Instagram was launched in the era of millennials and has undergone immense growth in the past ten years. Initially, people only used it only as a personal photo-sharing platform. However, 11-years since its launch, the scope of Instagram has dramatically grown and well extended into marketing. There are ample business accounts on Instagram as of now looking for more opportunities and collaborations.
As for restaurants, there is no better platform than Instagram for marketing, expanding their customer base, and boosting their restaurant sales. Available in 32 languages, Instagram offers a golden opportunity for restaurants of most countries to market themselves well. In addition, the availability of advanced metrics, insights, sponsorships, etc., makes Instagram worthy of taking advantage.
However, if you are a restaurant owner in the USA, you already have an edge. The USA currently has 170M Instagram users and stands second amongst the countries having the highest number of Instagram users globally. You might lag in the competition if you do not harness a social media platform having millions of users. This article will highlight how you can leverage Instagram to ace restaurant marketing in the USA.
5 Creative Ways Instagram Marketing Enhances Restaurant Sales
You can leverage Instagram in ample ways to expand your customer base and market your restaurant outlet. Let us look at some of the out-of-the-box tactics to adopt to do the same.
1. Approach Food Bloggers
One of the best ways to market your restaurant is through food bloggers. Food bloggers who have large followings connect the Instagram population with different restaurant outlets in the city. If you can get a food blogger to market your restaurant by posting alluring pictures of your food, you would get brand exposure and lure in more customers from the followers of the food blogger.
Collaborating with food bloggers is a two-way street. By doing this, you would be popularizing your outlet, while the influencers will benefit from the increase in the number of followers they will get by posting about your restaurant. Therefore, all you have to do is reach out to them via direct message (DMs) or their website links in their bios.
An ideal following to look for in a food blogger is 30k+. Things might get expensive for you from this point. Food bloggers might charge large amounts of money to publicize your restaurant among their followers amassed over the years through their art. However, the price is worth investing in as you will be getting proactive marketing for your eatery.
2. Link Effectively
Your followers must find it easy to direct themselves to your restaurant’s posts. Unfortunately, Instagram does not allow you to use links in your posts and stories. You can only use one link in your bio. However, this Instagram con makes the followers or the potential customers lazy. It is more likely that people will engage with your outlet if the links are right in front of them instead of having to navigate through your page to bio.
However, Instagram allows accounts with more than 10k followers to add their links just by swiping up the story to curb this problem. In addition, you can direct your followers or visitors to your website, menu, or the ‘order now’ button. With the “swipe up” feature, potential customers find it easier to reach your restaurant and end up ordering from the outlet. Accounts with less than 10k followers can still link their stories and direct the viewers to their Instagram profiles.
3. Promote Efficiently
Instagram lets random users (not your followers) discover you with another feature called “Promote”. Even though you can use it generally, you can also leverage it to promote special events of your restaurant, daily and happy hour menus, etc. For example, if there’s a new addition to your restaurant menu, you can use this feature to create a buzz amongst the population. The five steps involved in promoting your post or story are as follows:
- Click on the “Promote” option on Instagram
- Set your specific goal from the three options: more profile visits more website visits, and more messages
- Select your target audience by analyzing what demographic you aim to reach
- Next, you select the duration during which you need your restaurant ad to be online. The budget varies as per the duration of the campaign
- The last step of promoting your post or story is payment
Complete all these steps, and voila! Your post will be visible under the “sponsored” section, randomly popping up in your target audience’s stories and feed. You can run the campaign as per your budget and continue doing so if it gets you positive results.
4. Run Contests
Running contests is an engaging way to connect with your followers. The feeling of competitiveness triggered in your followers drives them to engage more and more in your account. In addition, attractive stickers, GIFs, and quotes can draw your followers’ attention in the stories and posts.
This is one of the most effective ways to expand your reach and build a customer base. By offering your followers appropriate prize awards, you can compel your customers to like your posts, share your account and tag more people in the comment section, thereby widening your reach.
5. Use The Right Hashtags
Being discovered on social media is extremely critical for any restaurant. After being on Instagram for so many years, you certainly know how hashtags work — they help you get discovered. Hashtags on Instagram use search algorithms to help followers find posts related to the keyword they are looking for.
However, always ensure that you don’t overuse hashtags. The aim is not to maximize them, but to optimize them. Even though Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags in your posts, the recommended number of hashtags is around 11 to boost engagement.
Figure out the popular hashtags used by renowned brands to get you more traffic and start using them to your advantage. You need to analyze which hashtags work best for your restaurant instead of using the most generic ones. You can also look up the most popular restaurant hashtags on the internet and directly copy them into your post.
Now that you know what difference Instagram marketing can make to your business, do not wait a single moment to take your restaurant online. Instead, implement these ideas in your marketing strategies to drive more customers to your outlet.