Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms for marketing. From start-ups to the leading international brands all put a lot of emphasis on Instagram marketing to boost their marketing efforts.
We have all taken pictures of neatly presented dishes from our favorite restaurants to post on Instagram, so it makes perfect sense for restaurants to prioritize Instagram as a marketing channel. The restaurant industry is also not shying away from taking advantage of this opportunity on Instagram.
In case you are unsure of how to approach restaurant marketing on Instagram, here's all you need to know about restaurant marketing on Instagram, including some of the best strategies and interesting hacks.
Master the Art of Photography
Instagram has made numerous changes to its algorithm and interface since its launch in. Nonetheless, photos remain the core focus of the platform, mastering the art of photography allows you to take your branding to a whole new level. Most smartphones today come with high quality cameras, so taking beautiful pictures of restaurant dishes doesn't require a professional camera.
Using the right exposure, good lighting (which restaurants always offer), and a solid background, such as a table backdrop, you can create beautiful images that show off the best dishes that a restaurant has to offer.
Engage on Instagram with your highlights, that new dish you just launched or a well-presented classic on your menu will create drool worthy engagements.
Use the Right Hashtags
With the right hashtags, the Instagram algorithm will gain more insight into who your target audience is and can recommend your post to people who share your interests. Make sure you only use the right hashtags on Instagram and avoid generic tags.
Even though Instagram lets you use up to 30 hashtags per post, it is always best to stick to eight-to-eleven hashtags. As a result, your video will be geared toward the restaurant niche, and the intended audience will be able to see your video.
Using too many hashtags as part of your Instagram marketing strategy can also lead to your content being marked as spam. Instagram tends not to promote posts that have hashtags for multiple niches without a focus point.
A good hashtag strategy will also improve the optimization of your content. Despite not being a platform that depends a lot on search engine optimization (SEO), search engines rely on hashtags to rank your post on their search result pages.
Make Use of Instagram Story Highlights
A story highlight is a great way to share a brief peek into what your restaurant is all about, and it's really easy to create interesting stories. An Instagram profile can often be judged by the first impression it creates.
Because of this, it's important to make sure you give the viewers as much information as possible at the first glance. Story highlights can be an efficient way to do that, which is why you should emphasize them.
Make sure you always have a good supply of quality content for your Instagram story highlights by uploading high-quality pictures.
It's also recommended to have a story highlight that focuses on the feedback from your customers. Many potential customers will check out a restaurant if there are good reviews about the menu and features of the place from others who have visited the restaurant.
It is also possible to share your menu or most popular food items, behind-the-scenes footage of you preparing the food, or to get viewers hooked on an upcoming dish.
Create and Promote a Branded Hashtag
Instagram is the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing and promotion.
It is important to create and promote branded hashtags since they correspond with the name of your restaurant and make it easier for people to find.
So how do you do this and make sure your branded hashtag gets noticed?
Your best option is to start with your Instagram account. In your Instagram bio, include the hashtag and tell people to use it on their posts by mentioning it. On your Instagram page, you can also host giveaways every now and then, or you can offer discount days that require customers to use the branded hashtag to qualify for the discount. It will increase your Instagram account's discoverability and engagement when more people start using the hashtag. There is also a tendency for people to start following hashtags when there are enough hashtags, so they can see your updates regularly.
Collaborate with Food Bloggers and Influencers
Collaborations with influencers are an excellent way to increase your Instagram discoverability and engagement.
Additionally, they are much more affordable than many other typical marketing avenues.
Due to their expertise in the field, food bloggers are excellent at highlighting restaurants' key features. You can also use them to highlight the reasons why people should check out your restaurant. As Instagram becomes more popular, you will also have a better chance of finding influencers and food bloggers who are nearby.
With so many options to choose from, finding food bloggers and influencers who are aligned with your brand's values and virtues becomes easier. Additionally, most influencers are well connected to the area they reside in, which makes it a very effective way to find new customers.
Another great benefit of collaborating is that not all influencers and food bloggers want money for their services. Bloggers and influencers may give a shoutout in exchange for a free meal or restaurant discount. Early on in your restaurant's Instagram journey, influencer collaborations are a great way to build its profile.
Host Contests and Giveaways
It's always good to conduct contests and giveaways to attract new audiences to your platform when you're introducing a new product or service.
The best way to run contests and giveaways on Instagram is to ask people to tag a friend and follow your page in order to take part. Also, you can enter contests that require the most likes and comments to win. As a result, it will be easier to market your brand, get more followers, and improve your branding.
A contest is a great way to raise awareness of your restaurant. Contests and giveaways are always a great idea during the holidays or special occasions. On such occasions, social media activity is also often at its peak.