How should managers use Instagram for restaurant marketing? How can you exploit people addiction to photograph food to boost your establishment’s visibility? Here’s how Instagram will get your customers talking.
With over 196 different countries, six thousand different spoken languages and 24 different time zones in the world, there are only so many universal commonalities between us. Luckily, a picture is worth a thousand words and when the subject of an image is food, it makes our differences seem even less significant.
You see, food is something we can all relate to. Not only do we need it to survive, but almost everyone has a favorite dish. So it comes as no surprise when you discover that there are over 300 million food photos on Instagram. While most people consider taking food photos to be a hobby, the best restaurant owners understand that their Instagram feed harnesses a significant amount of marketing power. Let’s discuss the benefits of using Instagram for marketing as well as a few examples examples of how to use Instagram for restaurant marketing.
Benefits of Instagram for Restaurants
We often hear about the benefits of marketing on Facebook and Twitter, but there are several benefits to use Instagram for marketing restaurants. For instance, sharing photos is a great way to connect with your diners.
Not only does this connection ensure that they don’t forget about you, but it also helps you to ensure they remain updated on all changes you’re making. So if you’ve added a new dish to the menu, you could add a photo of it and encourage them to stop by and try it out.
Instagram makes it easy to identify what your customers like most. Photo sharing is a two way street. If you notice that a lot of customers are tagging a certain dish, you can use this information to make changes to your menu which highlights that particular dish. And conversely, if you notice that there are very few photos of your newest dish, you could also reconsider it’s place on the menu.
Instagram is also a great way to put your brand’s personality on display. By adding a few photos that add humor or even sentimental moments to your feed, this lets your customers know that you’re more than a business and makes them more likely to interact with you. In other words, Instagram allows your restaurant to become more human.
Another huge advantage to marketing on Instagram is the level of engagement. In comparison to most other platforms, Instagram could easily be considered the “king” of engagement for branded content. In fact, researchers have found that branded content on Instagram generated a 4.21% per-follower engagement rate which is 58 times the engagement that is driven on Twitter or Facebook. So Instagram gives you a better chance at starting actual conversations with your audience than any other social site.
Instagram for Marketing Restaurants: Examples of Use
When it comes to finding the right Instagram strategy for restaurant establishments, it’s simply a matter of thinking like your potential customer. Yes, the goal is to share images of delicious foods, but there has to be a unifying theme. And the more personality you display, the more popular your feed is.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and effective strategies.
Sure, you could always snap a nice shot of your latest culinary creation. However, it can also be a good idea to show a behind the scenes look at how the dish was made. Instagram videos have become extremely popular over the last few years, so why not post a few plating videos. If you’re adding on to your building, you could also consider posting an image of the construction in progress. These images are sure to convey a deep sense of passion, expertise and creativity.
There’s nothing better than a business that takes time out of it’s buy schedule to help the community. Post pictures of sponsored events that you have hosted. Perhaps it’s a food donation program. Perhaps you’re donating your culinary skills to a special cause. Maybe you’re teaching children how to cook.
If you’re interested in giving back to the community that patronizes your business, you can post these images and help to further that sense of community between you and your most loyal customers.
Quite often, the best advertisements come from actual customers who have tried and enjoyed their experience at your restaurants. It’s a good idea to ask your followers to hashtag the name of your restaurant and include pictures of their dining experience. You could some of the best shorts and feature them from time to time on your own feed. This is an excellent form of word of mouth.
Not only can customers get involved by posting images about your restaurant, they can also participate in giveaways. Challenge your most loyal customers to tag friend in the comment section of one of your best photos.
Inform them that you will randomly pick a winner from the bunch and give away a free dinner for two or gift card for your restaurant. This does two things: builds the excitement and anticipation of your current customers and builds and interest among your potential customers.
Why not make use of someone who has a large fan base? Invite a food blogger to a free meal at your restaurant. You could also pay them per Instagram post for a little publicity. Food lovers usually trust this source of information and a positive mention of your restaurant by a famous blogger could be just the type of publicity your restaurant needs.
So be on the look out for social media influencers that are most relevant to the food and restaurant industry and build a relationship with them. Connecting with these individuals is as simple as sending a personal message or two.
If you are new to the restaurant business and would like to explore your marketing potential without having to break the bank, then Instagram can be an ideal platform for you. Not only does it help to promote your business, but you can also build a community of loyal patrons. The possibilities are virtually endless.