Using social media for restaurant marketing is changing. Facebook isn’t offering the organic reach it used to, and photo sharing is overtaking status sharing. It’s time to take a look at your restaurant’s Instagram account and give it a boost.
It’s a great medium to showcase your restaurant food, but there is nothing “special” about posts about your specials day in and day out. Keep your content fresh and interesting while being different, fun and engaging to get the most traction on this social channel.
Here are three ways to recharge Instagram for restaurant marketing:
1. Be Current
Get creative around current events – in every sense of the word. The joy of Instagram is the “insta” part – it’s an easy way to very quickly be a part of what is going on right now, be it in your restaurant or in the news. Did a celebrity (local or otherwise) just walk in the door? Did the chef just invent a new dessert available only that night? Did America just advance in the World Cup? You can respond to current events by keeping your followers up to date and capitalizing on the ability to quickly post really relevant photos or videos. Pictures of last night’s fish fry aren’t nearly as interesting as videos and pictures of your cooking demo going on right now.
For example, program restaurant and bar, Rockwell Table and Stage, in LA, posts 15 second videos of the fun happening right now:
In this example, Rewards Network was posting during a tv show featuring Chef Richard Blais of The Spence as it was happening:
2. Stop! (Motion)
Instagram introduced 15 second videos to feeds. As pictured above, these videos can be used as one more interesting way to show what is happening right now, or to give more personality to your restaurant, staff or food. They can also be used in a more playful manner. With the ability to use stop motion, restaurants can animate to create, or even show a full cooking demo in a time lapsed manner. Beware, a 15-second stop motion video can take hours to create if you don’t plan carefully. Keys to success are using a tripod (or at least markers and a steady hand) and having a game plan in advance and practicing it.
You can post automatically as you create it, but keep in mind it automatically will record and use the sound, too. In this example, we took a playful approach to National Bacon Lovers’ Day (because bacon makes everybody happy):
Another approach is to create the stop motion in an app other than Instagram (there are plenty out there, just search your app store and try a few out) so it doesn’t post automatically, and download it into a movie software such as iMovie to add your own musical background, words, logos, etc, as we did in this Cinco de Mayo video:
3. Interact with Followers
As with any other channel being used for social media for restaurant marketing, the key to success is to be social. Don’t just expect your customers to follow you and interact with you – follow them and interact with them, too. You can’t follow every single customer, but if someone is active with your account, check out theirs and if it’s relevant, follow them back. In any case, like or comment on their relevant posts, and “regram” or re-post any of their photos of your restaurant.
There are a lot of apps to help you re-post your followers’ posts while giving them credit. We like the Repost for Instagram App, but there are a lot of options that are easy to use right from your phone that integrate in with Instagram and credit the original publisher, as well as give you options to add or change descriptions, filters, hashtags, etc.
In this example, Rewards Network re-posted a photo that was originally posted by program restaurant Melt Bar and Grilled. It was posted on the Rewards Network page with our description, but retained Melt Bar and Grilled’s profile picture and account name as the originator with the “repost” icon.
Keep your restaurant Instagram account up to date, relevant, exciting and engaging. It’s an important medium and a great way to showcase your brand in a more personal way.
Contact Rewards Network today for more ways to connect with customers.