Instagram for Restaurants | Using Instagram to Market Your Restaurant
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Instagram. It’s a free smartphone app that allows you to take a photo, apply a filter to it, and share it on a number of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. As of now, Instagram is the second largest social media network, and more and more small businesses are starting to use it to market themselves.
You might be wondering how you could expand your customer base merely by taking Polaroid-like pictures on your phone. The answer is quite simple: a picture is worth a thousand words. Instead of tweeting, “Check out the chef’s newest creation: Hawaiian-style burgers”, you’re more likely to entice your followers with an actual photo of the juicy burgers adorned with pineapple rings and fresh Swiss cheese. Not only is Instagram
a great way to showcase your food, it’s also quick and easy to use and can especially be useful for restaurant owners who don’t have time to sit in front of a computer every day. With Instagram, your photos can be taken, added, and updated from your mobile device in a matter of minutes. It allows you to market your restaurant and check in with your followers, even when you’re in the middle of taking inventory or managing your kitchen.
Instagram also gives you a whole new world of potential followers. 30 million people use the app to view pictures, leave comments, and search for specific products every day. If you make your presence strong on Instagram, people are bound to notice your pictures and start following your brand, not only on Instagram, but on Twitter and Facebook as well.
The best way to gain a following is to use hashtags. Instagram lets you tag your photos with hashtags (which look like the pound symbol). By doing this, your photo will automatically be added to a search base. For instance, if you post a picture of your chef doing demonstrations on how to make guacamole and label it with #chefdemonstration and #guacamole, you’re likely to get some hits from people who are searching for instructions on how to make guacamole. Hashtags are especially efficient for business owners who go to industry-related events and upload and tag pictures from the events. That way, anyone searching for photos from an event you attended can stumble upon yours, comment on them, and hopefully start following you on Twitter or Facebook.
Instagram isn’t only for showing off your delicious dishes. It can also be used to welcome your newest staff members, publicize your events, let your customers take a look inside the kitchen (with photos of the chef hard at work), and so many more. You can even encourage your customers to share photos taken at your restaurant on Instagram or Twitter, and tag them with your restaurant’s name. Another great way to involve your followers is to curate a contest. You can ask them to photograph themselves at your restaurant and let other followers pick the winner(s).
Instagram is a great marketing tool, and you can utilize it in so many different ways. It’s available for iPhone, iPad, and Android users, and, best of all, it’s free! You can find more information at the official website
.by: Chiara Fucarino
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