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-over 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 hit 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.
Your goal is to get the customer's attention. If you're 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 the ones 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 an overall color scheme, editing technique, or 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 per day. You can always post more or less often than that, but avoid posting photos too close together (space photos at least 4 hours apart). 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 to new potential customers finding 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 hashtag section of Instagram 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 you to 30 hashtags, so maximize the effectiveness of the hashtags you use by choosing the ones that relate to your location or type of kitchen. You can include hashtags in your caption or post them separately as a comment under your caption (this is visually cleaner).
2. Interact with people.
It is important to establish a relationship with your followers. I recommend responding to every 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 land on Instagram's Popular Page.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 allowing you to target locals and set up an ad right from your phone. Pick a tasty food image, brainstorm a simple and eye-catching title with your staff, and get ready to advertise!
2. Present contests or campaigns.
Take your brand to the next level by running promotions or campaigns that customers want to interact with. We recommend gifts, publications that encourage engagement (such as asking a question) or republishing customer content with a greeting to them. See the examples below for ideas.
3. Add Instagram to your stationery
Include your Instagram identifier on store receipts, takeout 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 he had, and now it's 4 years later and I still see and like his posts on a weekly basis. Don't underestimate your employees!