Restaurant Instagram Marketing: What You Need To Know and Do
Restaurant Instagram marketing can your restaurant business a marketing edge in this fiercely competitive industry. While the food you serve may appeal to hungry stomachs and your restaurant service and standards might be very high, it does not mean that you get the luxury to just sit back and wait for hungry diners to book a table. Most bigger restaurants have marketing managers or outsource restaurant marketing services to ensure the restaurant has a great online presence.
In the digital age, the restaurant industry isn’t just about serving delicious food and providing a sublime service to keep your business afloat. Word must be spread about all the things that differentiate your restaurant from others and make your business fabulous so that customers keep coming back for more. Using restaurant Instagram marketing to promote your business can be a powerful marketing strategy that can help you spread the word about your establishment and attract new customers towards your brand.
Using Instagram for your restaurant provides you with the opportunity to interact and engage directly with your audience using creative and innovative pictures, videos and visual content that are completely unique to you. Despite being owned by Facebook, Instagram is still completely functional with other social media platforms such as Twitter and Foursquare and can help you create new and inspiring content for these platforms if nothing else.
Instagram Features For Your Restaurant
- Profile – As with any social media account you will automatically have a profile but it is in your restaurant’s best interest that you optimise this effectively. Use your bio to briefly explain what it is you do, this will attract your target audience. So if you specialise in vegan food, or have great cocktails, this is where you need to say. Make sure to include a link to your restaurant’s website on your profile as this will be the only active link you can use and be sure to turn privacy off so that your profile can be found easily.
- Images – It is up to you and your restaurant’s branding how daring and creative you are with your images. They should always be in line with your ethos and everyday tone. One of the main attractions of Instagram is the selection of filters and editing facilities it offers. Supposedly, Lo-fi is the most popular when snapping food, followed by Normal in second and X-Pro II in third, [ii] however, it is entirely up to you to use whichever filter suits your image best.
- Videos – Only released last year, Instagram video is still being developed. Created as an alternative to Twitter’s Vine, [Tweet “Instagram offered users a 15-second clip with a selection of filters and editing tools.”] Now however several other updates, including the most recent feature, have created a whole host of opportunities that restaurants, in particular, can utilise.
- Location – A common feature of social media is letting people know where you are and what you are doing. This is great for restaurants and eateries looking to market to their audiences. Instagram features a geo-tagging feature which shows other users where the picture was taken. This should be applied to all of your posts using the most relevant tag such as your restaurant’s name and location where possible.
- Hashtags – As with Twitter for restaurants, hashtags are excellent ways to market your profile and content to a wider audience. Using relevant hashtags to tap into current trends and popular topics will attract more people and therefore raise wider awareness of your brand. You can use local trends, general categories or even create your own specific hashtag around your restaurant.
The Best Use Of Restaurant Instagram Marketing
- Raise brand awareness – The purpose of using Instagram for your restaurant is to raise awareness of your brand and what it is you do. Posting regular photos and videos of your menu, specialty dishes, and even behind-the-scenes extras is a great way to give something extra to your customers. Connecting your Facebook and Twitter accounts will allow you to cross-share your images and videos to widen awareness of your Instagram profile while also offering new and exciting content to these platforms too.
- UGC – A huge benefit of Instagram is the user-generated content (UGC) you can use to successfully market your restaurant with minimal effort. Encourage your customers to use the geo-tagging, @mentioning and #hashtags to interact with you and generate awareness at the same time. Create photo opportunities in your restaurant with a reflective hashtag or offer a discount or freebie incentive to get people talking.
- Competitions – You can promote a new menu or upcoming change by posting images and videos to your profile, optimised with relevant hashtags and @mentions. Using a competition is a great way to incorporate all of the above and get people talking. Offer a free meal or reward of some kind and create a specific hashtag for people to use when uploading their photos. This will spread the word about your restaurant’s brand and give you an insight into what your audience like!
Instagram provides restaurants with new and exciting opportunities to market themselves and create a brand following, rather than just a food service. By using visual content which is already significantly more stimulating than written, it is possible to tap into the huge Instagram following. What is especially great about the platform is its mobile focus; this makes it a much faster and spontaneous market that is always on the move and acting quicker than ever.
For more inspiration on how to use visual content to market your restaurant, take a look at ourblog post.
Need Help Creating and Scheduling Content To Engage Your Target Audience?
If you would like us to create engaging content for your social media accounts to help promote your restaurant across the major social networks, Facebook and/or Twitter to attract new customers and widen brand awareness, contact us today.
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