The millennial customer spends close to an hour on Instagram each day and most of this time is spent browsing through food pictures. According to a recent survey, around 30% of the customers would avoid a restaurant if their Instagram game was weak. In the 6 years since its acquisition by Facebook, Instagram has rapidly evolved into an indispensable tool for restaurants to attract customers. They are constantly coming with up integrations and new features that make it easier for business to reach out to their customers.
In this article, we have broken down the Instagram trends of 2018 that you need to know to be on the top of your game.
1. Stay on Top of Popular Trends
Social media is constantly evolving and Instagram has been the front-runner these past few years when it comes to popularizing trends. If you want your business page to remain on the top, you have to learn to keep your content fresh and stay in the loop with the latest trends whether it is geotagging on your posts or the now ubiquitous vintage filters.
Keeping an eye on your competitors and following the top food bloggers in your segment is only a small part of your strategy. To become a trend-setter, you should also be an early adopter of the latest additions to the platform.
In May this year, Instagram introduced the emoji slider stickers, which are an uber cool way to interact with your fans. According to Instagram, By choosing an emoji for your question, you add a layer of emotional context that helps your fans to understand the tone of your question. For more on this check out the Instagram blog.
Gifs stickers on Instagram stories is another feature that has caught the imagination of Instagrammers. Early this year, Instagram teamed up with GIPHY to provide high-quality, transparent collection of GIFs to all Instagram users. There a million ways you could use GIFs to add a fun element to your stories. Learn more about them here
2. Introduce Your Brand through Instagram Stories Highlights
Instagram stories may disappear from your profile after 24 hours but with the stories archive feature you don’t have to worry about losing them forever and what’s even better you can now use the Instagram stories highlights feature to showcase the best of your Instagram stories. It is the perfect way to tell your followers about the highlights of your restaurant or new menu additions.
Check out how PIADA Italian street food is showcasing their content with Instagram stories highlights.
In fact, you create a separate Instagram stories highlight to showcase different aspects of your business and lead your followers directly to your website by using the swipe up option at the end. The Shake Shack is using story highlights for their team, events, upcoming locations and almost everything else.
3. Cross-Promoting Content
In the past, we have seen user’s cross-promoting regular posts by using screenshots of regular posts for their stories. But now, you can easily share the regular post with the new re-share feature. Posts shared to Instagram Stories allow users to check out the original post. You can use this feature to drive attention to a new campaign or offer. Instagram stories are also a great way to drive engagement on your regular content.
4. Instagram Shoppable Posts
Instagram has become a full-fledged e-commerce platform with Instagram’s Shoppable Posts now available to users in 9 different countries. Earlier, we had only two options for sending direct traffic from Instagram: the link in your bio & clickable Instagram Stories. But, with the new features like product tags and a ‘Shop’ tab on the profile, discovering and buying products on Instagram is much easier.
5. Shoutouts to increase your exposure
Instagrammers are constantly coming up with fun ways to increase their reach and visibility. In the absence of huge ad budgets, small businesses can make good use of shoutouts to fellow Instagrammers. The principle is simple, partner up with a fellow business page and agree to promote each other for a specified amount of time. Shoutouts are fast becoming a popular way to grow an Instagram following.
6. Use Instagram Direct
Instagram Direct is a great way to privately share a photo or video post privately with individuals or groups. Every business page has many categories of followers; While some of your followers may be very active on the platform, there may be others who you only surface once in a while, in addition, some may be interested only in a particular category of your products. Instagram Direct is the preferred way to share content relevant to such small groups of followers.
That was all from us, but, we would love to know how you are using Instagram in 2018 to reach out to your customers.