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Open the Instagram app and you’re almost certain to see posts from local restaurants in your feed. That’s because the platform is based on photo and video posts — the perfect formats to show off delicious dishes and gorgeous interiors.
If you have a restaurant business, Instagram should be a cornerstone of your social media marketing strategy. However, it’s not enough to simply have an Instagram account. Restaurant Instagram marketing is both an art and a science, and to gain traction and reach a broad audience, you must post high-quality content on a regular basis. With a well-defined Instagram marketing strategy, you can use your social media profile to reach potential customers, boost online ordering, and increase foot traffic.
Why Instagram marketing is important
If you’re a restaurant owner, Instagram is one of the most valuable places to invest your social media marketing budget. After all, 37% of all customers and 46% of millennials use social media to find information about restaurants. Instagram users are particularly active, spending an average of 33 minutes on the app every day. If you have a thriving Instagram account and a thoughtful posting strategy, it’s a breeze for existing and new customers to find your content.
The success of restaurant Instagram marketing content lies in the power of suggestion. Beautiful food photographs and compelling videos whet users’ appetites and instill an immediate craving. If you catch customers at the right time, a single Instagram post can inspire them to place an online order, come in for a meal, or follow your social media account.
With the right Instagram marketing strategy, you can:
- Build brand awareness for your restaurant
- Gain new social media followers
- Increase online ordering
- Boost website traffic
Instagram marketing tips your restaurant should follow
As you add Instagram to your restaurant’s social media marketing strategy, keep these tips in mind:
- Fill out your Instagram bio. Make sure to complete all fields and include a link to your website or online ordering site. When customers and food bloggers visit your profile, they should have a clear way to engage further with your business.
- Post regularly. The Instagram platform tends to reward users who post frequently; customers also like to see updated content. Aim to post at least a few times per week, and add to your Instagram story on a daily basis to keep followers engaged. You can even use Grubhub’s social media templates and social marketing assets to help your posts stand out. Use a mix of Instagram reels and photos to see what type of content customers respond to — check Instagram insights to gauge the performance of each post and story.
- Turn current customers into Instagram followers. Place small signs on tables to encourage your in-house customers to follow your Instagram account. You can also add a call to action and a link to your Instagram profile in your marketing emails and delivery order confirmations.
- Offer special perks to followers. On occasion, offer special discounts or deals just for your Instagram followers. When people see that you post promotional content to your Instagram account, they’re more likely to follow you to stay in the loop.
- Engage with your social media followers. Respond to comments, questions, and direct messages quickly to show customers you’re active on Instagram. Since comments are visible to everyone, this strategy is a great way to reduce administrative burden — if other users have the same question, they’ll be able to see the answer in the comments. While you’re at it, pay attention to your most engaged followers; replying to their comments or following their accounts can build a stronger relationship.
- Use Instagram hashtags. Hashtags help people find your content on Instagram. Stay on top of the latest trends to capitalize on increased traffic, and use relevant hashtags like #TacoTuesday or #NationalPretzelDay to expand your reach. Since restaurant marketing is location-specific, you can also use local hashtags such as #Chicagorestaurants or #Miamieats to find customers in your area.
- Partner with influencers and food bloggers. Find local food bloggers and Instagram influencers and engage with them on social media. If you have room in your restaurant marketing budget, you can hire them to dine at your restaurant and review the food in a blog post, Instagram post, or Instagram story. Influencer marketing is an effective way to get in front of popular users’ followers and readers.
- Explore paid advertising. Enhance your posting strategy with Instagram ads. The platform enables you to set a budget and a custom audience, ensuring your posts are shown to people who are most likely to love your food. Make sure to add a link to your Instagram profile, Facebook page, or online ordering website to drive orders and traffic.
- Go live on Instagram. Start an Instagram live when your followers are most active to engage with it in real time. Use the session to introduce a new dish, host a contest, promote a special event, or show off your kitchen staff. Consider saving the live video as an Instagram reel so people can watch it in the future.
- Fill out story highlights. Instagram stories disappear after 24 hours, so they’re perfect for highlighting daily specials or limited-time deals. If you’re posting content that has value beyond that period, save the stories into highlights. They’ll appear at the top of your profile, so followers can access them at any time. This is a good way to showcase FAQs, recipes, or behind-the-scenes content.
Get restaurant marketing support from Grubhub
With its eye-catching content style, Instagram is one of the most effective social media channels for your restaurant. Post regularly and follow our restaurant Instagram marketing tips and you can build a large, engaged following that boosts your bottom line.Want more marketing resources for your restaurant? Stay on top of advertising, promotions, and delivery with Grubhub for Restaurants. We offer up-to-date tips and tricks to help you maximize your budget and reach more customers. To receive the latest information, sign up for restaurant insights today.