Diners have a ton of options these days. Not only is it a nearly $900 billion industry, but there are more than 1 million restaurants open for business in the United States right now. What's more, apps give people the freedom to order food delivery from virtually anywhere.
Since the market has lots of players and customers have heaps of options, you'll need one thing to set yourself apart- quality marketing.
Not just marketing, you need to learn Instagram like the back of your hand. Some of the top brands on Instagram are restaurants- which makes sense because we eat with our eyes first.
If you want to learn how to use Instagram for your restaurant, and how to win big- keep reading.
1. Get to the "Heart" of Your Restaurant
Your restaurant is more than a mere business. It's an experience.
It's where your customers come to celebrate, network, and reward themselves. As such, establish the personality and environment of your establishment and make sure those lovable attributes are getting across clearly in your campaigns.
When you make yourself distinguishable from the pack, customers will flock to you and remain loyal. Qualitative marketing goes a long way, especially for restaurants situated in large, dining-heavy cities like New York and Chicago.
When you truly understand your brand, it makes it easier for you to portray your restaurant's vibe in your posts and attract the right customers.
2. Set Goals For Your Restaurant's Instagram Campaign
When you set smart social media marketing goals, you set yourself up for success and will almost definitely see results.
Set metrics for your ad campaigns so that you can track them and adjust your game plan to get closer to the mark. Your goals might include things like increasing the number of followers, getting better post reach, improving ROI, and increasing your sales.
By laying out these goals upfront, you're better able to come up with strategies to hit them.
3. Purchase Quality Ads
Social media has grown into a pay to play business, which means you have to pay for ads to get the maximum results.
These ads work wonders when it comes to reaching new subscribers and creating excellent first impressions. For best results, your ads should look as natural and organic as possible.
Be sure also to make use of video technology and always include a call to action button in your ad.
4. Make Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
In terms of bolstering your social media presence, it can be helpful to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) whenever you can.
AI services, such as Targetable, will create custom ads or other campaigns for you using analytics. Instead of winging it, this data gives you a clearer idea of how the public is responding to your ads. It allows you to make informed changes and create smarter, more effective campaigns.
5. Avoid Direct Selling Your Followers
With Instagram, especially, you'll need to create a following as organically as possible.
Your business page should be where you inform and entertain people in ways that make them want to keep interacting with you. Your advertising posts have a different function and should be marketed separately to avoid direct selling to your followers.
Instagram is where people share important moments and short bites of info. The goal is to become part of the conversation and not to be intrusive by aggressively selling your restaurant.
6. Network With Food Bloggers and Vloggers
There are plenty of social media influencers you can link up with that will help promote your brand.
Look for food bloggers and vloggers that have a decent following, and incentivize them to post a review. Roll out the red carpet and invite them to your restaurant to enjoy a meal. The publicity they give you will be invaluable.
7. Encourage Your Diners to Post
One of the most shared Instagram posts is the famous food snapshot.
Encourage your customers to post a picture of their plate and use your hashtag. You can offer them a free dessert, a 10% off discount, or some other kind of perk for helping to boost your restaurant's visibility.
8. Include Professional Photography and Video
Keep your multimedia tech at its best so that your Instagram posts look amazing. Use a 4K camera whenever possible, and get some practice focusing the lens and playing with filters.
When the media that you post is high quality, your followers will want to share it with their friends, blasting it out to Facebook and Instagram.
9. Make Use of Editing Tools
Editing software is a great way to add personality and make sure your posts look their best.
Take advantage of Instagram's editing tools. In addition to filters, you can change color, saturation, grid layout, and other effects. The more precise you get with editing, the better you'll be able to show off your personality and sharpen your message.
10. Tell Stories on Your Page
Start considering yourself a storyteller, and think of social media as a way to share your story create a community around your restaurant.
When creating a post, think about what you want to impart upon your followers and what impression you want to convey. Your storytelling strategy will play a significant role in how you schedule posts, make use of hashtags, and incorporate other elements like Instagram Story and IGTV.
Make Your Restaurant a Top Brand on Instagram
These are tips that the top brands on Instagram follow. Instagram happens to be one of the most powerful marketing tools for any restaurant, especially if you learn how to work it.
No extra time to "work it"? Let Targetable handle your Instagram marketing for you. Try it for free and learn more about our pricing models here.