Is investing in a comprehensive restaurant Instagram marketing plan worth it?
According to research by Global WebIndex, 58.4% of the global population use social media. And the average daily usage is 2 hours and 27 minutes.
Popular social media platforms like Instagram are also expected to see a rise in the number of users in 2023.
It’s true that both Facebook and Instagram share common features, but there are also key differences between the two networks.
And in order to make your restaurant stand out, you need to know how to use each platform to your advantage.
So what should you post on Instagram?
In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to know about restaurant Instagram marketing and how to use it effectively for your business.
We’ll also share our top restaurant Instagram marketing strategies for 2022 and two bonus strategies for 2023 to get you posting like a pro in no time!
Why Should Restaurants Be Present on Instagram?
As a restaurant owner or manager, you’re probably wondering if you should consider being present on more social accounts.
You might be thinking about revamping your current restaurant’s Instagram account.
Whatever the case may be, you need to know the value that Instagram can bring to your restaurant business.
Here are some key statistics that show why your restaurant should be on Instagram:
- According to Instagram, 90% of Instagram users follow a business on the platform.
- Young adults are the most active users of Instagram, with 71% of 18- to 29-year-olds using the platform.
- 38% of US adults say they use Instagram several times a day.
The truth is people love scrolling through their Instagram feed. It’s a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, fashion, food, and of course, restaurants!
By being active on Instagram, you’re sure to reach your target audience where they are spending the majority of their time.
Not to mention, with over 1 billion monthly active users, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity if you’re not on Instagram.
Now that we’ve established the importance of being on Instagram, let’s move on to our top restaurant Instagram marketing strategies.
Restaurant Instagram Marketing Strategies for Success
When it comes to restaurant marketing on Instagram, there are a few key factors to keep in mind.
You can’t post any photo or video and expect to see results.
Your content needs to be high quality, well-thought-out, and most importantly, it should align with your restaurant’s overall marketing strategy.
Here are our top 10 restaurant Instagram marketing strategies that are still relevant for 2023 as well:
1. Update Your Account and Make it Professional
Make sure your Instagram business account is updated and looking professional. Your address, phone number, and website should all be accurate and up-to-date.
Your Instagram profile photo should be the logo that you use on all other marketing materials.
And your bio should be concise, keyword-rich, and give a quick overview of what your restaurant is all about.
For example, you might want to include your restaurant’s location, type of cuisine, and a brief description of what you offer.
Tip: Make sure to include a call-to-action in your bio so that users know what you want them to do once they land on your page.
For instance, if you want people to order online, you might include a link to your website or online ordering page.
2. Post-High-Quality Photos and Videos
Professional food photography is essential if you want to really stand out on Instagram. Hence, ensure you post high-quality photos and videos. This means investing in a good-quality camera and taking the time to learn how to use it properly.
It’s also important to edit your photos before posting them to make sure they’re looking their best.
There are tons of great editing apps out there that you can use to make your photos pop. Some of the most popular include Lightroom, VSCO, and Snapseed.
Ultimately, you can hire a professional photographer to help you out, but it’s not necessary. If you have a marketing team, they can likely handle your restaurant’s Instagram account.
Tip: Learn how to perfect the Flat Lay Shot, which is a great way to showcase your dishes on Instagram.
The flat-lay shot gives customers a bird’s eye view of your dish, which can help increase appetites and encourage people to order. Ensure to add some decorations around the dish to make the photo more interesting like greenery, flowers, or utensils.
3. Use Relevant and Popular Hashtags
If you want to reach a wider audience with your Instagram posts, you need to be using hashtags.
Hashtags help users find content that they’re interested in, and they can also help increase the visibility of your posts.
When choosing hashtags for your restaurant, make sure to use ones that are relevant to your business and popular within the food industry.
You can use a hashtag research tool like Hashtagify to find popular and relevant hashtags to use.
Tip: In addition to using popular hashtags, you should also create your own branded hashtag.
This is a great way to build community and get people talking about your restaurant on Instagram. You can tell customers to use that hashtag when posting about your restaurant, and then you can repost some of the best content.
4. Take Advantage of Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories is a great way to share behind-the-scenes content, daily specials, and exclusive offers with your followers.
You can also use features like polls and quizzes to engage with your audience and get them talking about your restaurant.
According to Statista, around 500 million people use Instagram stories on daily basis. So it’s good to get started now and benefit from them!
Tip: Use Instagram Stories Highlights to showcase your best content and make it easy for customers to find.
They’re basically like a “highlight reel” of your best Stories content, and they live right on your profile. So if you have a bunch of great Stories that you want people to be able to see easily, you can add them to your Highlights.
For example, if you have recently added new items to your online delivery menu, you can create a Highlight for that. Then, whenever someone visits your profile, they can easily see that you have new items and can click to learn more.
Creating a Highlight
To create a Highlight, just go to your profile and tap on “Edit Profile.” Then, scroll down and tap on “Create new” under Highlights.
From there, give your Highlight a name and select the Stories you want to add. Once you’re done, just tap “Add” and your Highlight will be live on your profile.
5. Optimize User-generated Content
User-generated content is any content that’s created by people who are not affiliated with your brand. This could be things like photos, videos, or reviews that mention your restaurant.
UGC is a great way to build social proof and show potential customers that other people are enjoying your food.
Loyal customers who tag your restaurant in posts are essentially doing free marketing for you, so it’s important to show them some love. We’ll show you how you can get customers to do this in a bit, so hang tight!
Tip: Use UGC to create attractive visuals for your restaurant’s website and social media profiles.
High-quality visuals are essential for any business, but they can be expensive to produce. A great way to get around this is to use UGC to create visuals for your website and social media profiles.
All you need to do is find some great user-generated content that’s relevant to your business and then ask the creator for permission to use it.
If you don’t have any UGC yet, you can start by incentivizing customers to post photos and tag your restaurant.
6. Utilize the Power of Food Bloggers
Food bloggers can be a great asset to your restaurant’s marketing efforts.
Not only do they have an engaged audience of foodies who are interested in trying new restaurants, but they also have the ability to produce high-quality content.
If you can get a food blogger to write about your restaurant or post a photo, it can do wonders for your business.
The best way to reach out to food bloggers is to send them an email.
Make sure to introduce yourself and your restaurant, and then let them know why you think their audience would be interested in your business. If you have any special offers or events coming up, be sure to mention that as well.
Tip: Ensure to Get the Right Food Blogger with an enticing offer
When reaching out to food bloggers, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right fit for your restaurant.
It’s also important to remember that not all food bloggers will be interested in your restaurant. That’s why it’s important to reach out to multiple bloggers and provide them with an enticing offer. For example, you could offer a free meal in exchange for a review or a discount on their next visit.
7. Create and Organize Contests and Giveaways
Remember where we talked about having loyal customers do free marketing?
Here’s where we explain further how you can start doing that. To increase your following and engagement, you can run contests through your posts.
For example, you can include a specific prize at the end of the month, where you plan on giving the winner a 50% discount on a brunch of their choice. You can offer several brunch options to them.
Then, ask them to tag as many people as they know. This is called a ‘tag your friend ‘ contest entry. People will have to tag others to enter the contest and be eligible for the prize.
You can also organize a giveaway for people who share the best photo of your food item and tag you on the post. The photo with the best creative caption and attractive visual wins!
8. Use Food Holidays on Your Instagram Posts
If you feel that you’ve run out of content to attract customers, you can utilize food holidays.
Restaurants use food holidays on Instagram in the form of hashtags. For example, if you offer dips like guacamole, there’s National Guacamole Day on September 16th. or if you want to upsell your dessert items, there’s National Dessert Day on October 14th.
You can use hashtags like #nationalguacamoleday or #nationaldessertday.
Tip: Create a Monthly Content Calendar to Keep Track of Holidays
After you give these food holidays posts a few tries and see that you’re getting results, you can create a content calendar.
With this calendar, you can keep things more organized by entering relevant holidays and adding captions, images, tags, etc.
You can automate your content posts by using social media automation tools. These types of software help you schedule your posts so you won’t forget to publish on important holidays.
2 Bonus Instagram Marketing Strategies for 2023
While the strategies used in 2022 may still be useful, 2023 will bring even more advanced and updated tactics and tools to the table.
Here are two more strategies that marketers should consider when developing a successful Instagram marketing plan:
Post Updated Menus
Menu is the most important factor for the food and beverage business. If you want to get more people interested in your restaurant’s offerings, you need to make sure your menu is up-to-date on Instagram.
You should post pictures of your dishes with detailed descriptions of what’s included and the prices. You can also use creative captions or videos to showcase the ingredients used in your recipes.
Tip: Use Instagram Shopping to Let Customers Shop Directly From Your Feed
Instagram Shopping is a great way to make it easier for customers to purchase items from your restaurant directly through Instagram.
All you need to do is add product tags and Shopping links to your posts, which will link the user directly to the item page on your website. From there, they can add it to their cart and checkout in just a few clicks.
This feature makes it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for and can help you increase sales.
Post Pictures of Your Restaurant Interiors
It’s no secret that people are drawn to aesthetically pleasing visuals. Thus, if you want to attract more customers, you should post pictures of your restaurant’s interior.
Showcase how cozy and inviting it is by highlighting unique features like art on the walls or a cozy corner seating area.
You can also take pictures of your staff in action, which will make people feel welcome and special.
Tip: Use Instagram Live Videos to Show People Around Your Restaurant
Live videos are an effective way to show people what your restaurant looks like in real time. You can give them a tour of the kitchen, introduce them to staff members, or show behind-the-scenes footage.
It’s also a great way to interact with customers and answer questions they might have about your restaurant.
So, if you’re searching for a way to build relationships with customers, Instagram Live is definitely something to consider.
Reap the Benefits of Instagram Marketing for Your Restaurant
These were our top tips for starting or redesigning your marketing strategy on Instagram.
Remember to keep things consistent throughout your social media channels, so your customers won’t get confused.
Marketing on Instagram might seem easy at first, but it isn’t only about posting images. It requires customer research, tracking the latest food trends, and keeping things fresh and enticing. But all that work can pay off if you rewire your marketing strategies in the right direction.
So if you already have a marketing team and are thinking of branching out and investing in Instagram marketing, you won’t regret it!