In the restaurant business, where food pictures play a crucial role in attracting customers, there is no better social platform than Instagram to reach out and connect with customers. In fact, it’s been named as the top social media for engaging with restaurants. Used effectively, Instagram can help tell your restaurant’s brand story in a compelling and engaging manner.
Spruce up your presentations
The first thing you need to do is to make sure your food is share-worthy. Your restaurant’s Instagram growth is dependent to a certain extent on user-generated content (UGC), which is content that your customers create and share such as photos and videos.
Make an effort to spruce up your presentations so that your customers would want to take pictures of their food and share with their network.
In the tagged pictures section of your profile, you’ll find images and videos of your restaurant that customers have created. All you have to do is send each customer a direct message asking them to allow you to post the content to your page. You will, of course, have to credit the customer as the source of the content and tag them too.
Tap into influencer networks
There are already a large number of food bloggers with tonnes of followers, who post pictures about the food they like. Engaging them to post images and information about your restaurant gives you access to their network. It also helps you reach a market that you ordinarily would not be able to tap into. Having a diverse range of influencers helps you reach even more market segments than you would on your own. Using influencers works, as people tend to believe and trust the opinions of other people, especially those close to them.
Even if you don’t have the budget for engaging influencers with large follower numbers, you can still talk to micro-influencers to help share your content. Micro-influencers can have about 1000 or more followers, but they may still be considered experts in their network and people may look up to them. One study even showed that they can get 85% more engagement than influencers with 100 000 followers.
Use hashtags wisely
When you use hashtags in your posts, you make it easy for customers searching for the specific information or content you’re sharing, to find you. Before deciding on a hashtag, type in the keyword you would like to use and see how many posts it occurs in. You will need to strike a balance, avoiding keywords with too many or too few posts.
Keep copy short
The main item on your Instagram posts should be your pictures. The text should be kept short and straight to the point. Add a call to action, so that your customers know what to do when they have finished reading your message. Because Instagram allows only one link, in your bio, you won’t be able to add links to your picture posts. What you can do if you want customers to visit a certain page is include the URL and customers will retype it in their browsers to get to the page.
Contests are an effective way to get customers to interact with your restaurant. The more they interact with you, the more your restaurant gets seen by their followers. This may translate to more people trusting your restaurant and wanting to try your food. Contests will vary according to the type of restaurant brand you have. You might come up with a dish and ask customers to name it and tag their friends, with an attractive prize on offer. Another idea is to ask customers to share their favourite pictures of your restaurant, with the best post winning a prize.
With more people taking pictures of their food and sharing them on Instagram, it is the ideal platform to showcase what your restaurant has to offer while sharing your brand story with current and future customers. Make Instagram part of your marketing strategy as this will increase your brand visibility and open up your restaurant to a new customer base.