Restaurant Instagram Marketing: Preparation & Success Strategies (1/2)

Restaurant Instagram Marketing

Restaurant Instagram Marketing: Preparation & Success Strategies  –  Have you ever had your mouth open when you saw a gorgeous restaurant photo on Instagram?

We live in a visual media world, and restaurant Instagram marketing is one of the best ways to grow and nurture your customer base. And it’s completely free! Even if you consider yourself camera-shy, you can do it.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the next mouth-watering restaurant photo that people see on Instagram came from your establishment?

This article will assist you in preparing for Instagram success. The first section will go over some Instagram fundamentals for the restaurant industry:

  • What your business Instagram account requires
  • What role Instagram plays in your overall social media strategy
  • Best practices for restaurants using Instagram

The second section includes ten tried-and-true strategies for creating engaging Instagram content, along with examples of restaurants that are doing it well. Instagram can be used to highlight:

  1. Photographing food
  2. Your employees
  3. The dining encounter
  4. Customers who are pleased
  5. Your vendors or partners
  6. Deals or special events
  7. Inviting questions or topics in video content
  8. Contests
  9. Your inventiveness

(Please keep in mind that this article does not cover paid advertising for restaurants on Instagram, only how to maximize your social media account.)

Prepare yourself for success

You’re ahead of the game if you have a personal Instagram account. However, using Instagram for business purposes differs from using it to connect with friends and family. For starters, you’ll need a business account rather than a personal one.

You want your business Instagram account to keep loyal customers engaged while also bringing in new ones. A few simple steps will get you ready to go.

Establish an account 

Yep, it’s pretty obvious — the first step to killing it with restaurant Instagram marketing is to set up your account.

  • Download the app. Instagram is almost entirely mobile-based.
  • Choose a recognizable username and profile picture. You want people to identify your account with your restaurant instantly. Get as close to your actual name and logo as possible.
  • Fill out your profile. Write a short bio that describes who you are, where you are, and what you do. Add your contact information: your hours of operation, phone number, address, etc.
  • Provide a link to your restaurant’s official website and note other social media accounts.
  • Create an official hashtag for your restaurant, and put it in the profile.
  • Research similar businesses. Take note of posts or practices that seem practically useful or generate a high level of engagement from followers.
  • Research and develop a strategy for hashtags, too. Create a list of hashtags that might apply to posted content, and then search them. You want to focus on local ones that perform well in your area. For example, a Minneapolis coffee shop might use #mplscoffee.

Yes, it’s self-evident — the first step to crushing it with restaurant Instagram marketing is to create an account.

  • Install the app. Instagram is nearly entirely mobile.
  • Select a memorable username and profile picture. You want people to immediately associate your account with your restaurant. As closely as possible to your actual name and logo.
  • Complete your profile. Write a brief bio describing who you are, where you are, and what you do. Include your contact information, such as business hours, phone number, and address.
  • Include a link to your restaurant’s official website as well as a list of other social media accounts.
  • Make an official hashtag for your restaurant and include it in your profile.
  • Investigate similar businesses. Take note of posts or practices that appear to be practically useful or that generate a lot of engagement from followers.
  • Also, research and develop a hashtag strategy. Make a list of hashtags that might be relevant to the posted content, and then search for them. You should concentrate on local ones that perform well in your area. A Minneapolis coffee shop, for example, might use #mplscoffee.

Include Instagram as part of your restaurant’s social media strategy

Create a comprehensive social media strategy that includes Instagram as well as any other platforms you use. Be honest about how much time and energy you have to devote to each social account, both overall and individually.

Avoid posting the same content across multiple platforms when managing your various social media accounts. You must create unique materials for each. Consider where things should go.

Keep in mind the platforms where your target clientele is most active when deciding which accounts to highlight. Develop your strategy accordingly. If you notice your target audience commenting on a lot of Instagram posts, don’t worry too much about your Facebook engagement.

Best practices for starting on Instagram

You’re good to go! It’s time to start marketing your restaurant on Instagram.

The very first post

  • To say hello, upload a photo or a short video. You can either take the photo/video with the app or upload it from your library by clicking the icon to add it to your feed. The app will then allow you to edit with its filters and other editing tools.
  • Add text and details. When the photo or video is finished, it’s time to add a caption and hashtags.
  • If someone or a company is mentioned in the post, please tag them.
  • Fill in your address. If you have a traditional, static restaurant website, you can also search for posts by tagged location to see what people are saying about your restaurant.

Inform people that you are on Instagram.

Inform everyone you can (without being too obnoxious). Here are a few ideas for spreading the word without appearing overbearing.

  • Make a public announcement on other social media platforms and on your website.
  • Use email marketing to spread the word to your mailing lists.
  • With social media, word of mouth is more powerful than ever, but it doesn’t have to be limited to the virtual world. Inform your friends, family, suppliers, and anyone else who has a stake in your success.
  • Display a small sign at the hostess or cashier station.
  • Add a link to your Instagram account to your website.

Make sure your account is also following other people. Engaging with other businesses and people’s accounts can help you build your own loyal following.

Keep up the good work

Regular posts should be scheduled in accordance with your overall social media strategy. You can schedule content in advance using social marketing tools.

Post to your Instagram feed no more than once per day. However, as you gain experience with the platform, you can experiment with Instagram’s other content types:

  • Instagram Reels
  • Instagram Stories
  • IGTV

Instagram Stories is the place to share an unpolished photo or video content. You can share entertaining behind-the-scenes content several times per day as you go about your work. Instagram Reels and IGTV can assist you in improving your video game.

Listen and learn

Engagement must be mutual, so don’t just post pictures of yourself. Keep an eye on your account and respond to followers who comment or otherwise interact with your content.

Consider your account to be a dialogue rather than a monologue. You’ll pay attention to your account and create better, more responsive posts.

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