Making Instagram work for your Restaurant.

Kelly Decerbo, Email & Social Media Specialist
Kelly Decerbo, Email & Social Media Specialist

Hoping to increase your organic buzz? Look no further. Instagram has become one of the most powerful platforms in social media – giving people the voice that Twitter and Facebook allow with a more visual, relatable message. What you may not know is that Instagram can be the most effective of the three to fuel your restaurant’s online marketing using a few easy tactics:

  • Narrate your restaurant’s Instagram story and let others write the rest- Attract the Instagram masses by giving your profile the attention it deserves. Get ahead of the social profile game and make yourself searchable and visually enticing from the get-go. Start with an Instagram handle that clearly isolates you from other nearby businesses or competitors. Post quality photos of not only your most popular menu items, but also your dining space, events, happy customers and even behind-the-scenes action. Capture the ambiance of your restaurant with your posts and you’ll let your images speak for themselves. Double (or triple) your efforts by sharing across your other social platforms for maximum visibility and perhaps even an influx of new followers.
  • A picture is worth 1,000 words, and all of them are coming from Instagrammers- The internet is teeming with self-proclaimed “foodies” who are just waiting to descend on your restaurant with their smart phone in hand. Reports state that Instagram generates 120 times more engagement than Twitter, making it even more appealing as the ideal destination to build positive relationships with your customers. Interact with your followers by asking them for their opinions via captions, and encourage posting by hosting photo contests. Don’t like the idea of running promotions? Think of it as a reward for all the free content they’ve generated for you while you’re busy running the place.
  • Location, location, location-  Establishing a location tag for your restaurant as well as a few signature #hashtags can go a long way and get you ahead of the competition. When you create a location via Instagram, it will publicly show that users have been at your restaurant – and as an added bonus, even saves your location to their phone as a friendly reminder for the next time they’re nearby and in the app. Always be sure to tag your own posts at this geo-tag, so that even those who aren’t searching your profile will see your delicious photography intermingled with that of your customer base. Same goes for hashtags; implement a few (and only a few) highlighting your restaurant’s name, and some popular menu items encouraging customers to repost with the same tags. Make these signature tags known by using them on all your social sites to create brand consistency so it is fresh in your followers’ minds.

Instagram’s more than 130 million active users per month are uploading over 45 million photos per day. Consider some of these tips to encourage those snap-happy food connoisseurs to visit your restaurant where they can easily contribute profitable (and free) advertising for your business.

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