100 million monthly active users. 40 million photos per day. 8,500 likes per second. 1,000 comments per second.
Instagram – a social networking photo-sharing site – boasts big numbers, so it’s no wonder that Instagram is quickly becoming a great tool for restaurants to reach their customers. Not only that, but it’s a huge market for food. Hashtags like #food, #foodart, and #foodporn are some of the more popular – because people love to share a beautiful plate of food!
Instagram is great place to show off your food, your culture and attract potential customers. So once you try it and realize how amazing the app is (and trust me, you’ll become addicted), here are some tips for the best ways to use Instagram for restaurants:
1. Engage. Engage. Engage. Engage.
We say this time and time again, but engaging with your followers is so important! Once you engage with a customer, they feel connected to you, and that connectivity can lead to loyalty. And nothing is better for your bottom line than a loyal customer. So how do you do that within Instagram? It’s not just responding to your comments on your own photos, it’s about following your most loyal commenters and likers, and actually commenting on and liking THEIR photos. Show them you have a genuine interest in them and their interests, and they will become more engaged with your feeds
2. Make yourself searchable.
No one will know you exist unless you make yourself searchable out there on the big old app world of Instagram. Tag your posts with hashtags (but don’t overdo it – one or two is fine), and be sure to make them relevant and not too quirky because you want users to actually find you.
3. Integrate Instagram with your other social media feeds.
Link up all your accounts with your Instagram account! Even if a user isn’t following you on Instagram, they might be following you on Facebook or Twitter. So share that photo everywhere and it will get more face time with more people.
4. Don’t limit yourself to just food shots!
Like I’ve said before, this is all about getting to know the personality behind your restaurant or brand so tell a story. That means not limiting the shots you take to just food you are serving in the restaurant. Photos of the chefs, interior/exterior shots, contests, or general work culture are all fair game.
Now you know the best ways to use Instagram for restaurants. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll have followers in no time!