Posting more than just contests and coupons, restaurants across the world are harnessing the power of Instagram to build their brand and boost their sales.
Instagram lets restaurants highlight their menu with gorgeous photos and even video. When used correctly, Instagram is a social media powerhouse. Inherently tied to Facebook, it packs a double punch as everything shared to one is automatically shared to the other.
Let’s not leave out Twitter. Instagram thrives on the use of hashtags, so restaurants have created unique ones to make it easier for people to search for them and a variety of content.
Many restaurants have found Instagram the perfect platform for constant engagement. Encouraging their followers to post their own photos, restaurants wow their customers with instant responses.
Keep in mind that Instagram is the fastest growing social media network. So, that makes it even more important to follow the lead of these Instagram favorites. Create your own Instagram plan and watch your conversation increase and your meals served soar.
Shake Shack made its name on social media. This restaurant exploded onto the scene, driving engagement with great photos and skillful commentary.
Goldman Sachs analysts explain that Shake Shack is 100 times more successful on Instagram than McDonalds. This seems extraordinary because Shake Shack has 63 locations, while McDonalds has 36,000!
Shake Shake’s success seems to be driven by Millennials who appreciate real food shared in realistic ways on Instagram. This small but mighty burger joint has channeled the power of social media and showed its prowess, contributing to its overall success.
Shake Shack speaks to its followers on Instagram, responding quickly to their comments. Their success is also due to their constant engagement. They take the same hospitable approach to their Instagram followers as they do their in-person customers.
Shake Shack capitalizes on quality: quality in their ingredients and quality in their social media interactions.
See: Shake Shack
Nestled in New York, Mario Batali’s Del Posto lets followers take a peek behind-the-scenes. While their menu photography is mouthwatering, it’s the intimate shots of what’s going on in the background that entice its Instagram followers.
See: Del Posto
With more than half a million followers, social media giant, Taco Bell, is setting the standard on Instagram.
Their social media cooks at Taco Bell know how to engage in real time, not only with their fans but other brands as well. They have achieved a near perfect balance of pre-planned and off-the-cuff content.
See: Taco Bell
Drool-worthy photos grace this restaurant’s Instagram page. This restaurant posts authentic pictures that create enthusiasm with their more than 33,000 followers. Chef Bianco’s customers feel like they are part of the family. He posts often about his own family, fresh food, colorful ingredients and his crew in action.
He’s created a loyal following with his authenticity and engages with his followers regularly.
See: Pizzeria Bianco
Stunning photography with a signature black and white look makes this restaurant’s Instagram a feast for the eyes. With more than 40,000 followers, Instagram visitors really get the feeling they’re inside the coffee shop.
Again, the conversational approach wins the day. With more than 50,000 followers, Pinkberry has a unique voice and consistently unique approach.
One example: when they receive requests to open locations in new cities, they usually respond, “Hopefully we’ll be swirling there soon!” This is a great way to link their online presence with the iconic swirl of their frozen yogurt cups.
One of Chicago’s most visited restaurant Instagram accounts, Giordano’s post pictures that would make even the strictest dieter hurry on over.
Chipotle uses social media to create a better world – one that is socially responsible when it comes to sourcing food. They want people to know where their food comes from, and they’ve used social media to drive the point.
This has worked exceedingly well for Chipotle. With their back-to-the-basics attitude, they’ve embraced digital media to concentrate on personal engagement. It’s worked winningly for Chipotle as they are one of the nation’s fastest growing restaurants.
More than 300,000 followers means we need to mention social media giant, Dunkin Donuts. They take a fan-centric approach to Instagram.
They concentrate on surprising and delighting followers with unique content through special images and boards dedicated to what’s going on in their office, or by sharing the special, one-of-a-kind donuts found at their restaurants around the world.
See: Dunkin Donuts
California Pizza Kitchen’s Instagram page makes followers yearn for the California hillside and fresh ocean air. They take a personal and humanizing approach to their Instagram account.
The celebrate holidays with their followers, offering promotions and contests to drive engagement. They spend time revealing new menu items and sharing innovative dishes.
Their superb photography speaks volumes.
We’ve looked at some great examples of restaurants WOWing customers on Instagram – restaurants who are pros at sharing visual content and engaging their audiences.
To get the most out of your restaurant’s Instagram account, remember to integrate it with your other social media. Vary your content and incorporate video as well as professional-quality photos. Be sure and use your analytics to evaluate what works and what doesn’t.
Here are some last tips for WOWing your own customers on Instagram:
At Restaurant Engine, not only do we create great, responsive websites, but we’ll integrate your social media accounts on your website. Ready to take the plunge and create a website with an online menu, blog and beautiful photos? Get your free website consultation today!
Images: José Moutinho