How Instagram for Restaurants Can Boost Sales
In 2021, having a website for your business isn’t enough. The way people utilize the internet has changed, with more and more folks getting their information from social media. Because of this, many businesses are supplementing their website with a social media presence. While some may think social media profiles are for your personal life, many social media apps have established business profile options for business owners. One such social media app is Instagram. Its photo-centric nature is a match made in heaven for restaurateurs looking to share mouth-watering images of their cuisine to hungry customers. In this way, Instagram for restaurants can work to boost profitability in several ways. Keep reading to find out how.
Save on Marketing & Advertising Costs
Businesses looking to market and advertise themselves online often turn to third-party agencies to help them with their efforts. These services aren’t cheap and can quickly cost your business an arm and a leg. One of the best things about Instagram is that it doesn’t cost a penny. Restaurant owners can create a business account for free and start marketing themselves on the spot.
What’s more, business profiles have access to Instagram’s analytics, allowing them to gain insight into audience behavior and content performance. This low-cost option makes testing new marketing methods risk-free so that hard-earned money can be put towards other initiatives. The only feature that businesses will have to pay for are optional promotions, which restaurant owners can utilize for a low cost if they wish.
Become More Discoverable
Not only is Instagram for restaurants free, but it also makes it incredibly easy for users to discover accounts. It does this by suggesting content users are likely to interact with on the “explore” page and suggesting Instagram galleries that may be similar to ones they already follow. This functionality could land your business profile in front of thousands of users, if not more. If they check out your profile and are interested, they’ll give you a follow.
Another easy way to be discovered on Instagram is through geotags and hashtags. Geotags are locations added to your photo, showing where the photo is taken or even where your business is located. By geotagging your content, you’ll become more visible to users who search for that specific location. This is especially effective to be discovered by tourists, who are likely to search geotags of an area to find places to eat.
Hashtags work similarly except you can use up to 30 of them to specify a location or describe your photo. This will make your content more discoverable by those who search or follow the hashtags you use.
Engage with Customers
Interacting with your customers can be a challenge on your website, even through a chatbot. With a social media app like Instagram, you can respond to questions or resolve complaints quickly, either in the comments section or in your direct messages.
Along with your photos, you can create captions that encourage customer engagement, such as fill-in-the-blank captions, questions, and more. You can even hold giveaways or photo challenges, offering discounts or gifts and featuring customer photos from your restaurant. By communicating with your customers through Instagram, you can build and strengthen relationships and gain customer loyalty. Others will see this and be more likely to do business with you.
Partner with Influencers
There are those on Instagram that everyone follows. Whether they’re a celebrity, food blogger, etc., these users usually have a large following. These people are considered “influencers,” as their opinions and thoughts heavily influence their followers. Influencers often share things they like, including their new favorite restaurants, foods, recipes, and more. Partnering with these influencers is a great way to create new customers and boost sales.
Some influencers with a larger following may collaborate with your restaurant with a charge per post or story, while those with a smaller following may give your restaurant a shout-out in exchange for a meal on-the-house. When an influencer shares a photo of them at your restaurant, you can bet many of their followers will check it out, bringing more traffic to your business.
Build Your Brand
For smaller business owners who don’t have a huge budget to spend on marketing and building their brand, Instagram for restaurants is the perfect tool. Businesses can customize their Instagram feed to evoke a certain aesthetic to attract customers. Like it or not, customers respond well to attractive Instagram feeds, and a polished, aesthetically pleasing one is more likely to perform better than a disorganized, unattractive one.
Restaurateurs can customize their Instagram to reflect their brand in a few ways. If your business has a tagline, include it in your bio. Create customized story highlight covers that can be made with free apps like Canva. Use them to display your brand colors or even include small designs. Some restaurants have even created a memorable, Instagrammable brand symbol, such as a mascot, that differentiates them from their competition.
With the features that Instagram offers, restaurants can quickly boost sales without breaking the bank on marketing and advertising costs. Once they’ve mastered Instagram, they can take it a step further and cross over to other platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok.
Every day, more and more businesses are leveraging the power of Instagram and benefitting from it—don’t let your competitors pass you up this year. Boost your business with Instagram today.