Monday, July 8, 2019

How to master Restaurant Marketing on Instagram

In fact, there may not be a better industry targeting Instagram than the restaurant industry, and using Instagram as a social media marketing tool has changed from a nice option to an absolute necessity. This marketing technique is used by restaurants to engage with customers, promote new menu items and gain new fans.

We can make a pretty obvious link between dining and social media in a world of food bloggers, #food-porn hashtags and self-proclaimed "foodies": people love to share what they eat, and they especially love to do so on Instagram.

Here's how to get followers on Instagram to increase sales consistently.

# Create Instagram Business Account

Before you start your journey on Instagram marketing, the first thing you should do is create an Instagram Business Account and understand how to use Instagram for business. This will enable you to access Instagram's analytics tools (known as Insights) where you can see your content's stats. A business account will also increase the chances that your followers will see your content in their news feeds and enable customers to contact you directly via Instagram.

# Cross-Encourage your Instagram on other Social Media Platforms

Even if a user on Instagram does not follow you, they can follow you instead on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. By focusing on cross-promoting, you can generate more exposure to your Instagram content, enhance views, and gain more Instagram followers.

Successfully overlap Instagram with all your social media accounts through sharing your Instagram posts on Facebook and Twitter and using the embed feature of Instagram on your website. The user-friendly web embed allows you to copy and paste the code of your post to put the image on your website without any effort. Your customers will not only be able to see the image, but they will also be able to click on it and be redirected to the Instagram page of your restaurant.

# Take Advantage of Video

On Instagram, there are two free tools available that open up a world of opportunities for marketing and social media. The first, Instagram Stories, is a Snapchat-like feature that enables users to post a photo or video content with only 24 hours shelf life. It's mature for restaurants and bars to have digital marketing opportunities: you can add live links and direct followers right where you want them, tag other accounts, add location information and hashtags, and be found by a wider audience.

The second, Instagram Live, is a feature that will help you grow your brand in the same way–if not more important. The live streaming feature of Instagram drops the corporate veil and in a friendly way connects your brand with users. Live video is urgent and interactive and can be used to cover events, live Q&A sessions or simply display a new dish or drink to customers. You'll see who's watching your live video and then and there you'll be able to engage with fans.

The video option of Instagram allows you to take one step further with customer interaction. With this highly popular feature, be among the first restaurants to highlight your specials, staff and customers! We have just a couple of ideas below.
  • Uncork a bottle of wine, pour it into a glass and raise it to greet the weekend
  • Introduce diners to your chef at work in the kitchen
  • Ask diners for reviews (see permission before posting!)
  • Show the ingredients "before" shot, the food preparation process and the final dish served.

#Engage with Customers

Have people talk! Post a weekly image asking your followers to "caption this," ask customers to name a new dish or hold a monthly contest, and get fans to tag with whom they would share their winnings. Create posts fill-in–the-blanks.

Interactive posting of fill-in–the-blanks posts. e.g. "The best #double cheese flavour pizza is……………….

Ask for customer opinions

Offering a flavour of new ice cream, drink or dish? Ask your clients to help you name it! By enrolling customers in the process, they will feel compelled to follow you to learn the contest's final outcome.

Hold challenges of photography

Encourage photo sharing and add your restaurant tag to customers. Ask followers to post an iconic image of the city in which your restaurant is located, with the photo tagging your business name. Offer gift cards to winners, a free meal, or the like.

Reward the shares of customers

Encourage Instagram users with over 300 Instagram followers to post a photo mentioning your restaurant (a hashtag, Foursquare check-in, or similar shouting out) and reward them with a free treat! After all, they only advertised 300 potential customers for your restaurant–free!

# Master the Art of Re-Gramming

Reposting or "regramming" can be a great addition to your marketing strategy on Instagram. And there's a lot of ways to do that. Look for your restaurant's great shots using your geotag or hashtag to Regram. Once you've found the photo you'd like to share with your followers, Regram manually is the easiest option. Take the image you want to share a screenshot and save it to your phone.

You're going to have to crop all but the image, post it on your Instagram page, and credit the user.

The second option is to use an external application for regramming. Repost For Instagram is the most popular one: It's free, connects to your Instagram account directly, and even allows video regrams.

This tactic helps you promote content that is branded and generated by the user. By highlighting their awesome photo and helping to boost engagement at the same time, you build major brand loyalty with the customer.

# How to promote on Instagram using Hashtags

Make yourself searchable to increase your search results by tagging posts with hashtags. Your restaurant name and a signature dish or drink name are key hashtags.(e.g #pizza and #seaviewcoldcoffee).

Start typing in your search bar and search for hashtags that will give you serious organic views, but not so many that your post is buried in the millions of #posts. For example, specifying by location: i.e., #Malaysianfoodie (88,994 posts) rather than #foodie (123 million posts) will generate more impressions from people in your area than from people on the other side of the world who have no intention of ever coming to your restaurant. Instagram posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than those without. Imagine what you can do with about 24 (the typically permissible amount)!

The most important thing you can do to drive organic impressions and increase your reach is to use the right hashtags.

# Introduce New Foods or Signature Drinks

To inspire regulars and newcomers to try the items, take pictures of any new menu items.

Do you offer new options for pizza topping, innovative cocktails or vegan? Ask your clients to help you name it! They will create engagement with your Instagram page by having customers join in the process. To encourage fan loyalty, give the winner a free sample of the new dish. A great marketing strategy for restaurants is to plan social media holidays campaigns! On Instagram and Twitter alike, think #Children'sDay and #Mother'sDay, there are lots of commemorative food and drink days. Creating content for these events increases your reach (because the hashtags are going to be trending) and is great if you run low on ideas (because you can plan ahead of time).

When creating campaigns around social media holidays, there is so much potential for creativity. Depending on how far you plan and schedule Instagram content ahead of time, you can create content specifically for posting on the day or even create a (particularly Instagrammable) dish. You can also use the hashtag on the day itself to promote a special offer or menu item.

Restaurants do not need to be limited to social media holidays for food and drink! In your restaurant marketing campaigns, such as #IndependenceDay, there are plenty of commemorative days and events you can tie in.

Never miss another trend! Keep track of all social media vacations in restaurant marketing.

# Get Your Customers Sharing

Encourage customers to share pictures and add to their posts your restaurant tag. Ask followers to share in the photo, hashtag or geotag their best pictures of your restaurant and food with your business name. Gift cards, discounts or a free meal to winners. To run competitions with your audience is a valuable restaurant marketing tactic for Instagram. This not only increases engagement by making' tag a friend ' a requirement for entry — with your followers loving and commenting to enter — but also your reach. Therefore, your followers help to increase brand awareness in your competition post by tagging people (who will probably also live in your area) for you!

Competitions require a lot of organization to decide:

  • Prize
  • Entry method
  • How to select the winner
  • How to redeem the prize
  • Terms and Conditions
You can also run a photo competition, where you ask your customers to share a photo of your food with a specific hashtag and choose the best entry to win!

# Partner with Food Bloggers

If you can get a food blogger with a large following to post about your restaurants, you'll get the benefits of a huge amount of brand exposure to a relevant audience.

Food bloggers are easily accessible and will often exchange their services for your best pizza plate, so never underestimate one's use. Look for 20k-50k followers bloggers–they've gathered loyal followers and usually come cheap dirt. Food is such a popular industry on Instagram (I mean we all need to eat right?) that in space sharing restaurant recommendations, recipes, and amazing content, there are thousands of influencers and bloggers. These users typically have very engaged audiences in the areas they are based on, so partnering with them is a great way to reach new potential customers through restaurant marketing tactics!

Depending on your budget and goal, there are so many ways to work with influencers. Many food bloggers with a large following will charge per post or story, whereas some micro influencers may give your restaurant a shout out in return for their meal on the house.

# Photo Posting Tips


The last thing you want to show off your entrees is a pale, washed-out picture of your resistance piece. Avoid using heavy overhead lights and flash. Instead, for a more natural-looking appearance, snap pictures near a window or softer light source.

Use simple kitchen props to create action

Food is lending itself to accessories like fashion! Place sushi chopsticks or a spoon in a soup bowl. In a plated dish, add a piece of silverware. Improve a wine glass's drama by showing the wine cork and bottle, or add flair to a mixed drink by placing ice cubes and water splashes around the serving glass.

Add texture

When you photograph food with a "mushy" texture (such as soup, stew, or ice cream), add a garnish that contrasts with the platter's colour and texture to add more defined dimensions to the photo. Bright berries are a great accent for ice cream and sorbet, while rich green garnishes such as parsley add soup size.

Filter images with Apps that are easy to use. A little filtering goes a long way to enhance the quality of your images.

Stretch out

Do not simply display items from your menu! Snap a warm, inviting picture of the interior of your restaurant. Capture pictures of your workforce or guests (with their permission, of course) enjoying their food. Please note–if you show employees, make sure they practice food-safe procedures (such as wearing gloves) to avoid negative feedback on unsafe handling of food captured via image.

# The sweet dish at the last

The last word about filters: don't use them. The idea is to have content that doesn't need coiffing, and users of Instagram are surprisingly keen to make that association: filter (in any capacity) is equal to content that couldn't stand alone. If you find a filter that looks interesting and fits your brand, use it in every post. Research shows that for each post, 60 per cent of Instagram's top brands use the same filter. Uniformity is a key ingredient in the recognition and loyalty of brands.

That wraps up our Instagram restaurant marketing tips! Have any other wonders-working strategies on how to get followers on Instagram? In the comments or on Twitter, let us know.

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