Social media has forever changed the way people interact with each other as well as how they interact with businesses. So, it should come as no surprise that Instagram is at the forefront of how patrons engage with their favorite meals but more importantly, their favorite restaurants.
With the rise in popularity for Instagram users to post about their favorite foods, restaurants have looked to capture that attention in hopes of generating more foot traffic to their locations. However, simply creating an Instagram account or using social media sites will not guarantee higher yields for a restaurant. Time has to be spent creating meaningful ideas and promotional strategies that can be implemented to help the restaurant grow and retain new customers.
This can seem daunting to many restaurant owners who are new to the playing field with social media but with a few tips and some outside-of-the-box ideas, the table can be set for restaurants to grow vibrant foodie communities. With that said, let's go through 9 Instagram restaurant promotion ideas.
1. Using Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are a relatively new feature that allows for users to post quick 10 to 15 second clips or photos to their account for their followers to interact with. Restaurants can utilize this tool and it's features to not only interact with their followers, but also organically reach new users. Capitalizing on the use of hashtags and location tagging can help to boost the amount of eyes that could see your stories. Instagram Stories give restaurants the opportunity to create fun short little synopses of their unique entrées and dining environments that help build the restaurant's social media presence. Be creative, have fun and add some personal flare because these are interactive stories that are meant to be unique to your restaurant.
2. Encourage Engagement
Creating a connection with your audience is key to creating a community that is not only excited to visit your restaurant but excited to post and share their experience with their friends. Reaching out to users, communicating, and reposting customer's posts can go a long way in developing a healthy community that spreads your restaurant's mission by word of mouth. Customers want to feel important, so positive interaction is paramount for organic growth.
3. Authentic and Genuine Content
Formulating content throughout your social media presence should convey the same passion and excitement you have for your restaurant. It is key to remember that the majority of Instagram users have seen a plethora of accounts and can spot a disingenuous business a mile away. Posts that are realistic and stay true to what the restaurant is at it's core will pay dividends when users and customers congregate to a place they can relate to and feel they belong.
4. Special Dishes
Offering a special or very unique dish can help to distinguish the identity of your restaurant from others. Share these peculiar meals with your followers on Instagram through Stories and traditional posts, it may seem simple but the world will never know you have a unique entree if you never broadcast it. An aura can be built around a restaurant for being known for a specific dish or a specific style of food which can help to bolster a restaurant's presence on social media. Restaurants become popularized for their unique dishes thus leading to higher foot traffic from not only nearby patrons but also surrounding and far reaching areas.
5. Intriguing Environment
Every restaurant has a name stay but what makes your restaurant so special or different than the thousands around? Having a restaurant with unique dishes is great and all but incorporating an intriguing ambiance can not only attract new foot traffic but also lead to becoming a regional cult classic. Using Instagram posts and Instagram Stories to share your restaurant's decor and environment will help to create an intriguing ambiance. Patrons can come across your posts and thus spread word of mouth to help build the esteem of your restaurant. Restaurants can become cult classics by simply having a unique location and gravitating atmosphere. Many top restaurants are not one dimensional with just outstanding food, they have created an environment that is both welcoming and intriguing enough to keep patrons enticed to return again and again. Share your restaurant with the world!
6. Rewarding Loyal Customers
Circling back to customer engagement, rewarding frequent patrons on various levels can spark excitement and a sense of importance that other restaurants neglect. Enage with your patrons by reposting and shouting them out across your social media channels. Fans will feel important when time is taken to appreciate them. Creating loyalty programs on Instagram or spontaneously rewarding customers who have shared their dining experiences at your restaurant is another way to reach out to patrons who enjoy your dishes. When customers are made to feel important by businesses they love, this can spark positive conversations among your customers that can spread like wildfire building your restaurant's rapport.
7. Working with Influencers
Reaching out to foodie and restaurant influencers can lead to a massive improvement for your organic reach. Connecting with new influencers, who have both tried your restaurant and those who haven't, allows for an outside audience that may have never come across your restaurant to be exposed to a new unique cuisine. Influencers have major pull over their followers and can drastically impact the performance of business by simply giving their opinion.
8. Integrating Hashtags
Hashtags are the backbone for businesses trying to get off the ground and make their presence felt. Creating high quality posts and stories that incorporate both unique and high profile hashtags can help to bring new users to your post and later to your profile. Understanding the importance of incorporating hashtags alongside your posts to help create organic reach and engagement of new users is paramount in growing any restaurant's social media presence.
9. Sharing Outside Articles
Be aware of articles and posts about your restaurant from outside sources. Making connections with outside articles and sharing them with your patrons can help to legitimize your restaurant's foothold as well as contribute to organic reach and positive word of mouth. Blogs and article websites tend to have vocal cult followings who can help to boost a restaurant's social media presence through positive posts and interaction.
Need direction with your Instagram marketing or social media marketing? Contact us and we would be happy to discuss your goals and how we can bring more value to your restaurant (951) 479-5411.