Instagram has become the go-to social media platform for successful restaurant marketing. With a whopping one billion monthly active users, it can be easy to get lost in the crowd and not know how to stand out your restaurant.
With so much noise coming from other restaurant accounts, and users getting a constant stream of imagery, it's important to keep in mind what it is you are trying to accomplish with your Instagram marketing.
There are a few basic restaurant marketing tips that should help restaurant owners with their Instagram marketing. It doesn't take much effort to improve upon your current branding, and these simple restaurant Instagram marketing ideas will help you get started.
We've compiled 10 Instagram best practices for restaurants that will help you get more exposure, reach a wider audience, and ultimately generate more traffic from Instagram.
Hashtags. Faces. Curves and angles in all directions, the face of your restaurant is as much about people as it is food photos on Instagram (hence why we call it humanizing). Encourage staff to post too.
When you share those real-life moments that go into creating an unforgettable dining experience, then not only does your business get exposed to more potential customers but also shows them what makes you different from other restaurants out there trying so hard just be something they're not.
This is the description on your restaurant food photos or posts that potential customers or targeted audience will see when they open it to expand. In short, meta descriptions are vital for converting your Instagram restaurant audience into hungry patrons!
The way you can make this happen is either by handing out a link or adding an enticing and descriptive photo caption. Select Instagram hashtags that are relevant to your posts (see tip #3 for more info).
The key to using relevant Instagram hashtags is adding them to your photo and/or captions in an organic manner: not overly done or forced (e.g. "Thanks for following, here's a free gift! You're welcome!").
The general rule of thumb is to use no more than 10 relevant hashtags per post. Not only will this help you avoid being flagged for spam, but your restaurant post will also look more natural and have a higher chance of being seen by larger audience outside your current Instagram audience.
Instagram Stories is one of your restaurant's most powerful tools. Not only does it make it easy for customers to see what's happening when they're not around, but also allows you to share a more personal side of your business.
The story function lets you share photos and videos with your audience that last for 24 hours before disappearing.
For instance, you could post a message asking your followers to tag other people in their group photos.
This will make your restaurant's profile more interactive and engaging with your audience, all the while showcasing special events like parties, giveaways or even behind-the-scenes footage of how your food is made.
If you're looking for something good to post that's not food related, then visual content would be the best Instagram marketing ideas for restaurants. Here are some ideas:
Photos of your restaurant and surrounding area – a great way to show your loyal customers what it’s like to have dinner at your place. This will build brand awareness about the product you offer and the vibe you give off.
Interviews with your staff – this will show customers that you don't take yourself too seriously, and are more than just a business. It’s also a great opportunity to give Instagram restaurant customers an inside look into what your restaurant staff members are like and how they contribute to the success of your brand.
Show your followers you're dedicated to making them more aware of what they can look forward to from spending time with you. Posting answers to comments and likes is another way to show your account is active and worth following. You can also share exclusive promotions or discounts that are only available on your Instagram account.
Don't be afraid to show a side of you that customers wouldn’t normally get from the way your food is presented or how you market yourself on paper.
Instagram is about being real, so don't be afraid to share parts of yourself that show who you are as an individual and what makes you the awesome person that you are.
By using Instagram as a fun way to communicate with customers and potential ones, you will make your restaurant look more genuine.
Once you get the hang of using Instagram, it's time to start optimizing your posts! One great way to do this is by testing out different styles of photos using A/B testing.
Let's say you're posting a picture of a dish on Instagram, followed by a new photo with the same dish later in the week.
The only difference in these two photos is that one has text overlay and one doesn't. This will allow you to see which one garners higher engagement (likes, comments, etc.) and helps you make more informed choices about what to post in the future.
Using Instagram as a way to communicate with your followers has many benefits besides being able to promote your business. You can discover new things to do by looking at what kind of content gets the most engagement in your area.
This will give you ideas on how best to reach out and market based on the interests of your customers.
Not only that, but if people see that you are a person like them, and not just a generic business selling food, they might be more likely to get to know you on a more intimate level.
If you're like most people you probably think of your restaurant or business being located in one specific place – yours! The truth is, this isn't the case for everyone and even those with brick-and-mortar establishments take to social media to market themselves.
The major reason why you should implement Instagram as a marketing tool is because it is associated with the best in social media. If your restaurant business qualifies for this kind of expansion, then this article can help you do it right. You have to be quick, smart and make sure your foodie customers know that they're getting only the best from you if you want to make a good impression.
Keep this in mind when you review your restaurant Instagram posts, especially if you choose to offer special Instagram deals or unique restaurant promotions only through Instagram for some reason. This is the best strategy on Instagram for restaurant marketing to reach people who aren't easily located in your area or haven't heard of your brand before.
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