode throughout 2018. More and more businesses are using live stream to show off their business and keep followers interested.
papaya pr eating at helm bar and bistro

We are Hiring! Social Media Executive

We are Hiring! Social Media Executive 9

Exciting news! We’re looking for our next social media and PR superstar to join the team in our Sydney office (amazing food and wine perks included!) So if you consider yourself a bit of a wordsmith, and love all things social media we’d love to hear from you!

One of Sydney’s leading food and beverage marketing consultancies is on the hunt for a superstar!

In this exciting role you will drive digital marketing initiatives for our portfolio of amazing food and beverage clients. Our ideal candidate has an intimate understanding of social media platforms, is a creative and quirky copy writer and eye for styling. PR or photography experience would also be beneficial.

About the Role:

Think launching some of Sydney’s hottest new products, rooftops and more! 

  • Creating fun, quirky and creative content for social media
  • Developing & implementing social media strategy
  • Managing venues social media pages – Facebook, Instagram
  • Facebook and Instagram targeting and management
  • Instagram styling
  • Media release writing and media pitching
  • Food blogger & influencer events
  • Managing eDM activity as required

About You:

To be successful in this role you will have:

  • Personality plus!
  • Experience in a similar role
  • A love of all things digital
  • Experience using Facebook ads manager
  • Strong copywriting skills
  • Great visual skills & photography skills a bonus
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • A passion for wining and dining!

About Us:

Papaya is a PR and social media agency with an extensive line-up of clients in the food and beverage space. With a fun, dynamic culture, we’ve developed a reputation for exciting content and an innovative approach in the industry. With amazing foodie perks, this is a dream job for food and beverage lovers. Based from a lovely office in Neutral Bay, the role also has flexibility dependent on circumstances.

Remuneration dependent on experience. If this opportunity sounds like you please email

Australian Hotelier Feature: Catherine Slogrove

Australian Hotelier Feature: Catherine on Sniper Social Media

Australian Hotelier interviewed Catherine on the hyper targeted social media strategies that saw the Rose of Australia take out the Australian Hotelier Award for best social media activity. Read the full below or check it out on The Shout

Sniper tactics: Targeted social media strategies

15 December, 2017 by Vanessa Cavasinni

Australian Hotelier Feature: Catherine on Sniper Social Media 10

On the back of executing the winning campaign for ‘Best Social Media Activity’ at this year’s AHA Awards, Catherine Slogrove of Papaya shares how a hyper-local approach can convert your social media efforts.

Big numbers can be impressive but it’s not about the number of likes or followers, it’s about driving real business conversion and engaging the right target market.  Through a local social media campaign, The Rose of Australia secured 140 function enquiries 10 days following the launch of its function space, Howard’s, on social media.

Slogrove suggests a targeted social media strategy is more effective than a just posting content into the social media ether. Here are her key tactics:

1. Put your money where your audience is

Sitting in my office in Neutral Bay, sometimes I see promotions for venues in Miranda. There are 17 million Australians on Facebook and five million on Instagram. There’s no way you can, or would want to reach them all.

Instead, focus on hyper-geo-targeting. That is making every dollar count by promoting content to geographically very small areas around your venue to reach your exact local target audience. We also use geo-hash tagging with suburbs surrounding the venue to ensure our content is popping up under the right hash tags.

And sometimes it’s not even small numbers, Gregory Hills Hotel saw a following of nearly 10,000 in just three months using a hyper local approach. Come launch, the venue saw 9,000 covers in 10 days.

2. Put in the time to engage with locals

We dedicate a block of time every day to engage with the local community via Instagram for our clients. That involves searching popular locations and hash tags and proactivity reaching out to the local community in a very personal way.

Would buying a heap of followers from the Philippines be quicker and easier? Forget it, it’s counterproductive. Rather spend your time on growing a valuable audience, that is, people who you want in your venue on a regular basis.

3. Showcase your personality

Online, a pub should behave like your best friend; there to pick you up, keep it real and offer a schooner of beer at the end of a hard day. Every best friend is different, just like every pub is different, so focus on showcasing a personality that you think will resonate with your patrons and keep it consistent.

In the case of The Rose of Australia, Erskineville is super sassy, edgy and a little kinky so we’ve tried to permeate that sass through post copy, imagery and even the way that we respond to comments.

(Source: The Shout)

woman taking a photo

Papaya’s Monthly Social Media Snapshot – November 2017

Papaya’s Monthly Social Media Snapshot – November 2017

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  1. Mashable announced the most popular emojis used on iOS devices, with emojis proved to have improved engagement on social media posts, these could be the ones to include!
  2. Instagram now lets brands feature stories Highlights on their profile pages. Instagram will also now automatically save story posts, which can later be added to a story highlights collection.
  3. Broadsheet Sydney has a new editor! Sarah Norris has joined the team with over 16 years’ experience as a journalist and can be reached with interview opportunities, story pitches and exciting new events.
  4. Brands and businesses are now using Facebook messenger to connect and engage with their audiences.
  5. Facebook is now launching stories for business pages!
Catherine Slogrove Papaya PR

Australian Hotelier Awards Social Media Marketing Award Win

Last week, Papaya took the stage with the team from Rose of Australia to accept the award for ‘best social media activity’ at the Australian Hotelier Awards NSW 2017.The winning social media marketing campaign saw The Rose of Australia secure 140 function enquiries 10 days following the launch of its function space, Howard’s Cocktail and Cantina Bar, on social media.

In attendance were over 1,000 pub owners and restauranteurs from across Sydney and New South Wales.

Both Pubtic and The Drop covered the story, featuring the below video, in which Catherine explains the winning strategy and approach.

Video Transcript

The Rose of Australia bought us in to launch Howard’s, which is a sophisticated cantina concept, in a locals’ pub in the middle of Winter – so we really had a challenge set out for us. It’s not about having hundreds of thousands of followers. It’s about having and engaging your exact target market and for this pub, this family pub, that’s the local community. We really believe that Social Media is about building relationships, and to build a relationship you need to share a story. So, we really focused on sharing the stories, of each family (member), Howard, through family photos and also sharing the personalities and expertise of the staff.

The Rose of Australia may not have the biggest following, but Facebook comparison insights our engagement is 50% above some of Sydney’s most iconic venues. We’ve also seen a massive increase of the number of people tagging themselves at The Rose of Australia, taking photos of their food, caught the attention of some of Sydney’s best food writers and bloggers. So, Social Media is more than just likes, or followers, it’s about generating real business conversion and through the launch of Howard’s on Social Media we saw one hundred and forty function bookings in just ten days


Making sugar skulls for the Day of the Dead Morning Show

Making sugar skulls for the Day of the Dead

Papaya client, El Topo Cantina’s head chef George Sideris created sugar skulls with Kylie and Larry on The Channel 7 Morning Show to celebrate the Day of the Dead. To try Mexican food as authentic as the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration, visit El Topo Cantina in Warwick Farm.

Get yourself into the Day of the Dead spirit by trying the sugar skull recipe below:


  • 4 cups sugar
  • 6 teaspoons meringue powder
  • 6 teaspoons water


  1. Mix dry ingredients. Slowly add water and mix until sugar has a crumbly, wet beach sand consistency.
  2. Fill your skull moulds, pressing tightly into the mould.
  3. Flip the moulds onto a flat surface and allow to dry 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Once dried, brush the excess sugar away and then use royal icing to cement the front and backs of the sugar skull together, and coloured royal icing to decorate.
woman taking a photo

Papaya’s Monthly Social Media Snapshot – October 2017

Papaya’s Monthly Social Media Snapshot – October 2017

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  1. PayPal users can now send money to or request money from their friends directly via Facebook Messenger. This new feature is an expansion of the company’s relationship with Facebook.
  2. Using emojis in social media posts increases engagement. A new study found posts without emojis had an interaction rate of 1.77 percent. In contrast, the engagement rate on posts with emojis was about 2.07 percent, and the average increase in absolute interactions for posts with emojis was 43 percent.
  3. Instagram is testing a stop-motion camera for stories. The Stop Motion tool allows you to take a series of photos, but not to edit individual images. Once you’re done snapping photos, you tap “done” to gain access to story-editing tools like stickers and text. From there, you can post the stop-motion GIF to your story.
  4. Facebook revealed its first country-specific stats for the instant messaging platform, claiming 13 million Australians use Messenger each month.
  5. Facebook is rolling out a feature where users will be able to order food through the Facebook app. Not available in Australia yet, but only a matter of time.
Goth Foods on Network 10

Network 10 LIVE: Goth Foods

Papaya client, The Epping Club’s Nick Whitehouse cooked up ‘Midnight Barramundi Sashimi’ on Channel 10’s The Studio to celebrate Halloween with the dark food trend. To try goth food, enjoy the black risotto at Rawsons Restaurant or the black burger at the club’s bistro.

Alternatively, try the recipe below

Midnight Barramundi Sashimi
Serves 4

Chive oil
1 bunch chives
150ml ground nut oil
1tsp sea salt

Complete dish
550g sashimi grade Australian sustainable barramundi
120ml chive oil
80ml Shiso vinegar (alternatively use ikari dressing)
40g green shallot
20g toasted black sesame seeds
4 small Hawkesbury squid (cleaned)
20ml squid ink (or to taste)
1 punnet coriander cress
1 punnet pea shoots

Use a jug blender to make chive oil and blend until smooth then set aside in squeezy bottle.
Slice barramundi 3mm thick.
Slice squid across the body into thin rings, wash and cook in boiling water for 20 seconds chill on ice then reserve.
Mix squid with the squid ink and set aside.
Finely slice the shallots on an angle.

To plate the dish
Lay out the barramundi on 4 plates.
Rub each slice with the squid and its ink.
Drip chive oil on each slice.
Drip Shiso vinegar on each slice.
Snip and sprinkle coriander cress & pea shoots over dish.
Sprinkle capers & shallots over the dish.
Leave dish for 2-5 minutes then enjoy.

Hospitality Magazine: Papaya PR team taking social media pictures

Hospitality Magazine: How To with Papaya

Hospitality Magazine: How To with Papaya

On the back of Papaya’s social media blogger appetite, Hospitality Magazine’s Madeleine Woolway spoke to Catherine on how to increase a venue’s Instagram following:

Running a tight social media ship is a must in the industry, with a solid following holding the potential to pack out venues and garner loyal support. So who better to learn from than the social media gurus themselves — food bloggers. Catherine Slogrove from Papaya PR looks at how to take a creative digital approach and examines the Papaya Food Blogger Appetite 2017 survey.

Read the original article here
woman taking a photo

Papaya’s Monthly Social Media Snapshot

Papaya’s Monthly Social Media Snapshot

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  1. Snapchat’s growth numbers have slowed significantly since the introduction of Instagram Stories, while more and more reports suggest that platform influencers are switching from Snap to Instagram, due to increased reach and opportunity
  2. Malteser’s Australia have launched their new honeycomb Maltesers with a fun and creative 3D Facebook advertisement:
  3. Twitter is now testing out a new 280 character limit with some users. Longer tweets have always been in discussion, with the 140 character limit seen by some as a restrictive factor.
  4. Instagram’s adding a new method for conducting polls, with a sticker option that lets you pose a question within your Instagram Story and see the results from your followers as they participate.
  5. Facebook have introduced a new camera effects platform. You can now create your own effects for the Facebook camera, from the simplest frame to the most stunning augmented reality experiences.