Restaurant competition is fierce. Why? There are only so many diners to go around, and restaurants are often after the same pool of diners.
So, how do you stand out? Get creative with your target audience on Instagram.
In this article, we look at 10 benefits of promoting your restaurant on Instagram. See how you can capture the 90% of guests who research a restaurant online before actually visiting.
Like all social media platforms, Instagram is free to use, unless you decide it’s time to advertise on the platform.
You can create as much content as you’d like, test it for free, and continue to use what works. All you’ve spent is your time, if you are doing the posting, or what you’d pay a social media manager.
The best thing about Instagram for your restaurant is that people want to see what you are showing them. They are interested in food. So, combine this with the free marketing, and you’re on your way to Instagram stardom.
Along with free advertising comes another free way to get new diners into your restaurant.
This is by using hashtags. First, you want to use local hashtags in your posts including your business name, city, street, or neighborhood to help potential customers find you.
Many Instagram users follow hashtags, so even though they don’t follow your business page yet, they may follow a hashtag you use, thus finding your on Instagram. (tweet this)
Hashtags can also attract local restaurant bloggers, foodies, or influencers, and these people can share your info on their accounts.
When you use Instagram, you want to use at least one hashtag, but you really want to use many more. You can use up to 30 hashtags, so why not take advantage and use them all?
Do be careful that you don’t practice hashtag stuffing because then you lose some of the benefits.
As with all marketing, experiment with what works the best for your brand and gets you the most engagement.
Did you know people can go to their “Explore” feed to find posts Instagram suggests they like?
This is another reason to promote your restaurant on Instagram – it’s easy for people to find new accounts to follow.
So, when you use geotags on your posts, you make it easy for people searching in your location to find you. Consider even geotagging your restaurant address so people searching for your location will see your content.
Best practices for restaurants are to geo tag your city, neighborhood, and street. This is beneficial because local Instagram users may tag those same areas, making your restaurant more likely to show up in their searches. (tweet this)
If you live in a tourist city, geotags also help you be more visible to tourists for the same reasons. In addition, consider tagging hotels in your area where tourists are likely to stay.
You know who these people are – the local media in your town, local actors, celebrities, bloggers, and even non-celebrities with ultra-large followings.
You might find micro influencers with s smaller following of around 2,000 to macro influencers with followings over 100,000.
What’s the big deal with these influencers? They are the validity behind your restaurant. An increasing number of people rely on the influence of the large Instagram accounts to affect their personal purchasing choices.
Because influencers on Instagram are in your city, this is another benefit of promoting your restaurant on the social media platform.
What’s more, influencers love food just as much as their cadre of followers.
Find some influencers in your city and start talking and interacting with them on Instagram. Like their posts, comment on them, and you’ll soon find they remember your name.
Once you’ve built an online relationship, you can reach out to them to see if they’d be willing to do a post about your restaurant in exchange for a free meal.
This is a great way to build your fan base on Instagram and get your restaurant in front of an incredible number of new customers without spending much money at all.
Building trust and a loyal following can happen in the arena of Instagram.
This can especially happen if your customers create photos of your food and share them on their own Instagram accounts. When they tag you in their own posts, these show up in your “tagged” section on Instagram.
These photos and posts build trust because your customers can see that other people like your restaurant and your food.
Content from past buyers can help potential customer convert to diners.
It is true that Instagram photos from customers convert better than other types of content because they tell potential customers that you are authentic, real, and you make really good food.
How do you encourage this? You can start with your website, email marketing, and even in your restaurant. Encourage your diners to post content about their experience in your restaurant.
Entice them even more and say each week you’ll enter the people who shared content into a contest for a free meal, or even just a free appetizer.
Instagram is the perfect platform for restaurants. Why? Because Instagram is “the” visual platform.
With a nice smartphone and a little bit of photographic skill, you have the perfect, and most enticing product on the web: food. Everyone eats, and everyone wants to find the best place with the most delicious looking food.
In addition, don’t forget to also show case your Instagram feed on your website. This is another place where people can see the photos of your food and decide whether or not to visit or place an order.
Instagram engagement is high, and this platform is growing at a record pace. With more than one billion followers, if you take great photos, use the right hashtags, and post daily (on both your page and your Story), you’ll help grow your restaurant.
Instagram users are always on the look out for beautiful photos of food, so it’s your restaurant’s turn to capitalize on the sensation.
At Restaurant Engine, not only do we create great, responsive websites, but you can count on us to create a website that drives business to your restaurant and edges you above the competition by using mobile-friendly design with a terrific user experience. Ready to take the plunge and create a website with an online menu, blog, and beautiful photos? Get your free website consultation today!