My previous post provided tips on how to grow restaurant business using Facebook as a Social Media platform. In this post, I will inform how the already established or aspiring restaurant owners can use another highly popular application, INSTAGRAM to up their game in the market. Without wasting time in circumlocution, going round and round about the importance of Social Media that I already stated in the previous post, I will directly cut to the chase and provide the important tips one can follow for the growth of one’s restaurant, bar and/or café using Instagram.
Instagram is an Internet application where the pictures and videos speak louder than words. It is a place where anything from an artistic image like that of a supermodel posing on a beautiful destination to a highly inauthentic meme can go viral within a few minutes. People love to explore and consume different kind of media on this platform. Youth basically is quite active on Instagram and is always on a look-out for something interesting. It is due to these reasons that Instagram provides a lot of scope for the growth and development of one’s restaurant business.
Read on the basic tips which will make your restaurant famous among users on Instagram:
- A thing of common sense – make an account on Instagram. Put in an attractive picture suggesting the name of your restaurant, and write an interesting bio. Do not forget to mention the location of your restaurant in your profile.
- Start posting pictures providing the exteriors as well as the interiors of your restaurant. Make sure that they look authentic to the core. Hire a professional photographer if necessary for doing so. Good photographs of the interiors always make an impression on the customers. Simultaneously, post the attractive pictures of the various dishes using interesting captions informing their names.
- Do not shy away from using filtersin all your photographs. The basic idea is to make your profile aesthetic to the customers.
Note: Keep the feel of all the pictures similar. Feel here means that if you aim at posting ‘beautiful and dreamy’ pictures, keep your feed full of them, but if you aim at posting ‘aesthetically raw’, then keep your feed full of them alone. Do not mix raw and beauty together as it spoils the look of the profile for the viewers. If you want to, you can also use 3×3 grid to your advantage.
- Use hashtags, as per new algorithm, and do not use more than 5 to 6 hashtags. Try to keep up with the trends on Social Media and use the popular ones like #FoodPorn as it will increase the views on your feed. Use different hashtags for different food items. Do not be redundant in your expressions; creativity is quite appreciated on Social Media.
- Here is the main trick to attract more and more crowd:Go to the Search bar and then select Location. On Location, choose Nearby Me, or location where your restaurant is based. Check the top posts there. The people you see there are the most popular on Instagram in that particular area. DM them, invite them into your restaurant and offer them free food. Easily, 4 out of 10 people will come to your place. Ask them to post about your restaurant on their Insta timeline. That’s it! This will create a good ‘word of mouth’ in the area. Do it often!
- I repeat,always turn on the location on your Instagram profile. Write your contact details as well in the bio. Keep your account open. Do not protect your account. Hiding on Social Media won’t take you anywhere!
- As I suggested in the previous post, hack into the conversations of other people. Leave comments on the posts of people whose location shows that they are situated near your location; within 20-30kms to your restaurant. Just appreciate their DP or any other picture that they upload. Be generous and positive in your comments. Take care to not sound desperate or creepy. Maintain a professional attitude all the time.
- Insta Stories: Post at least 5 stories every day. It is necessary for discoverability and also updates followers on what is happening on an hour to hour basis in your restaurant. Basically, stories should be the pre form of your Insta posts. Put the videos showing preparation of various dishes and/or parties, and boomerangs of customers or employees having fun in your restaurant. Make this section as fun as you can. Do not post sad or depressed stories. DO NOT!
- ALWAYS use location in Insta Stories. Hashtags too. Make yourself as reachable as possible.
- Give instant replies. Viewers love that! You have to keep checking your account and make sure that you reply everybody within minutes. Hire somebody solely to handle your Instagram account if you are too busy to reply each and every individual. But do not delay! You have to treat your potential customers as God! You heard it right!
- Do not take bad and offensive comments to heart! Never reply to the criticism on your posts with harshness! You must maintain your cool and learn to take criticism rather sportingly. If you feel that you can correct the taste of an individual criticizing your restaurant on a certain thing, DM him/her and sought out the issue politely, maintaining a professional code of conduct. But if someone crosses the line and misbehaves solely to take out some personal vendetta against you, simply block and report abuse. Simple!
- Maintain humour and wit! Use it in the captions of your posts. Click the pics in funny angles; upload funny videos of the staff doing various tricks. You can also use interesting memes to garner attention of the viewers.
- Invite random peoplefrom your city to your café by personally messaging them. Offer them free food or drinks. There are high chances that they will post pictures or stories of your cafe in their account. This will increase viewership.
- Organize conteststhat give out couple vouchers providing free drinks from time to time, say once in a month. Ask the winners to post about your restaurants on their timeline. Again, this will increase viewership of your restaurant of Instagram.
- Lure your customers to post about your restaurant on their timeline in exchange for 5% discount in their total bill. Customers love discounts! Consider this as an investment in the future growth of your business.
- Develop a theme or pattern for your Insta Stories. For instance, keep Mondays for posting about the various ingredients, Tuesdays for the different types of containers, Wednesdays for the lights, Thursdays for cooking utensils, and so on. Change the theme every fortnight to break monotony.
That is it. These are a few easy tips that guarantee success of your restaurant business through Instagram. Leave your comments for any queries. Stay positive and healthy!