What is Instagram?
For the uninitiated, Instagram, which is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, is THE place for sharing photos with each other, videos too. As of 2017, 32% of all Internet users are on Instagram. With such a big section of the online population participating in this, marketers all around the world are vying eagerly to tap into this pool of online public attention. The good news for restaurants all over the world is that one of the most popular and viral types of Instagram posts that circulate on this platform is that of food pictures. People like to click and share pictures of food they are about to eat. Currently, the hashtag #food connects to over 326,000,000 public posts. This makes Instagram marketing for restaurants a must in your book of strategies for drawing more customers.
Instagram is taking over the world. Let your restaurant take over the world of Instagram.
More than 40 billion photos have been shared on Instagram from 2010 to 2017. Currently, around 95 million photos are uploaded every single day and there are more than 4.2 billion Instagram likes per day. Research has shown that people in the age group of 18-35 spend five whole days a year browsing food images on Instagram, and 30% would avoid a restaurant if their Instagram presence was weak. There’s perhaps no industry for which Instagram is better geared than the restaurant industry. Restaurants can take advantage of this growing Instagram craze in numerous ways.
Step one: Join Instagram
If by the end of this article you’re still not convinced to put up your restaurant on Instagram, then this will have been a total failure. Instagram marketing for restaurants is THE way to go to grow your business in this day and age. This is especially true if you’re targeting millennials. 59% of all internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use Instagram. It’s convenient, entertaining and addictive. With so many eyes glued to the screen, wouldn’t it be nice to have a presence among them and be noticed too? Customers can tag your restaurant with the pictures they take while being there. You can put up beautiful pictures of your food to attract customers as they see it. Also, you can engage with your customers, drawing in brand loyalty.
Tip: Invite food bloggers/influencers
Where ever your restaurant is located, chances are there are local food bloggers nearby with sizeable followings. Invite them over to your restaurant. Maybe offer them a free meal. Growing your business is an organic process that responds to nurturing efforts from the inside. Make sure the food looks appealing and tastes good. The more appealing your food looks, the bigger are the chances of its pictures being clicked and uploaded to Instagram. If you can get a food blogger with a large following to post about your restaurant, you’ll get the benefit of a huge amount of brand exposure to an interested foodie audience.
Take advantage of crowdsourced photos
A lot of your customers might be taking photos of your food, uploading them on Instagram and tagging your restaurant with their pictures. Although this is free promotion on its own, don’t miss out the opportunity to use these pictures yourself. Head to the “tagged pictures” tab in your profile and check out all the beautiful content your customers have produced while eating at your restaurant. That can all be yours. Send a direct message to each user, telling them how you’re glad they enjoyed their meal, how you love their picture, and how you’ll tag them for photo credit if they give you permission to repost their photo to your page. You might be surprised by the photography skills by some of your customers, observing how you, yourself, didn’t realize your food looked this good.
This can be a very easy way to grow your following. Just offer a small prize for a simple task. It could be as simple as “Use this hashtag along with your upload at our restaurant” and after a fixed time period, select a winner at random who wins a free meal at your restaurant. This is a very basic example of Instagram marketing for restaurants. If you can rope in an influencer to promote the contest, even better.
A place to display all aspects of the restaurant’s operations
It would be a nice bit of Instagram marketing for restaurants to put on display everything that happens at the restaurant. Right from the food to behind the scenes, the food preparation process to the staff. Customers would like to see that it’s a clean and friendly environment. Instagram is the platform that facilitates display of this kind of transparency and with Instagram, it’s a continuous ongoing phenomenon, unlike third-party aggregator sites where the number of pictures you can have online is limited.
Continuously churning out impressive content
This is the basis of Instagram marketing for restaurants. It’s simple; if an Instagram user likes your content, he’ll follow your page. If there is engaging content that is a success among the crowd, your followership will increase. It is thus crucial that the person handling your Instagram page knows what he’s doing especially when it comes to picking the right words that go with your pictures. Although the picture tells a thousand words, the right kind of copy can be worth a thousand pictures.
At CrayonPanda, we have worked with multiple restaurants to help them keep their Instagram pages alive and buzzing and can bring you the results you have always desired for your restaurant.