Tips For A Successful Restaurant Instagram
Tips For A Successful Restaurant Instagram
It’s not breaking news that Instagram has become a critical tool in the restaurant marketing toolbox. But running a successful instagram is not as simple as posting some quick pictures. It takes time, dedication, and a plan to run a successful instagram account to promote your business.
While social media marketing is a constantly evolving, the following tips are a great starting place for anyone working in hospitality marketing.
Develop Your Voice.
Each business should have a “voice” that remains constant. This way the user can get to know the personality of the business. A casual bar or restaurant would have a much more irreverent voice than that of a fine dining establishment. Unless your account is meant to come from an individual (owner, chef, etc.), we suggest to always use a ‘collective’ voice when posting with “we” and “our” not “me” and “I.”
It’s important to think about why someone would follow your business on Instagram. Most often, it’s because they had a good experience and want to be “in the know” about what’s happening. Keep this in mind with all of your posting and think about what your followers would find interesting and of value. Did you get some beautiful fresh fish delivered? Tell them. Do you have some amazing new cocktails on the menu? Tell them. Are you making the same dish again that you’ve made a thousand times before? They don’t care.
Many business accounts will have several days or even weeks of “dark” times. Why would someone follow an account that is not current?
When you do post, spread them out.
Since followers have likely not seen images regularly, you don’t want to spam their feed with multiple posts all at once. Either combine images into a multi-image gallery block or spread them out by several hours. Our personal rule is a max of 3 images in one day. The exception to this is the Instagram Stories feature, where you can post as much as you would like, as long as the content is of value to your followers.
Instagram is wonderful in that it gives you as businesses an opportunity to post from your location – even if you are not there. More importantly, it gives your guests the ability as well. You should check your business’s geotag daily and engage with every post. If a guest post has lots of engagement (likes and comments), then you should do more than just like their image, as they likely have some social influence and you want to encourage more of that behavior!
Use hashtags – sparingly.
Of all the social media platforms, Instagram is the most hashtag-friendly. While we suggest you should not load every image with tons of hashtags, you can have fun using them in the brand voice in a way that is engaging and amusing to your audience. You can also develop unique hashtags to tie into promotions. A good rule of thumb is a max of 2-4 hashtags. Too many makes your account look desperate for followers.
Search hashtags – regularly.
The good news about hashtags is that you don’t have to post them to your images to use them. You should be searching hashtags for your businesses daily (#businessname), since many people may not know that you have an Instagram account (also search common misspellings). You can also build followers by searching tags that relate to the images you are posting. For instance a mouth-watering image of a margarita could relate to #margarita, #tequila, #cocktail, #cocktailporn, #instabooze, etc. By searching and engaging with these images (liking and commenting), you will draw attention to your own account and can build followers.
Tell your (insta)Story.
Instagram’s story feature is a great way to give a more intimate look at your business. You can include posts about prep, staff training and things that might not be worthy of a full post, but yet give your followers good insights into the character and workings of your business.
Engage the audience.
People don’t just want to follow you, they want to be followed. Make a point of following the people that are liking and commenting regularly on your images. Even better, be sure to like and comment on their posts as well – even when they are not about your business.