How to leverage Instagram to market your restaurant

We attended a webinar earlier this week on social media marketing and how using certain platforms in certain ways can boost your popularity. We thought some of the advice was pretty good and rather than keep it to ourselves, we thought we would share it with other restaurateurs.

With that in mind, here are some tips on leveraging Instagram to market your restaurant.

Use geotags to keep it local

Instagram has millions of users across the world and not all of them will be able to visit your restaurant. Using geotags within posts helps you keep it local and appeal to those within reach of your location.

While some posts should be left untagged for universal appeal, a good portion of them should be geotagged to keep it local.

Use local business profiles

Instagram introduced local business profiles a couple of years ago in order to attract more businesses to the platform. It’s a useful addition to your other business profiles like Google My Business and others and provides scope for you to get more exposure on social.

If it’s available in your area, use this extra tool to add to your online presence and build on your posting so far.

Leverage Instagram Stories

Businesses were very slow to adopt Instagram Stories but they are a useful addition to normal posting. Use them to showcase events and anything where a time-limited story would fit.

Think special occasions, parties you hosted, cultural nights, seasonal special events and anything else you can think of.

Use Instagram influencers to help

If you have local foodies or Instagram influencers in your area, use them to help you promote your business. Reach out to them, offer a free meal in return for a pic and a mention or do something more involved.

Either way, you can use them to reach out to potentially thousands or millions of people with very little work.

Learn to love hashtags

Unless you’re under 25, you’re likely confused by hashtags and how to use them. I know I was until I learned more about them.

Hashtags are an essential element of social media and something ever restaurateur needs to make friends with. This guide might help.

Use live video

Adding video to Instagram is a powerful communication medium. Use it to share stories and ideas, show how signature dishes are made, how to create a cocktail, how to slice an onion or whatever skills your team has that would look good on video.

Tell stories, showcase skills, show off your kitchen, show where your local ingredients come from, how the farm that produces your meat, the artisan that makes your cheese or the vineyard that produces your local wine.

The potential is genuinely limitless!

Polls and contests

Instagram isn’t the only social network that holds polls, quizzes and contests but it is one of the most effective. Engage your followers with interesting questions and dilemmas, ask them to choose the name for a new dish or involve them in business decisions.

Contests are also immensely powerful for marketing and something every business should use more often.

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