You gotta do it for the ‘gram! Building an Instagram following is a key restaurant marketing strategy in 2020.
With stiff competition between bars and restaurants, focusing on delicious food and stellar service alone is not enough. These days, customers are looking for a complete experience and most importantly one that they can share on their social media.
A strong social media presence is an essential piece of the marketing strategy of any business nowadays and Instagram has the highest engagement of all the social media platforms.
If customers cannot find you online then they won’t show up, either. Assigning adequate resources for an effective social media campaign gets new customers flocking to your restaurant or cafe every day of the week.
Fortunately, building a strong Instagram presence is not as complicated as figuring out the constantly changing SEO parameters for Google rankings. Here are our top 9 tips for how to create the best Instagram strategy for restaurant marketing.
Restaurant marketing can be difficult, especially if you don’t have the right target market. Prospekt Digital can help align your marketing goals to direct revenue.
1. Create an Instagrammable Scene
Curating an Instagram feed is one thing but your customers should be able to do the very same. In other words, your restaurant or cafe must be Instagrammable. This drives your guests to take photos and post it in their Instagram Story or feed.
All the food and drinks you serve should look gorgeous. Use pops of color on the walls and furniture for an eye-catching photo. What also always works well on IG is phrases as artwork, whether it is graffiti, a neon sign or wall art. Think about all the beautiful restaurant marketing posts you can create!
2. Stick to a Brand Aesthetic
When creating the business plan you also created a brand identity. This brand identity should shine through on your Instagram. However, it goes one step further when translating a restaurant’s atmosphere to their social media account.
Decide which color schemes and scenes best describe the general mood of your restaurant or cafe. For example, beach clubs often use tones of blue, white and brown like the ocean. Set up a custom filter for your IG posts and a standard layout for Instagram Stories. This makes the account more professional and recognizable.
3. Quality over Quantity but Stay Consistent
Carefully curating a killer Instagram page takes time. Focus on the quality of the content rather than the quantity. A single blurry image or seemingly unrelated caption already makes it look messy and all your restaurant marketing work goes down the drain.
Set up a schedule for posts and stick to it. Software like Hootsuite is very helpful for time management and analytics. Make sure you have plenty of stock photos to fulfill the schedule order and don’t forget to include tagged photos from your guests, as well.
4. Incorporate Guest & Influencer Posts
The advantage of having a very Instagrammable restaurant is that you don’t have to rely on your own photos and videos. This generation loves to share where they are and what they are doing. Both your guests and your business are trying to stay relevant work together. They’re essentially doing a big portion of your restaurant marketing for you.
Repost photos and Instagram Stories that your guests have tagged your business in. This actually encourages other visitors to post about your place too, in the hopes of getting featured, as well.
Influencers are also important to incorporate. They have a massive following and add a more authentic image to your marketing campaign.
5. Use the Right Hashtags
To create an Instagram following for your restaurant, Instagrammers must be able to find you. How to do this? Use the right hashtags, hashtags that your customers are most likely to use.
Researching hashtags is similar to researching key words for SEO purposes. Find out which ones are the most popular and relevant for your restaurant or cafe niche.
It is also smart to create your own signature hashtag. This should involve the name of your establishment but it can also be a fun slogan that strongly identifies with your online image.
6. Always Geotag
You can help grow your business through geotagging, especially when geotagging on social media. Geotagging is adding a location to a post. This means that whenever a person is searching for content from your area, your posts will pop up, too.
Geotags are usually linked to Google Maps. So, whenever an Instagrammer clicks on the geotag, they can find the exact location of your restaurant. This helps them plan their trip and get to your place easier. Plus, a location that is frequently tagged will rank higher on search engines.
7. Launch Instagram Ads
Instagram Ads are paid posts that pops up on feeds, even users that do not follow your restaurant’s Instagram account. This is a great way to reach a new audience.
Instagram Ads are only effective when carefully planned out. Make sure to check the analytics and create a plan accordingly before setting up a social media ad campaign. It does cost money so you want to make sure that every cent counts. Better yet, have a restaurant marketing expert set it up for you.
8. Become a Call to Action Pro
Call to Action, or CTA, refers to content that leads to engagement, usually through text. There are many different options for CTA and every post should engage the audience.
- Asking followers to post a new photo taken in the cafe with the appropriate hashtags
- Launching a social media competition
- Asking to comment on a question you asked in the caption
9. Measure Engagement - Analytics are Key
Taking all these mentioned steps is necessary but the most important part of a successful restaurant social media campaign is monitoring the analytics. Analytics refers to the collected data from a marketing strategy such as the number of views, comments, likes and shares or which times of the day see the most engagement.
Keep a close eye on all these aspects because this informs you whether the Instagram marketing strategy is effective. Give the campaign some time to gain momentum but alter it wherever necessary.
So what do you think? Are you focusing on your restaurant marketing as you should? Prospekt Digital specializes in digital marketing for restaurants and bars. We can help you with restaurant marketing too!
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