People are visually centered – social networking platforms, like Instagram, allow people to share photos of family, friends, events and outings, and is ideal for restaurant settings. It is currently the most used photo-sharing application, and has become a great channel for restaurants and bars to not only illustrate food items, but the restaurant as a whole.
In addition to capturing the ambience of your restaurant, Instagram can also be great for promotions. Many brands are using the photo-sharing network to market campaigns, which encourage customers to take Instagram photos at their restaurants and share them on Facebook and Twitter. Last year, Dunkin’ Donuts used Instagram to promote its “UpgraDDe Your Sandwich” contest. Users were asked to take Instagram or Twitter pictures of homemade lunches that were in dire need of upgrading, with the hashtag “#upgraDDe”. Those with the most dismal lunches won Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards.
Here are a few tips if you’re an Instagram newbie:
- Tell a Story: Use photos to tell your restaurant’s story. Create a complete picture by including pictures of both guests and staff.
- Reveal: Uncover the behind-the-scenes action. Show your chefs cooking, food preparation or event preparation.
- Engage & Listen: The first rule of social media is to be engaging. Interact and listen to your followers – look and comment on their photos. You want your fans to know that you’re sincerely interested in them.
- Hashtags: Hashtags make your posts searchable, which is key. Just be sure that your hashtags are relevant to your posts.
- Filters: Instagram’s original premise was applying funky filters to photographs to give them a vintage feel, so be sure to play with the filters. It will bring diversity to the visual appeal of your posts, which is a good thing.
- Liking & Tagging: Just like on Facebook and Twitter, you can “Like” and tag your posts on Instagram. If your followers post photos from your restaurant, encourage them to tag the photo. Engage with your followers by liking their posts, which will help develop a relationship with your followers.
- Contests & Promotions: Use Instagram to your benefit by creating promotional contests for your followers. Through contests, followers connect with your brand on a more regular basis.
- Authenticity: Always employ content that is original and authentic – something that will show your followers that your brand is well rounded and full of life.
Instagram is vastly different from other social media platforms, and allows for a lot more creativity. Don’t be afraid to have fun with it!