What do you get when you combine the two saying, “We eat with our eyes,” and, “A picture is with a thousand words?”
The answer is the ideal method of promoting your restaurant: Instagram.
Restaurants and bars which are not using this powerful marketing tool are losing out on a great way to drive business through their doors. But for those who lack experience with the Instagram platform or marketing the entire process can seem a bit overwhelming. The good news is that even the most inexperienced food service marketer can get up to speed and churning out effective ads on Instagram in no time at all.
Getting Started on Instagram Marketing For Restaurants and Bars
If you have never used Instagram before, the first step is getting set up with a new account. First, you will need to download the Instagram app on your phone. Next, just following the on-screen instructions to register a new account. It is important to select a business account to have access to all the advertising options available. Don’t worry. Signing up for a business account is free. Finally, after opening your business account, it is time to master the basics. Instagram offers a fantastic FAQ to learn how the app works.
Five Hints to Get the Instagram Results You Want
After learning the basics of Instagram, you’ll probably want to blast your followers with posts. Hold on a moment. Check out these five tips for getting the besting response from your marketing.
Make your account search engine friendly. One of the biggest mistakes new Instagram users make is forgetting to set their accounts to public. Search engines do not index private accounts, and they are only accessible to people with permission to view them. This severely limits marketing potential. Another common goof is not using hashtags, or choosing hashtags which are not relevant to your business or your target market. Try incorporating trending hashtags into your posts as long as they connect to your topic. Use a free site like Hashtagify or a different Instagram analytic tool to make it easy.
Learn to take good photos. Don’t waste your time using Instagram if you are posting dull, uninspired images. You don’t have to be an art school graduate to take photographs which will captivate your followers, you need to keep a few simple pointers in mind. One of the most important tips is to use natural lighting. Flashes and harsh overhead lighting can make food appear unappealing. Another pro hint is use a variety of backgrounds and props to add interest to your photos. Brush up on your food photography skills to wow your followers.
Create killer content. No matter where you publish, you always need to offer meaningful content to the long-term and potential guests of your restaurant or bar. Creative content highlighting attractive new service features such as online ordering, customer loyalty and gift card promotions can create engagement and interest in a way that a traditional ad cannot. But never forget that on Instagram photos and videos are the stars of the show. Keep your text short and punchy without going into too many details. The more interactive you can make your text, the better. That means ask plenty of questions, use fill-in-the-blank statements, and seeking your followers’ opinions using surveys and polls.
Publish at the right time. Believe it or not, you can vastly improve the response rate to your marketing by until the ideal time to post. Studies show that people are more likely to click on content which is less than four hours old. That means, for you to get the most out of your marketing, you need to figure out when most of your potential customers are using Instagram.
Be an active Instagram community member. Your Instagram account can quickly build up goodwill but only if you are offering something of value in your posts. Of course, that demands interesting and useful content, but it also requires you to take part on the Instagram platform in other ways. Be willing to follow and respond to posts by other local business, and even your customers. Always remember, your Instagram account represents your business, and try to stay away from political, religious, and other hot-button topics.
By using Instagram marketing for restaurants and bars properly, you will see an increase in not only the number of followers you have online, but in your business’ bottom line, too.
Miguel is a digital marketing consultant and marketing coordinator for various global industries, including hospitality and restaurant software. Born in southern California and raised in Chicago, he’s an avid promoter of using cloud-based technologies and AI marketing integrations in order to upgrade the user experience.