Chelsea Allenby is a Digital Marketer of 9 years and Managing Director of Allenby Digital Ltd, an online marketing agency she set-up in 2015, specialising in social media and content marketing. www.chelseamarketing.co.uk
Instagram has over 400 million monthly active users. It has gone from a cool new social app, to a leading social network boasting a huge user base. Its success is largely due to the completely visual nature of the platform, offering something different, as well as harnessing the popularity of mobile.
Visual brands in particular such as fashion, beauty, art and of course food related industries, do extremely well on Instagram. Here are some tips to make Instagram a success for your restaurant.
Post Every Day & Get Creative
Make it a habit to share content every single day.
The majority of Instagram users are checking their accounts on a daily basis, so you don’t want to miss an opportunity to get your brand in front of your target audience. In addition to this, the accounts that grow to huge popularity on Instagram, are always the accounts that post regularly, getting as much content out there as possible.
This is a lot easier than it might sound. You might be thinking, how will I ever find something to post every day? The answer is to simply look to your staff, your customers and your food. You could share the best looking dish of the week, a photo of your staff in action, or feature a happy customer’s photo, provided you get permission.
Really use this platform to show the restaurant’s personality. If you’re a fun vibrant family style cafe, try to get this across in your images. Social media is all about being just that, ‘social’. This is often forgotten by brands and their accounts therefore come across as far too structured, lacking any real personality. No one wants to follow a boring social account, so add some humour or share something out of the ordinary.
Sponsor Your Best Posts
If you didn’t already realise, Facebook actually own Instagram. They purchased the photo-sharing app back in 2012 for $1billion. More recently Facebook made the decision to allow advertising on Instagram in the form of sponsored posts, very similar to how they appear in the Facebook news feed. A sponsored Instagram post is a good way to reach new customers, or ensure your existing fan base are not missing any updates. You can set-up a sponsored Instagram post through the Facebook advertising platform.
Hashtags are a very popular feature of Instagram, it’s not uncommon to use multiple hashtags on each photo to reach a wider audience. There are some widely used hashtags for the food industry such as:
#food – Over 187 million posts!
#foodporn – Over 85 million posts!
#foodie – Over 30 million posts!
You can see why adding these to your photos guarantees they will reach more people. You can also add location hashtags, or start your own thread based on a giveaway or a special offer you might be running.
Follow Relevant People
Platforms like Instagram and Twitter put the power in your hands, allowing you to draw potential customers to your page. To do this simply, find some similar accounts to your own. Perhaps look to your competitor pages, or search a hashtag such as #foodinlondon to find a relevant account. Once you’ve found a popular account that is similar to your own, simply follow the fans of this account. By following these individuals you are alerting them of your page, they then might follow back, visit your website or engage with your content.
Try to seek people out at least twice a week to grow your fanbase using this method.
Instagram is very easy to use, the interface is very simple to grasp, making it an ideal social platform to start marketing your restaurant on. To get started you will need a smartphone or a tablet to download the application.