Winning At Instagram
Your restaurant's Instagram profile made easy
How many times have you seen food delivered to your guests, ready to be eaten, only to see them whip out their phone and snap a photo of their food? Maybe you’ve even been that person before. We’re not judging you - people love food and the entire experience surrounding it. Many people enjoy taking a photo to remember the entire experience that they know will end all too soon...
Bringing us to Instagram. The social media platform that evokes an ‘I want that’ yearning more than any other social media platform. Guests can post amazing images of their experience to raise their social capital while on the other side, restaurants can post enticing images to engage their guests. But, Instagram isn’t just an endless swipe through visual stimulation. In fact, when used skillfully, it can raise awareness and drive more guests through the door. So, we decided to put together this quick guide to help you master Instagram and use it to its maximum potential.
#1 Set Your Profile Up For Success
Add a profile picture and write a bio about your restaurant that includes a link to your restaurant’s website. This sets the stage for your audience and potential guests.
- It should be iconic or instantly recognizable. Consider using your restaurant’s logo because it’ll display small on the app, so you want it to be memorable.
- You have 200 characters or less to represent your restaurant and show what sets it apart. Make it concise and to the point. If you have a brand slogan or tagline, this is the place to use it. If you have a brand hashtag, include it here too.
- Set your account to a business profile by going to Settings > “Switch to Business Profile” and fill out the appropriate information. Doing this will allow you to add an address and a phone number. The phone number will not show up on the bio, but a button will appear on your profile that says, “Contact,” enabling users to click on it and call your restaurant.
- This should lead to your restaurant’s website homepage.
Protip: it’s essential that your link sends users to a mobile-friendly site since most traffic on Instagram happens through a mobile device.
#2 Inside A Winning Post
Scrolling through @seamoresnyc Instagram profile
Now that you have a profile, the next step is to target your audience and keep them interested. Here are three easy-to-execute post concepts for restaurants that you can use to engage your customers: food-centric posts, behind the scenes images, and current content.
Food Centric Posts
- Get your guests excited through images and visuals of the food, the drinks, and the atmosphere your restaurant offers before they even get there. People love food photos— the hashtag #food has over 180,000,000 posts.
- Always try to use high-quality photos.
Behind the Scenes Images
- Tell a story. People want to know the personality of your restaurant. To do this effectively, know who you are marketing to.
- Maybe let your guests see the chef making the pizza or the work that goes on behind prepping for a special event. People are looking for transparency and how the magic happens inside your restaurant, let them see it.
- It’s called Instagram for a reason - the images posted are supposed to be instant. With that, include photos that are part of a popular conversation or current events.
- For example, if you're a trendy place marketing to a younger crowd, post something relevant to 20-somethings like Pokemon Go.
#3 When You’re Ready To Post
Now that your restaurant can effectively market and develop a relationship with your guests, users will more likely comment, share, and like your photos. But, there are other important details to take your Instagram to the next level.
Your Posting Schedule
- You should be posting daily if you want to generate traffic. With Instagram’s new algorithm, posts no longer show up in reverse chronological order so the time of day isn’t as important. Instead, the new algorithm posts at the top of users' feeds what Instagram believes will interest users the most and are most engaged with.
- You can show up at the top of users' feeds not only through beautiful, relevant, and high-quality posts - but also by commenting on and liking other accounts’ photos. The more interaction you have with an account, the more likely your account will show up in their feed.
- Do not post more than twice a day. Posting too often clutters users' feeds, leading them to unfollow.
- Be mindful of your caption and keep it to the point. Instagram was created to share images, not novels. The more concise, the better.
- To grab another account’s attention, you can @ them or tag them in the photo.
- If you “regram” a photo (taking another account’s photo and using it on yours), make sure to @ that account in the caption so that they get credit for the image.
- Hashtags are a great opportunity to broaden the reach of your photos. But, they should be relevant to the image presented and should not be overdone.
- If you have a brand hashtag, use it on almost all of your posts.
- You can also put a #hashtag in the middle of a caption if it feels natural, but don’t overdo it. #don't #do #every #word #of #the #sentence.
Protip: Do not have more than three hashtags. More than three tends to look spammy to users.
- A geotag lets you tag the location of where your photo was taken. Always geotag your restaurant location in the images you post of food or other shots from your restaurant. Doing this populates your geotag with your own quality imagery, so when people click on the geotag for your restaurant, they get the full experience.
Instagram is a no brainer for restaurants, especially because people love to look at food. By setting up a successful profile and posting quality content, you have the power to drive guests through your door at little to no cost. It isn't always easy finding your restaurant's voice, but these tips help you get there. Have fun with Instagram just like your guests do - interact with them, engage them, and ultimately, market to them how you would want to be marketed to.