Instagram For Restaurants: What You Need To Know and Do
Instagram can be used very effectively for restaurants and hospitality services due to its primary focus on visual content. Due to this it requires the least maintenance than any other social media platform, while also still attracting over 200 million users and seeing over 20 billion photos shared. Instagram is hugely popular with younger people, with 90% of its user demographic being under 35, which is likely to be due to its mobile-dominated interface. [i]
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,
Now however several other updates, including the most recentfeature 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 on 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.
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The Best Use Of Instagram For Restaurants
- 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, speciality 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.
Free Social Media Management Dashboard For Restaurants
The self serve version of the dashboard is completely free to use. Simply create a free account via the blue button. Once logged in, restaurants are able to create posts and schedule them to publish to their social media accounts. The dashboard is an easy to use tool that allows centralised control of major social networks. The pro version provides clear statistics presented as a set of interactive graphs and charts. Content performance statistics include your most successful posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Additionally, you can find out which content performs the best and generates the most clicks. (Clicks can be broken down further to see which network provides the most and at which time and what day.) You can find out what your top #hashtags on Facebook versus Twitter. There are even powerful search tools, allowing the user to find curated content to publish, such as videos, topical news and trending content.
Click on the blue button to get your free social media management dashboard and start scheduling content to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts today!
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.
Click on the following link to get more details about our Social Media Management Services.
Image Sources: http://tinyurl.com/mku2sh3 and http://tinyurl.com/n69l2wt and http://tinyurl.com/qdgzc5x