Instagram a marketing ally for the restaurant
With more than 500 million active users and launching new features in the registry (Insights business, Instagram stories, live video and start order), Instagram audience dwarfs that of Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest . If you've been to a restaurant, event, or just recently dated, you've probably noticed the hunched posture and telltale scrolling motion of an Instagram user. I certainly fit the bill.
Why does it matter? How restaurantknows that connect with customers and keep their restaurant in mind is an important key to your success. Instagram allows you to present your best food, interact with your customers in an authentic way, and reach new people. So whether you've logged into Instagram or need instructions to get started, here are some tips to help you maximize your success on today's most powerful social media platform.
The basics of posting to Instagram for restaurants
1. Always post your best images.
Their goal is to get the customer's attention. If you are posting food, make sure the photo is appetizing. The inside of your restaurant? Attractive. A photo of your staff? It makes me want to work there. Avoid blurry images, images that are too close, or those you just don't love. For tips on how to take better photos.
2. Be consistent.
Your Instagram feed is a representation of your brand. When a potential customer decides whether or not to follow you or interact with your photos, they will base it on looks. Set a theme that you can maintain, such as a general color scheme, an editing technique, or a photographic style. Make it even easier with the help of an app like Mosaic , that allows you to visually plan the next publications.
3. Post often.
The more you post, the more likely people are to see your content, and therefore your restaurant. As a general rule, I aim for one post a day. You can always post more or less often than that, but avoid posting photos too close together (space the photos at least 4 hours). It's okay to try posting more or less often to find your sweet spot.
Increase your restaurant's Instagram following
1. Always use hashtags.
This is the key for new potential customers to find your restaurant. To determine the best hashtags to use, think about the keywords that describe your photo. For example, if you've photographed a hamburger, search for “hamburger” in the Instagram hashtag section and use those results as a starting point. For example: when I search for #burger, it gives me #bestburgers, which gives me related hashtags like #burgertime and #burgerlove. Instagram limits it to 30 hashtags, so maximize the effectiveness of the hashtags you use by choosing those that relate to your location or type of kitchen. You can include hashtags in your caption or post them separately as a comment underneath your caption (this is visually cleaner).
2. Interact with people.
It is important to establish a relationship with your followers. I recommend responding to each comment thatreceive in their publications, and at least, "I like" the comment. Your customers will be incentivized to engage with you more, and that engagement increases the chances that your post will stay closer to the top of people's news, or make it to the Popular Page of Instagram.2
3. Publish at strategic moments.
Having a business account on Instagram makes it easy to see what time of day your customers and interacting with your posts. Make a note to post during those times and set reminders for yourself. Services like Planoly allow you to configure photos and schedules through your computer or phone, and they will send you an automatic notification when your post should upload.
Carrying the Insta game of your restaurant to a higher level
1. Run Instagram ads.
Instagram makes it easy by letting you target locals and set up an ad right from your phone. Pick an appetizing food image, brainstorm a simple and eye-catching headline with your staff, and get ready to advertise!
2. Present contests or campaigns.
Take your brand to the next level by executing promotions or campaigns that customers want to interact with. We recommend gifts, publications they encourage engagement (like asking a question) or republish customer content with a greeting to them. See the examples below for ideas.
3. Add Instagram to your stationery
Include your Instagram ID on store receipts, take-out menus, or flyers. If you can get the staff to spread the word, even better. I once had a server at the cash register telling me that if I followed them on Instagram I would get a 20% discount. I bought everything I had, and now it's 4 years later and I still see and like their posts weekly. Don't underestimate your employees!