What we want to share with you in this article are top Instagram strategies for restaurants that owners or community managers can put into practice to make their profiles shine. In one of our previous articles, we mentioned some statistical reasons why every restaurant needs an active Instagram Profile and take advantage of the power this social media platform has to drive engagement with existing and potential customers. Nowadays it’s as important as the home page of any restaurant website, as more and more people are turning to Instagram instead of Google to search for brands. It can be a very cost-effective way for restaurant owners to promote their brands and increase sales.

Having just an Instagram profile doesn’t guarantee any improvement. It’s very important to understand your main business values, brand identity, and the audience you are targeting in the content you produce. Following these strategies can help to increase your profile’s reach, engagement and create high-quality content for your followers. So without further ado, let’s get to it:

1. Optimize your Instagram Bio

The first step to creating a good Instagram Bio is making sure that your profile name is actually your restaurant’s name. This is because people searching for you on Instagram will likely use your business name, and consistency will let them know that it’s actually you.

This should also describe what your restaurant is about and what you do. Let people know what you offer that might interest them to create positive impressions and hopefully make them follow you.

To increase your restaurant’s chances of success, consider adding a branded hashtag or a call to action in your bio. Whether you are promoting a contest, or campaign or inviting your users to comment, it’s a great way to drive engagement on your posts.

Optimized & Consistent Bio

2. Convert customers into followers

Make sure your Instagram profile name is visible and easy to find for all your customers. It can be in your restaurant’s menus, receipts, packaging or tables. Also, try to drive engagement with them by having contests or rewarding interactions with your profile with discounts or free meals.

Instagram users are generally three times more likely to interact with restaurants than other social media platforms. This is something restaurant owners have come to understand. So to help you convert customers into followers, you can also show some love by commenting on photos your restaurant is tagged in and re-sharing your customer’s posts from your page.

3. Post Attractive Food Photos & Videos

This is one of the most important Instagram marketing strategies every restaurant should follow. Nowadays, users like to check out food photos before dining at a restaurant, and having your profile’s feed full of beautiful food photos is crucial to create a great impression on your followers and customers.

Here are some useful tips to make your food photography appealing without any special equipment:

  • Using warm lighting instead of bright lights can greatly improve your dishes.
  • Your dish should be the main point of your pictures.
  • Taking pictures from above can make your food more visually appealing.
Attractive Food Photo Example

We also suggest creating videos as Instagram users tend to engage more with this type of content. An example of this may be an appetizing Reel of your dishes or drinks. And you don’t really need a professional directing it to have an engaging audience, spontaneous and organic videos can accomplish the goal.

As a general rule, we like to keep them short, no more than 15 seconds in length. The reason behind this is that based on our experience, a very low percentage of viewers end up watching till the end of the video if its length is bigger than this duration.

4. Focus on building a consistent brand and high-quality content

To prevent confusing your audience with random content, it’s really important to produce a consistent brand aesthetic in your restaurant’s Instagram account. And this requires more than just posting pretty images, you’ll need to establish a distinct and well-curated feed based on your unique brand’s identity.

When you determine your brand’s personality and target audience, refine your content to match. Pay close attention to the color palettes you use, image lighting, tones, and voice as this will convey your brand’s personality to make it easily remembered and identified. Focus on creating great organic content, using professional photos and long-term strategies.

5. Post Consistently

Aside from building a unique brand identity, posting consistently also helps to incrementally grow your following. The more you post, the better, as long as you don’t start producing low-quality content. For some businesses, posting four times a week is a frequency that works well, find your sweet spot and try to stick to it by planning ahead.

6. Create Story Highlights

Another promising restaurant marketing strategy is using Instagram Highlights. And this is because they are one of the first things that your profile’s visitors will actually see. Make sure that they are appealing and interesting to catch people’s attention before they go elsewhere. They are like the guide and presentation of your restaurant.

Use them to maintain your followers up to date with menu changes, special events, and interesting offers. Just think about what you want your followers to know about your restaurant and place it on top. We also recommend that you use Highlights covers to give a unique identity consistent with your brand.

Story highlights example

7. Use Food & Drink Social Media Holidays

There’s an abundance of days throughout the year that marketers use to promote their content in a way that is relevant to their specific industries and audience. Your restaurant can use them as an opportunity to connect or engage with existing and new followers who show affinity to specific foods, dishes, or drinks. But be careful not to use them in an irrelevant way as they can bring more bad than good. Social Media Day calendars are available all over the internet and are updated every year.

Social Media Holidays example

8. Use Trending Hashtags

Using trending hashtags is a strategy that can also give your restaurant marketing a nice boost. They help in getting your restaurant in front of potential new customers. You can use popular hashtags like #food or #foodie but we recommend taking the time to research and use the ones that are more relevant to your specific niche or area. To keep the focus on your beautiful pictures, we also suggest posting your hashtags in the comments rather than the caption.

You can also create your own restaurant hashtag that you can use in your posts, and bio and keep track of user-generated content. It will also help customers easily identify your brand.

Trending Hashtag Example

9. Leverage User Generated Content

As we mentioned before, some customers may tag your restaurant in a photo they upload. This is User Generated Content, and it refers to any content of your restaurant that is not created by you. And engaging with it by reposting or commenting is a key marketing strategy because it is 35 percent more memorable and 50 percent more trusted than traditional media and other non-user-generated content. It also shows the visitors of your profile that you care about customers and helps in building a community.

10. Respond To Instagram Messages And Comments

Last but not least, show your followers that you care, providing excellent customer service by responding to their comments and direct messages on time and in a friendly way. This will not only help them but also ensure customer loyalty. People generally rely on good customer service and how well the restaurant or business treats them to make recommendations, so be sure to check this regularly.

Wrapping Up

In this article, we wanted to outline some of the top Instagram strategies for restaurants. As a restaurant marketing agency, at Resto Experience we know and follow these tips with each of our client’s Instagram profiles and content, tweaking it a bit to adapt them to their specific goals, audience, and niche.

Sometimes your following will react differently than what you expect. You can take this as an opportunity to review the content produced and analyze how they performed to understand what works and what doesn’t for your specific case. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need professionals to manage your restaurant’s Instagram profile.

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