All over the world, Instagram is changing the way businesses interact and communicate with their customers. With more than 25+ million business profiles on Instagram worldwide, 60% of users have acknowledged the fact they discover new products, services as well as restaurants on Instagram. Now, these stats say a lot about why every business should invest in Instagram Marketing.
As a restaurant, you must know connecting with customers and retaining them is the key to success. With effective Instagram strategies, not only you can create an authentic experience for your existing customers but also reach new people. For most restaurants worldwide, Instagram is becoming a growing source of revenue.
So whether you’ve tapped into Instagram already or need some more guidance to get started, these below steps to perfecting the Instagram game will help you maximize your reach, as well as revenue.
First things first, if you are running and promoting a restaurant business, you must create an Instagram Business Account. With a business account, you get real-time metrics and insights about your stories, posts, and followers that you can use to understand how your stories and promoted posts performed throughout the day. You can also analyze your followers and see how they interact with your posts and stories on day to day basis. All you have to do is switch to a business profile, and add information about your company, such as business hours, location and phone number.
Do you wonder what counts as good pictures? Here's the thing, good pictures are simply Good Pictures - the ones that can make your customers click on the link in the bio and order from your restaurant. The goal of posting good pictures or good creatives is to attract customers' attention. While posting food pictures, make sure it is appetizing. Avoid blurry images or the ones that simply don't justify the quality of your food and service. Also, don't just post pictures of your menu items! Capture photos of your staff working in the kitchen, events, and guests enjoying the food.
Why do we use hashtags on Instagram? To be searchable, to be visible and to reach the audience that would be genuinely interested in our offering, right? You can achieve these objectives and much more if you know how to choose the right hashtags for your restaurant promotions. While creating unique hashtags is a great strategy to generate a memorable name, using common hashtags like #burger #sushi etc. that describe your dish, as well as have good search volume will ensure that your post reaches the right audience. For instance, if you've posted a picture of "Sushi platter", search “sushi” in Instagram’s hashtag section and use those results as a starting point. You can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram, but make sure that you only use relevant hashtags which relate to your location or cuisine type.
Find a food blogger with a large following so you can get the benefit of a huge amount of brand exposure to an interested audience. Look for bloggers or Instagram Influencers with 20,000-50,000 followers. Bloggers with 50k+ followers might require you to shed a bit more from your pocket. But if you have the budget, then why not shoot for as many followers as possible. Once you have a list of bloggers to target and the budget that you can expend, reach out to see if they’d be willing to promote your restaurants by sharing photos of the experience in exchange for a plate of a meal or monetary benefits. Most bloggers will be happy to promote your business in exchange for 1 or two free meals at your restaurant. This kind of promotion will get you to reach a large, loyal following, that's probably always looking out for new food experiences.
New to the world of Instagram? Don't have much followers or engagement on your page? Here's a hack - run an Instagram contest in collaboration with an influencer or a local food blogger. You can generate significant interest in food lovers with a $50 gift card that they can redeem on their first bill at your restaurant. If you want more people to visit your restaurant with this campaign, you can choose to giveaway 50 gift cards of $25 each to the winners of the contest.
That said, once you’ve finalized the prize and the concept for the contest, make the rules of participation fairly simple but with conditions like - “Like this picture, tag a friend whom you'd like to bring to our restaurant, and follow the Instagram Page.” The ones who fulfill all these conditions can be shortlisted for the prize. Ask the blogger if he/she will be willing to publish 4-5 posts over the course of the next two weeks. This should drive continuous engagement on your page. Check out a few examples below:
Want more Instagram Marketing tips for your restaurant? If you’re a Restolabs client, reach out anytime to discuss your marketing plan! If you haven’t integrated Restolabs to your restaurant website, get started with a free demo today!