When it comes to marketing your business online, Instagram is the ultimate visual medium – which helps when a picture tells a thousand words. Users of social media platforms scroll through an average of 300 feet of newsfeed content every day, so you’re going to have a lot of tough competition if you want stand out among all those other posts.
By virtue of its seemingly infinite feed, users can spend over half an hour continually swiping before they have seen every piece of that day' fresh content. This can make it very difficult to get your material seen, but with an approximate user figure of one billion, there is huge market potential for your business on Instagram.
If all of this makes your head spin, it’s important to break it down into smaller strategic steps. If you properly market your restaurant on Instagram, you can generate denser traffic flow to your site and expand your volume of orders. Here are the tips you need to know.
Optimize relevant hashtags
Think of hashtags as identity pins for your restaurant’s posts. Say you offer one of the most popular food trends of the past year – sushi bake – on your menu, and any users who follow the #sushibake hashtag will be able to find you among the billion other accounts on Instagram. As it stands, this hashtag currently has over 42,000 followers, so it pays to specify your hashtags. Highly focused hashtags attract relevant attention, as well as minimizing the number of hashtags in your post.
Studies reveal that posts using at least one hashtag generate 12.6% more traffic than blank posts, but this isn’t an invitation to litter your caption with hashtags. But keep in mind, also, that a dense block of hashtags can look quite ugly on your post, so try to keep your number of hashtags between nine and fifteen. Doing this will focus your content more successfully for its relevant audience, as well as ensure they are as streamlined and attractive as possible.
Invite influencers to your restaurant
Popularity is a powerful force, with the possessor of this wonderful thing able to attract attention not only to their own endeavors, but the content they consume and the goods they purchase. This is why inviting an Instagram influencer to your restaurant is a sure-fire way to elevate your position in the social stratosphere of an online community.
Much as inviting a local band to perform is a great way to get your restaurant noticed, having an influencer share the dining experience enjoyed in your restaurant is a brilliant way to expand a customer base. An influencer’s loyal followers will often do as they do, trusting their opinion and insight into the products they promote, so the good word of a power player on Instagram can do a wonders for your profit margins and influx of food orders.
Encourage customer engagement with Stories
With brand engagement being 10% higher than that of its parent company Facebook, Instagram is an ideal platform for generating word of mouth with users able to comment on and share your posts. The strongest means of encouraging customer engagement is with the Stories function, which affords your followers a sneak peek into the goings-on of your business. If you have a highly personable team with great chemistry, be sure to ask them for their consent to be filmed for a 30-second story.
Customers always appreciate a workforce that appear to be enjoying themselves, as it promotes the idea that this restaurant is a cool place to be with little distinction between work and hanging out with friends. Presenting the strong personalities within your restaurant can really make it seem more appealing to prospective customers, as well as generating visual content they may wish to share within their own networks.
The trick is to keep your stories brief, dynamic, and to share a point that requires a reduced level of engagement. Always keep in mind how radically short the average Instagrammer’s attention span will be: create content that makes its point and rewards engagement.
Post in the evenings
Strategizing your post schedule is just about as important as the content you’re sharing in the first place. Post too early in the day and your images will be buried under the influx of breakfast table activity or lunchtime content that sees the most traffic in an afternoon. Post too late and few will be awake to see it, only for it to be lost in a newly refreshed newsfeed the following morning.
When it comes to restaurant marketing, the best times to share updates about your menu will always be in the early evening. Aim for the golden hours between quitting time and dinner time, roughly between 5pm and 7pm, as this is when people will be wondering what to have to eat if they don’t have anything in the cupboards at home.
Instagram is an ideal tool for those looking to launch their business online. With its Story platform allowing your photos and videos to be easily shared around your followers’ networks, as well as a hashtag system that diverts the appropriate user engagement to your products, Instagram is the social channel you need to start using. However, if you wanted to expand your outreach, make use of other social media channels such as Instagram’s parent company.
For tips and tricks on how to maximize your business potential on Facebook, take a look at another one of our blog posts for some more marketing ideas. No matter what social media channel you choose to do it on, when sharing content online always try to keep it simple, make your images pop, and post material that will really resonate with your audience. Specificity is a godsend for the picky eater, so you can be sure to please just about everyone's appetites.