Instagram is an important element of any Restaurant’s Social Media Marketing strategy. With almost a billion users, it helps you to cover a diverse customer base within the significant age group of young professionals, the Millennials, and the Gen Zs.
This platform is not a new tool, especially for your marketers. Restaurants owners alike know how social media influences a lot of consumers into the things they buy and the business they support. Creating awareness through this platform should be helpful for you.
And if you’re thinking that you’re not aesthetic and technical enough, worry not because Instagram is an intuitive tool and works well even with tight budgets. With the right social media manager or just adequate training with your staff, you’re good to go.
Here is what you need to learn about this social media platform and how you can maximize its potential for your business. Yes, contrary to the popular belief, marketing is not the only area you can improve with Instagram. Read below to find out more.
Instagram in Restaurants
Being one of the top social media channels, Instagram is already popular with consumers and business owners alike. Avoid being fooled by its easy-to-use interface and affordable packages as it delivers results that exceed expectations.
Knowing how intense marketing in restaurants can be, this type of marketing channel should sound appealing to you. It will play well with your marketing budget, and due to its user-friendly interface, it’s perfect for bustling businesses like restaurants.
Compared to its sister platform, Facebook, Instagram offers a different approach to sales, marketing, and customer engagement. That even though almost the same consumer group uses both of the platforms, consumers will still receive a different type of experience with it.
If you’re already using other marketing platforms, you might just think if this one is worth a shot. And we get why. It appears to be the usual photo-sharing application that no one finds to be special, but that’s where you’ll miss the opportunity.
Keep in mind that modern diners eat with their eyes first. Instagram is effective because you allow your consumers to feast their eyes with high-quality images of your menu items, interior, and even your staff.
Imagine just how hard it will be for you to convince someone that your food tastes good if they can’t visualize what you’re trying to offer them. And speaking of visuals, using visual marketing allows a human brain to process information 60,000 times faster compared to text.
Lastly, Instagram is now utilized to find the nearest restaurants and food places near the customer. Others use it because it already has updated photos from its profile and photos from its past customers. It’s the easiest way to get to know more a restaurant.
How does it work for restaurants?
While online visibility is something that you should grow and improve, social media channels give you the platform to not just be visible, but to be visible to the right audience. By using its tools, you can engage and connect with your target demographics without having to go through a complicated process.
As mentioned earlier, most Instagram users belong to the generation of Millennials and the Gen Zs. In which are now known to be the holders of the greatest purchasing authority in the consumer population.
It’s also worth mentioning that Instagram is eighty-four more times effective compared to Twitter. It has a higher online customer engagement. Meaning, you’re able to build connections with your customers while cultivating brand awareness at the same time.
You can also benefit from user-generated content on Instagram as a restaurant owner. User-generated content includes posts about your restaurant contributed by users. It’s free marketing for you since it was voluntarily made by your customers.
Just make sure that you’ll give credit to the user properly to avoid conflicts about privacy and online property. Worry not as these posts will most likely be given by your customers for free, especially if they directly tagged your profile on their post.
Instagram is also known for its exemplary use of hashtags. This ‘character’ has a huge impact on your Instagram game as it can help you magnify your reach a thousand times more. Proper use of it makes you visible to the right audience.
If you happen to mishandle the use of hashtags, there’s a great possibility that your restaurant’s profile will be penalized by the algorithm of Instagram. It could also gain you some annoying and irrelevant (for your business) followers.
One of the many restaurant social media tips creates a unique hashtag for your business. This allows you to link every post that is relevant to your restaurant and brand. Should potential customers look for your business, they can easily pull up information using the hashtag.
For posting, here are the basic factors that you should consider if you’re going to launch a campaign on this platform.
● Timing. This is important in any marketing campaign that you will launch. For Instagram posts, it’s best to post during the period when consumers are looking for something to eat, usually in the early morning and mid-afternoon.
● Online Engagement. For online algorithms, it’s not just about what you post, but how you handle your post. Make sure that you’ll be promptly responding to comments and reposts from your profile to score a higher rank on Instagram.
● Content Relevance. While you already have targeting tools to help you reach the proper set of audiences, it won’t still work if your audience can’t relate to what you’re sharing. Make sure to understand your market and provide them with relevant content.
You can increase the effectiveness of your online campaigns on Instagram by focusing on those.
Effective Instagram Strategies for Restaurants
Instagram is a multi-functional tool that can be used for different tasks. We’ve mentioned that marketing, although it is its strongest suit, is not the only thing it can offer to your table. Learn more about what type of strategy you can use for different operational procedures.
Make use of links on posts and stories.
While there are many things you can link on your Instagram post and stories, it’s wise to use them for CTAs. Social media marketing for restaurants is not a stranger with CTA links. Using these links, you can get potential customers to perform a specific action, like purchasing from your restaurant.
CTAs lead consumers into your sales funnel. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s just as simple as ‘click here to order or ‘click here to know more. Then by clicking the link, the consumer will be led into your website or the landing page of your online ordering system.
Be creative and make sure that you’ll be using these CTAs wisely. It may annoy your customers or viewers a bit if you’ll just bombard them with links in a single post. Plan and time it properly, don’t put the opportunity into earning online orders to waste.
Collaborate with local food influencers.
There are plenty of ways you can use Instagram for your marketing campaigns, but partnering it with influencer marketing is one of the most effective methods. These local food bloggers are branded as influencers because they bring influence to a certain group.
These influencers are called one because they have gained a huge following on different platforms, in this case in Instagram. Creating a partnership with them, or even just hiring them for a post will expose your brand to a brand new audience.
And there’s a great chance that some of them aren’t even on your radar on your marketing posts. Because the marketing campaign is targeting an unknowing audience, your brand will likely attract curiosity and consumers will be eager to try out your product.
If you’re having second thoughts since it may cost you a bit more to hire an influencer, because it might not deliver the results that you’re expecting, well we want you to stop there. These influencers are well trusted by their followers.
It’s like having a celebrity work for you, except that they’re just known to a social media platform. Aim to build a trusting relationship with the influencers in your community. This can help you establish your brand positively.
Take advantage of Instagram Videos
Instagram is already a revolutionized platform. It’s not just about photo-sharing, but you can also upload videos to it. You can also do it live, record it, and have it viewed by your followers that can’t join your life. It’s already a flexible channel that gives limitless potential in marketing.
Your photos are already getting enough engagement, why would you waste your time on your videos? Well, recently, it was discovered that an online video is 600% more effective than print and direct mail marketing combined.
Video marketing may require a bit of effort from your end, but it serves its purpose well. Especially now that connections were severed by the pandemic outbreak, it helps close the gap between consumers and businesses.
Aim for consistency
If you post relevant content consistently, you will be rewarded with a better algorithm for Instagram or any online platform. It makes it easier for customers to establish their trust with your brand as you have a reliable reputation.
You should also apply consistency with your customer engagement. You have to avoid skipping on sending responses to comments and direct messages just because you don’t feel like it.
Other users should see that you give value to the customers who are trying to connect with you. Show appreciation on every tag or comment on your profile. If time and resources won’t allow you, a simple ‘like’ on their posts means a lot for your customers.
Let your staff take the spotlight
Take pride in what’s yours and showcase the skills of your staff. Giving your staff exposure on your official social media page is a restaurant promotion strategy that’s often overlooked. But why do you think it’s important to let your staff be known by your customers?
Simple, showing them that there’s a human side of your brand allows them to connect easier with your brand. Once they’re connected, it’ll be easier for them to support and market your restaurant. That simple act can give tremendous benefits, especially for your marketing.
Also, Instagram takeovers are an effective way to humanize your brand. Showing your customers what’s happening behind the scenes is a method that cultivates connection. Once that connection is formed, your customers will find it easy to relate to your brand’s message.
Support a movement or a local charity
You can either choose between the two or do them both. That won’t change the fact that you’re demonstrating compassion to your fellow industry players, consumers, and the community.
Again, consumers find it easier to connect with a brand if they have something in common. If you’ll be supporting a huge social campaign, consumers that are supporting the same will be showering support to your restaurant as well.
However, whatever charity or movement you’ll be supporting, make sure that you’ll support it genuinely and not just for the clout. You don’t have an idea of how bad the backlash could be for your restaurant and your team.
Support something that’s aligned with your restaurant’s philosophies and vision. Be truthful in showing support, and the consumers will do the rest for you.
Instagram Tools That Restaurants Can Use
We understand that not everyone has enough to hire a social media manager to handle every need of this platform. So, we’ve listed some of the most basic and helpful tools you can use to take your Instagram game to the next level.
You can create different templates using this tool. Images from your restaurant can be uploaded, edited, and even graphics and text can be added to it. It can be done even though you aren’t experienced with templates and graphics.
As a bonus, this tool comes with pre-set templates. You might benefit from its user-friendly interface if you have only just begun to use Instagram for your restaurant.
When Instagram first started, there were no third-party applications allowed on the platform. But as demand grew, they accepted other applications that helped with the workflow. A good example is a post scheduling tool.
Consistency is the name of the game in social media. If you’re not consistent, especially with your post, the algorithm of that online platform will hurt your brand by always putting you last to appear in a customer’s feed.
With Later, you can not only schedule posts but also change how they’re posted to make them more aesthetically pleasing. Using the advanced feature of the app, you can repost posts about your restaurant, use your hashtag, and use the photo you shared.
Remember what we told you earlier? To maximize the links you can place on your profile? Unfortunately, there’s a limit on the count of links you can put on the ‘bio’ side of your profile. This is a great spot to state important details since it’s in a prominent area of your profile.
Link Tree leads your customers into a separate page containing links to the information you want them to see. A restaurant’s visibility increases the likelihood of the customer driving there.
If you want to share multiple links like if there’s a digital magazine that featured your restaurant or if there’s a food blogger that featured your services, or even just a direct link on your recent post, you can use this tool.
Instagram is one way to give your restaurant a human touch. Real connection is what people are looking for and that is what you need to deliver in your captions. Have fun, be witty, and try something new, but make sure your market connects with what you do.
Using captions sets the tone for the content you create. There may be times when you go overboard and don’t know how to format your caption – in that case, this tool is the best choice for you.
There are plenty of caption apps available in the market. Check out what are the features that you think you need, and what best serves inquiry. Functionality aside, don’t dismiss the importance of a budget. Stick to how much you can allocate per tool.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s happening behind the scenes of your account. Monitoring your account’s analytics will let you know what efforts are successful and which ones aren’t.
It provides you with demographics such as age, location, and gender of your followers. You should be able to see which types of posts are performing well, which will go a long way toward helping you focus on those posts more.
Be fluid and go with the flow of the market. Stay adaptive and open to new ideas, especially with technology. With the provided restaurant Instagram tips and tricks, you’re now equipped with adequate knowledge to explore more of this platform.