Running a restaurant can be a rewarding venture. You’re serving delicious food to your customers and giving them a comfortable space to sit and relax. Still, it can be a risk. Within the first three years of operation, 59 percent of restaurants and other hospitality businesses fail. Due to this, you should use social media marketing tools like Instagram to your advantage to set your restaurant apart from competitors.
Are you unsure of how to use social media to promote your restaurant? Start with Instagram. This platform gives restaurants the ability to post photos of their cuisine, exude their branding and connect with customers. Many prospective customers check out restaurants’ Instagram profiles prior to dining at an establishment so that they can get a feel for what to expect. This gives you the opportunity to make a great first impression! Keep reading this post to find out how you can use Instagram to market your restaurant and keep hungry customers coming back for more!
1. Share photos of menu items
When you start using Instagram, share photos of the dishes that you serve at your restaurant. Make sure that your photos are clear, colorful and appetizing. If you’re in need of some inspiration, check out food-themed Instagram accounts, and take note of the angles and editing that they use. Post consistently, because if you only post on rare occasion, you won’t gain followers.
2. Advertise restaurant specials
Want to gain new patrons? Share the specials! If you have a new inventive dish or have a tempting happy hour deal, you should promote it on Instagram. Make sure to use related hashtags and a geotag, so that you can attract interested customers in your area.
3. Hold a contest
Another way to gain exposure for your restaurant is to hold a contest. The rules could be that patrons must dine at your restaurant and share a photo of their meal, or follow your account on Instagram and tag other users. Then, the winner could receive a free meal or other related prizes. These contests can help you publicise your restaurant, and develop a relationship with patrons.
4. Show off your restaurant ambiance
In addition, to posting pictures of your cuisine, you should also take Instagram photos of your restaurant’s interior. Potential patrons who are considering dining at your restaurant might want to see the ambiance prior to making a reservation.
5. Interact with customers
As we mentioned in the section about contests, you should pursue opportunities on Instagram that create a relationship with your customers. In addition to posting photos, don’t forget to respond to comments and like photos that customers post of your restaurant and menu items. If customers feel like you appreciate their business, they’ll be more likely to frequent your restaurant in the future!
6. Post an Instagram story
One of the latest updates on the Instagram platform is the introduction of temporary stories. Posting a story is a fun, creative way to share additional photos and videos of your restaurant. When crafting these stories, make sure to use Geotags so that your story shows up in local stories. Again, this is another opportunity to reach new patrons!
7. Advertise your Instagram handle
Using your Instagram to maintain engagement with customers is important. That’s why you should advertise your Instagram handle on your website and on printed materials at your restaurant. The more that you can build your account, the more it will benefit your restaurant and its sales.
If you want to earn loyal customers at your restaurant, use Instagram to make it happen! This interactive platform will likely help you increase sales and build your restaurant’s brand. Hopefully, once you try the seven tips we suggested, you’ll be able to grow your restaurant’s sales in no time. For more information on trends for marketing in the hospitality industry, check out our blog on restaurant marketing in 2017!
This was a guest post by Katie Alteri, the content marketing coordinator at Fora Financial, a company that provides working capital solutions to small businesses across the U.S.
Fora Financial can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.