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Restaurant Marketing: Get Started on Instagram

In the world of endless #Hashtags and Restaurant check-in’s, it’s a corroborated fact that people love sharing pictures of their food on Instagram.

Instagram has over 1 billion users now and reaching upto 800 Million active users per day. Not just that, the hashtag “Foodie” has over 99 million posts and thousands of photos added with that hashtag all around the world.

Instagram is a platform that can also be used for sharing mouthwatering pictures of your food as well as a platform to interact with your customers. The best part? It’s free.

Here are a few tips to utilize Instagram to the fullest for your restaurant marketing:

Switch to a business profile

How to promote your business?

How to stand out of the million users of Instagram?

That will be the question in your mind right now.

Here’s how you can setup your Instagram business account and get started

Under settings, there will be an option called “Switch to business account” and “Sign up for a business profile”. This will be your first step to become a full-fledged business profile. By doing so, here are some of the perks you will have access to.

  1. Insights: Learn about your followers and see how your posts are performing. Find out metrics, follower growth, post-performance, Interactions from your posts

  2. Promotion: Find out which posts are performing well and use Instagram as a tool for paid promotion to reach more audience and grow your business.

  3. Business Profile: Business profile lets you have your phone number, email address and Location right on your profile so that customers can directly contact you or mail you or find you from a button on your profile.

With this information, you shall customize the post according to your target audience which will result in better engagement, exposure, and more customers. For example, you can target your restaurant post to a specific set of audience, say you are giving an offer on drinks and want to target the age group of 21+ around 10 kilometres of the restaurant. With the help of insights, you can check the age group of your audience & the customers and grab their attention with an offer.

Make your presence felt

Start with making an account for your restaurant, filling in all the necessary information like name of your restaurant, address and an attractive profile picture. Let people know you are on Instagram.

What next?

Begin your Instagram journey by selecting an easy to remember username that can be your restaurant name. You can be creative by adding a catchy suffix or prefix to it.

With the Instagram Business feature activated, you can make use of the call to action option available in it. Make sure you fill in all the required fields, namely your phone number, email address, and your location. So if any of your customer from your audience wants to find you or contact you, this will be the right & easier way to do so.

Tip: Avoid using generic name or numbers in your handle. If the desired handle is not available, try suffixing your restaurant handle with area name or get creative!

Hashtag as a brand

Hashtags, sounds familiar?

Using them effectively as a tool for promotion is not being practiced by most of the businesses. Hashtags are everywhere, no matter which social media you hop on. So here are few ways to use Hashtags effectively in Instagram for your restaurant marketing :

  1. Brand specific hashtag: Use your restaurant name or your business tagline as a hashtag and make it brandable. For example, Chilis India uses a hashtag #ChilisIndia and they consistently used it on their social media platforms. This way, consumers know it is a brandable hashtag and use it in their posts.

  1. Make use of trending hashtags: Make use of trending hashtags that are trending and are related to your business. This gives you an opportunity for your message to be seen & engaged by a massive audience following that hashtag. For example, using a generic hashtag like #foodgram will be on trending as well as relating to what you post.

  2. Content hashtags: These kinds of hashtags are very general and not brand specific. These hashtags aren’t on trending or popular but general. These kinds of hashtags are used in terms of SEO and to increase the organic reach for your post.

  3. Geo-Tagging: Geo-tagging means linking in the location at which the picture was taken or the story was posted. The restaurateurs can take advantage by interacting with the customers even if they haven’t tagged or used the hashtag of the restaurant.

Here is a few of the hashtags you can use:

Hashtags are a great way to start to promote your restaurant, but making a brand is also equally important. Include branded hashtags or any unique hashtag to your post. Branded hashtags can be as simple as adding your restaurant name or any of your dish.

Tip: Using more than two hashtags on Twitter affects your engagement negatively, but on Instagram using more hashtags can bring in more engagement. So be selective with your hashtag and use it for your post.

Get socially hooked 

to all the available platforms namely Twitter, Facebook and embed your post on your own website. This is because even if your customer doesn’t follow you on Instagram, he might follow you on the other platforms.

If you want to make sure your customer sees your Instagram handle, then you can go one step ahead print your Instagram handle directly into your restaurant menu or into your coasters. This way, they can never miss checking your social handles. This will also help the customer’s to check-in to the restaurant and tag you in their photos.

Start posting original content, be it food photos, events or anything. Original content will always catch peoples attention.

Tip: While promoting Instagram posts on Twitter, make sure the Instagram caption word count doesn’t exceed 280 characters as Twitter doesn’t allow characters exceeding the limit.

Make use of Stories

Instagram Stories is an under-utilized feature by most of the businesses. Most of the Instagram users tend to spend more time on stories when compared to posts or hashtags. This makes Instagram stories more viable to market your restaurant.

Instagram stories allow you to post maximum up to 15 seconds per story/clip. This means you have 15 seconds to convey any message and engage your followers. In this span of time, you can interact with your customers in different ways. Say you have a new item on your menu, you can it to share your new dish. Capture it beautifully, add a caption and share it on stories, you can use the Instagram question option for getting the input from your audience. This is one way to make use of stories, down below are the different options that can be used :

  1. Instagram stories

  2. Instagram Stories can be used to post promotional offers or events happening instead of spamming your profile with pictures and videos. This will help to keep your restaurant Instagram page clean and simple. People often post food pictures and tag them. If any of your customers do that, reposting them to your story will create a good relationship and engaged.

  3. Make use of Instagram polls

  4. Ask interesting questions to your viewers and keep them updated about everything happening at your restaurant. For example be it any event, ask the audience whether they are coming or not.

  5. Go Live

  6. Event? Party? Anything special? Go Live, it’s not going to cost you anything. By going live, a notification will be sent to your followers saying you are live thereby giving a chance to engage with your inactive followers.

  7. Share videos

  8. Instagram stories allow you to post videos from your gallery, you have complete freedom. So posting interesting videos about your restaurant or things happening behind the kitchen or any such concept can interest your audience.

  9. Question them for a reward

  10. This is an opportunity to get inputs from your customers and interact with them. For example, to name a new product in your restaurant, you can post a story with a question to name the food and winners gets a reward.

  11. Swipe up feature

  12.  If the Instagram profile has over 10,000 followers, they have an option to add a link to their stories. This can be an effective way to increase traffic to your blog or to your posts.

Take advantage of Instagram Promotions

Instagram Promotions comes into action for promoting your posts. By promoting your posts, Instagram helps the audience with similar interest to see the promoted post on their newsfeed or stories. Thereby if the audience is interested in your content, there will be a definite engagement.

Instagram has made the interface so simple and easy that anyone who is trying to promote their post on Instagram can do it in 5 minutes.

What do you need?

  1. A good post that is potential to attract the customers or click on the ad.
  2. Budget to promote the post or story.
  3. Time frame to promote the post.

With these three things, you are set to promote your post on Instagram.

  1. What & Where: You can choose where people should go when they click on the ad. Instagram gives you three options namely – Profile, Website or Shop Front. This makes the promotion more specific and helps you to promote accordingly. This feature can be used very effectively in the restaurant business since you can promote your post only to a limited area around your restaurant.
  2. When & How: You can choose who should see your Instagram promotion. You get options to be more specific namely – Location, Radius, Age & Gender. This way you can choose who should come to your restaurant with the options available.
  3. How much: You can set your advertisement period during offers, seasons or events to attract more customers to your restaurant. You can promote your post for any period from a day to 30 days with a minimum budget of Rs.40 per day to Rs.40,000 per day.

That’s it! With these simple options on Instagram promotions, you can promote your post or profile in under 5 minutes and start promoting your business.

Being a restaurant, running offers and campaigns to attract more customers is a basic thing. By using relevant hashtags, a mouth-watering picture and a caption with all the necessary information this kind of posts can be promoted via Instagram promotion via posts or stories to grab attention and bring them to your restaurant.

Are you following the above tips?

Instagram is a powerful marketing tool when it is used to the fullest. Plan your posts and post consistently to keep your followers engaged. Consider these tips above just as a kick start to your Instagram game, because there will be newer and newer ideas coming up every day. So no matter how the Instagram platform changes, these basic steps will help you to improve your Instagram game.

Which is the restaurant you would visit just because of their Instagram profile?

Stay tuned for more articles!

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