Marketing a restaurant depends a lot on visual content, and Instagram, being a visual social media platform, stands out as the ideal platform for restaurants to increase brand awareness and grow a community. However, there are usually lots of stakes, money, and people involved.
Restaurants, therefore, must create the right Instagram marketing strategy to achieve their set goals. After all, the correct Instagram marketing hacks will help improve your sales funnel.
In this article, we’ll unveil how you can use Instagram to promote your restaurant and improve conversion — since the platform has become a force to reckon with in discovering and marketing visual ideas.
1. Settle on one tone of voice and visuals for brand identity
Photos are great. But when they come from different places, you risk not having an authentic or a harmonious feel. To ensure you have a homogenous look on your account, create a policy such that your posts and logos have words, colours, fonts, and expressions that set you apart from the crowd.
A homogenous look set how you want your audience to recognize you and build a brand identity around it. Look at thefeedfeed’s Instagram page and how the photos share the same visual appeal.
Here is another Instagram feed from London Cheap Eats. See how the colours and fonts are relatively similar?
2. Make use of current events and holidays to share interactive content
Holidays are moments to celebrate and share happy moments with friends and family. During this time, food is among the primary causes of attraction.
Whether it is New Year’s or Mother’s day, sharing creative food ideas with your audience can help maintain close relationships with them. Kori Restaurant and Bar often share various delicacies during the festive season. An excellent way to attract more followers and increasing engagement.
3. Hold contests
Contests are meant for increasing online visibility and follower count. To launch a successful contest, set a goal. It can be to increase followers, generate better engagement, or increase restaurant bookings.
Your contest can be selfie contests, food photography, food questions, or best menu design. To improve engagement, ask the contestant to like posts, comments, or tag friends.
Here is an example of a food contest from @ritu9301 detailing how winners are rewarded.
At the end of the contest, reward winners of photos with the highest share or likes with free meals or discounted meals. The advantage of contests is that followers post on your behalf, generating brand awareness with little effort.
4. Partner with a food blogger
To boost your online visibility, collaborate with a food influencer or blogger. There are many food bloggers on Instagram, sharing recipes, recommendations, and unique places to dine. Others also reveal the benefits of starting a blog for your restaurant.
Ashrod is an example of a food influencer and award-winning co-host of Kitchen Unnecessary podcast.
The advantage of influencers and bloggers is they have very engaged audiences. Hence partnering with them is a great way to reach and engage a new customer base.
5. Feature your best employees and regulars and customer photos
Has any employee achieved a milestone in life or the company? Why not share that with your audience? There are so many ways to help your followers and customers know your employees better and take part in their success.
This can be as simple as taking a picture of your employees in your restaurant encouraging customers to commit to a particular action, as shown on momolongplay’s feed.
You can also feature some of your regular customers upon inquiry in your photos and encourage them to share those photos to spread the word about your brand.
Such gestures make customers and employees feel valued and appreciated.
6. Leverage live videos
There is something so fascinating about live videos. They allow one to comment and share in real-time. This makes them very engaging and a great way to share your unique values and boost your visual marketing results.
Ldncheapeats shares several live videos of staff preparing food.
Live videos are useful during celebrations and ceremonies or specific events like restaurant anniversary or promoting discounted products.
Note that before you use live videos, ask your followers to join in commenting and liking the videos or any customers if they want to appear in the video before filming.
If you want your live videos to be effective you are going to have to treat them more like webinars then just random live videos. The days of randomly going live on your Instagram account and keeping people engaged are long gone. You have to educate and entertain them just like a webinar does.
7. Add hashtags to your posts for more reach
Hashtags are trendy on Instagram, and food-related hashtags are in plenty. Hashtags increase the visibility of your post, making it easier to be found. To get better results from hashtags:
- Use better hashtags — those that speak directly to people
- Avoid banned tags or copy/pasting hashtag list on every post
- Change up tags assuming only those related to your post
And if you really want to maximize hashtags having a freelance social media manager who really knows what they are doing can make a huge difference. They will be able to stay on top of all the hashtags in your market.
Besides, including hashtags on your bio and posts also help build your community and track user-engagement content. Breslinbarandgrill uses different sets of hashtags to promote most of its posts.
8. Share behind-the-scenes content
How would you feel if you are shown how the chefs in your favourite restaurant prepare your food? Ecstatic, right? If you want to make your restaurant more genuine, share backstage photos and videos of your chefs or your restaurant’s daily activities.
Taking your customers to your backstage by introducing your team members or highlighting their personality can bring your team and customers great gratification. Andrewscrivani below, recently took his followers and customers backstage showing them how he makes a Negroni.
9. Share videos and content from followers or customers
There is no doubt some customers share photos from your restaurant or other food types when they eat out. When your followers or customers do this, request if you can use the images on your account or if they can tag your restaurant.
This will help boost your content effort on Instagram and increase credibility and personal relationship with your customers, improving customer trust and loyalty.
10. Invite a celebrity
There are different celebrity invitation styles you can adopt. You can invite a famous chef for a talk show and engage followers in your account.
Alternatively, you can do what Blaze Pizza did when they invited LeBron James to go undercover and serve customers at the counter.
Most customers could not recognize that the person supervising/serving them at the counter was a famous basketball player. Such action helps increase engagements on your account and even your follower count.
Marketing your restaurant on Instagram
Building a loyal and engaged customer base for your restaurant requires more than showing off sumptuous delicacies.
It would be best also to share your values and stories to improve your restaurant’s visibility, accelerate your content marketing efforts, and benefit your bottom-line. Instagram is an excellent place to achieve such goals, as long as you apply the above strategies correctly.
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