With its growing popularity and the gamut of features available to business profiles, Instagram has become an indispensable marketing channel for small businesses.
Instagram offers an opportunity for restaurant owners to connect with their customers on a personal level, build their brand and drive customers to their store.
While content is undoubtedly the king, these hacks will help you to keep your game strong on Instagram.
1. Court Food Bloggers
Some of the most popular accounts on Instagram are those of food bloggers and it would come as no surprise that an average person spends close to an hour each day scrolling through food pics on Instagram. In 2017, more than 87% of the marketers resorted to influencer marketing to boost their brands. Food bloggers have excellent brand value. They have build a bond of trust with their audience, which treats their opinions as personal recommendations. Roping in food bloggers to write about your restaurant is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness and expand your customer base.
Courting a food blogger can be a bit tricky. You would want to ensure that the food blogger you are planning to approach is genuine and popular in your locality, has a formidable following and is relevant to your restaurant type. Once you have zeroed in on a suitable food blogger, the next step is developing a relationship with them by following their accounts and engaging on their posts. Most of them are easily reachable on Instagram and will not want to miss an opportunity to review a good place on their blogs and Instagram handles.
For more pro-tips on influencer marketing for restaurant click here
2. Run contests
Contests are a great way to increase the increase brand awareness, generate massive engagement, and drive a serious return on investment from social media.
Posts related to Instagram contests tend to earn roughly 64x more comments and 3.5x more likes when compared to ‘normal’ content.
They also help you in increasing the number of your followers within a short span of time. On our own pages, we have seen the level engagement on all other posts increases during the weeks that we are running a contest. Due to the resultant increase in the number of followers, you would usually see a rise in the engagement level from the pre-contest levels.
There are a variety of contests you can turn to from something as simple as liking or sharing to win to more integrated approaches. Some popular types of contests that you could try are:
- Selfie contests
- Hashtag contests
- Instore contests
- Hyperlapse video contest
Building an effective hashtag strategy is one of the best ways to increase the reach and visibility of your posts on Instagram.
On average, Instagram posts with at least one hashtag get 12.6% more engagement than those without.
Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags to your posts. The best way to find the most appropriate hashtags for your business is to look and see what hashtags your audience, competitors, and industry leaders are already using. Track the performance of your hashtags by looking at post insights and build your strategy accordingly.
- You can even add clickable hashtags to your bio.
- Post all of your hashtags in the first comment, after five vertical periods, this keeps your post clean while making your post discoverable for all the hashtags.
300 million people use Stories every day making it one of the fastest growing network. Instagram Stories are a fun and casual way to engage with your followers. Even people who don’t who don’t follow your Instagram account can see your stories, giving you a much wider audience. With the latest updates, you can add hashtags and location to your stories to make them more discoverable.
Use stories to show-off your best recipes or the interiors of your restaurant. Add Call to action to your stories to nudge your audience into action.
Instagram has come up with plenty of cool features such as poll sliders and emoji stickers to catch the attention of your followers.
If you have more than 10,000+* followers, there’s a ‘swipe up’ option inside your Instagram Stories to include a link. You can use this to direct your fans to your website or your online ordering platform or even to your current push.
Keep your audience glued to your page through the Instagram story highlights.
Even if you have a portfolio full of professional food pics of your restaurant, you can always use pics of your food or restaurant posted by your customers. Apart from providing you with fresh content to share with your audience, it encourages engagement from the followers of original contributor and inspires other customers to post pictures of your food or restaurant.
Search Instagram for tagged pictures of your restaurant or food. But before you lift these off, it is a good idea to reach out to the customer, thank them for their visit and take their permission to repost with photo credits. You can use a professional app for re-gramming or just take a screenshot and use it on your page with photo credits,
These are some of the tips that we are using on our pages. We would love to know how you are using Instagram for your restaurant.