7 Ways to Maximize Restaurant Exposure Through Instagram
Food is an important focal point people’s lives. Good food, favorite dining spots and exciting places for enjoying drinks and social activities rank among people’s top interests. People like to share their experiences and see what other people are eating, how they dress and where they’re dining. Instagram’s social-sharing site takes advantage of smartphone technology to encourage members to share photos and short videos on other social media sites as well.
Restaurants can use Instagram for an array of marketing benefits because people love to take pictures when dining, celebrating or having drinks with friends. Restaurateurs can encourage customers to photograph food, décor, spectacular desserts and dining parties for immediate, user-generated advertising that’s free, convincing and spontaneous.
Our Top Seven Instagram Marketing Tips
Restaurants begin by creating their own Instagram accounts and posting photos of their food, cuisine, décor and staff. Creative ideas include posting photos of farms and food suppliers, celebrations, charitable events and off-site affairs.
1. Chronicle All Aspects of the Restaurant’s Operations. Take photos of appetizers, entrées, desserts, dining-room ambiance, staff members and behind-the-scenes operations. Show pictures of the staff serving customers, having fun or preparing for big events. Post photos and short videos regularly to draw an audience and keep them returning. Write brief captions to ask for feedback or explain the photos.
2. Introduce New Foods or Signature Beverages. Instagram is an ideal platform for sharing quickly because managers don’t need to write and proofread copy. Take photos of any new menu items or an amazing molecular beverage concoction from the bar to inspire regulars and newcomers to try the items.
Optimize Photo Quality
3. Use a regular or phone camera to take photos instead of the Instagram app to get better quality. Benefits of using alternate cameras include using features like optical zoom. After taking the photos, use the Instagram app to access the file and take advantage of its versatile photo-editing tools.
4. Encourage Customers to Post Photos Taken at the Restaurant. Managers can encourage customers to post photos in several ways. Best photos could be displayed at the restaurant or in online advertising. Great photos might earn diners a free meal or discount. Sponsor an Instagram contest to get customers to take lots of photos and generate business. Award prizes for photo quality, creativity, artistic composition or other criteria such as best-dressed diner or wackiest costume. Another option is to post photos on digital signs or monitors, and technology allows restaurants to post these photos in real-time. Hashtag campaigns are a successful method to encourage the sharing of photos!
5. Share Photos with Other Sites. Sharing photos on the company website and other social media platforms attracts more people and increases the chances that a unique moment will go viral. Instagram gives restaurants and customers many options for sharing on Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Foursquare, Twitter and emails.
6. Promote Restaurant Involvement with Festivals and Fairs. Be sure to take plenty of photos at special events, fairs, trade shows and festivals. If the company has a booth, take photos and post them to let customers and curious Instagram users know where to find the stall. Use photos to capture the live excitement at an event or even show on-site disasters like rain-outs or booth collapses. Off-site catered events are another opportunity to market the restaurant’s services, cakes and pastries, and signature foods.
7. Narrate a Story with Images Photos can report a story with minimal captioning. Follow the progress of a remodeling project, major catering event, natural disaster or day-in-the-life of a busy restaurant. Use Instagram posts to tell people about the company’s history, charitable work or special events.