Instagram Marketing for Restaurants: A Magic Strategy to Attract More Customers
Do you know that many customers use social media platforms like Instagram to find restaurants? Yes, it is. Social media marketing should be an integral part of your marketing plan if you run a business that needs to attract customers through the power of visual representation. And, nothing is better than Instagram for this purpose, which is the most popular social platform for brand exposure on the internet.
Running a restaurant business is not only about serving great food but also about promoting your services to attract new customers. If you are not using Instagram to post high-quality photos, videos, publishing news and offers consistently, and interacting with online users, you are missing a lot of opportunities to attract potential consumers to your restaurant. And when you are already on the right track, it’s time to give your restaurant’s Instagram marketing strategy a boost.
So, Why Instagram Marketing for Restaurants?
When you look to promote visual content with greater engagement and interaction, then there is no better option than Instagram. It is the second most popular and a monster of social media platform, with more than 700 million active users. Also, the user engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than its closest competitor Facebook, which has more active users than Instagram, for brand exposure.
According to a report published in the Independent, people in the age group of 18-35 spend five whole days a year on Instagram browsing food images and videos. So, what’s better than tempting them with some great images of the food served at your restaurants? The straight foreword answer is nothing. The research also shows that around 30% of customers avoid going to a restaurant if they are not impressed by its Instagram presence.
So, whether you are already using Instagram marketing strategy to promote your restaurant or planning to give it a try, here’re some tips that you should include in your marketing plan for optimal performance.
Don’t neglect relevant hashtags
Twitter and Instagram are the two social media platforms that are powerfully using hashtags to generate more and targeted user engagement. Posts with hashtags get more engagement on Instagram, so don’t avoid doing hashtag research during the post preparation. Along with relevant hashtags related to your post, add trending hashtags such as #nationalfoodday, #pancakeday, etc to increase the visibility of your posts. You must also add location-based hashtags or local hashtags in your posts to give your restaurant more brand exposure and attract potential customers.
When you can use around 30 hashtags in a single post, it’s important to use them wisely to increase your reach and drive organic impressions and followers.
If you are not using Instagram stories to interact with your followers then do it right now. It gives them an insider feeling like they are part of your family. You can give them a peek behind the scenes of food preparation, cheering and celebratory moments, and other events to keep them up-to-date about what’s happening. Stories are also the best way to interact with your followers, ask questions, go live, encourage them to ask questions to you, take feedbacks for more user involvement.
Instagram story links are also your only way to redirect your users to any external web page, as Instagram doesn’t let your add links within posts and you can add only one link in your bio. If you want your followers to make a reservation or avail of some offers running on your website, you can add links to your stories. Users can simply “scroll up” on a story to go to a webpage of your choice. To use story links, your account must be an Instagram business profile with at least 10,000 followers. So, make sure that you are eligible to get the Instagram ‘swipe up’ feature in your account.
Connect with Food bloggers and influencers
There are so many food bloggers and influencers out there reviewing food and restaurants for their followers. If a food blogger with a large following posts about your restaurant and food, your business will get a huge amount of brand exposure to a foodie audience browsing for a restaurant to dine out with friends and family.
Just, don’t underestimate the role of influencer marketing on Instagram. Some food bloggers/influencers will charge you to come into your restaurant, but you can trade a free meal or any other deal in exchange for some good words about your restaurant. It will give you a huge boost in visibility on Instagram.
Encourage your customers to share their experience on Instagram
Influencer marketing is not only limited to the food bloggers, you can also encourage your customers to share their experience in your restaurant through posts, stories, reels, and IGTV for their followers. They can serve as social media influencers for more brand exposure in your region. Believe us, people are more intended to trust someone doing it on their own than paid promotions and advertisements.
Run giveaways and contests
It is a great way to increase your followers count while talking about your services. You can run giveaways and contests in partnership with popular influencers or directly through a post in your account. It will help you generate more engagement and interaction on your posts in exchange for a prize, gift card, or free meal to the winners.
Paid promotion on Instagram goes hand-in-hand with the above tips. It lets your potential customers know about your offerings and services. You can run ads to target your audience based on their interest and location to generate more leads. Retargeting ads are best for restaurants to retarget customers who have interacted with them. It will remind them about your business name the next time they plan to dine out. You can use images of the best items from your menu to promote a visually attractive post or use ads to tell your customers about a new offer running in your restaurant.
These are the most common strategies you can include in your Instagram marketing plan for your restaurant to generate interest and brand exposure. When preparing your posts and ads, it is important to post them at the right time to get more impressions. The best time for a restaurant to post something on Instagram is the right before meals when people are hungry and searching for a place to eat. You can use the right scheduling tools to schedule your posts so that they could appear in front of your customers when are likely to be hungry.
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