How to maximize your restaurant's Instagram profile

Posted on December 7th, 2017
How to connect to digital-driven diners?

With more than 800 million users, 70% of which connect at least once a day, Instagram is at the top of the marketing pyramid. According to statistics presented by X-Cart, 72% of consumers base their purchase decisions off of what they see online, with Instagram being the strongest influence over their purchases. So, how can your restaurant benefit from this incredible platform?

Create an Instagram business profile

If you still don’t have an Instagram profile, don’t wait any longer! A marketing study conducted by Emerald Insights revealed that taking photos of your food creates a delay in consumption that increases pleasure once the time to eat arises. This no doubt explains foodies’ enthusiasm for the social platform, which shines a spotlight on mouth-watering photos of food.

By having your own Instagram business profile, you’ll gain access to promotional tools and important statistics that will help you maximize your presence. Here are the steps to create or convert your profile .

Write a concise and compelling bio

You have to sell yourself in 150 words or less. Check out the competition and respond to these 3 key questions:

1. Who are you?

2. What do you do?

3. How do you stand out from the competition?

Sprinkle this description with fun emojis and don’t forget to add the link to your official website, as this is the only place where you can share links on Instagram. Do try this URL shortener, which also allows you to gather interesting statistics on your subscribers’ behaviour.

Choose your signature visual style

Consumers between the ages of 18 to 35 spend a total of 40 hours a year looking at photos of food. If the average attention span is around 8 seconds, we can estimate that they see approximately 18,000 food-related images. It goes without saying that you absolutely must distinguish yourself from the crowd. But how?

Start by defining your signature visual style! According Contently, 60% of all brands always use the same filter for their photos. This is a good start, but you can do more, like choosing to always take your photos in the morning in front of a window in your restaurant or to include a human touch. Whatever your strategy, opt for elements that echo your brand.

Furthermore, it is estimated that 79% of traffic for 2018 will come from video content. It will be to your advantage to benefit from the wave by regularly creating Insta Stories that show off your dish of the week, for example.

Use the right hashtags

With more than 247 million photos under the hashtag #food, 141 million under #foodporn and 75 million under #foodie, it is a good idea for your restaurant to be among these popular categories. Using local hashtags or creating a unique one for your restaurant can considerably increase your chances of being found. Discover more about hashtags by clicking here.

Be engaged

If you think managing a social media account can be done easily between orders, think again. Being truly present makes all the difference. Don’t try to sell, show more than just food, think carefully about the intention of each post and encourage discussion. Instagram users expect an authentic and original approach. Seize this opportunity to make your restaurant’s personality shine while learning more about your audience in order to better adapt your offer to their needs.

Here are a few examples to inspire you:

Increase your reach

Thanks to your Instagram business profile, you’ll be able to increase the reach of your posts. What does this mean? The reach is the number of users that you can connect with. By default, you can connect with users who follow you, but if you want to extend beyond this pool and gain new customers, you can pay to boost your posts. If you’re searching for clients similar to those that you already have, you can create a lookalike audience. If your goal is to reach a new type of customer, you can build your own target audience from scratch. Here’s how.

Collaborate with your free ambassadors

Paying influencers is now common practice in social media marketing. They can be divided into different groups depending on how many followers they have (their reach) and how credible they are. For example, Chef Jamie Oliver has 6.1 million followers, Chuck Hughes has 80,400 and Martin Juneau has 28,900. It’s easy to be charmed by numbers, but you always need to ask yourself who would best be able to engage your target audience.

Moreover, new data shows that when a purchase decision is being made, advocates have 24% more influence over your customers than celebrities. What’s an advocate? They are an existing client, employee or partner who has a direct experience with your restaurant and loves it! Since they are not paid to speak highly of your business, their testimonial is more credible. So, think carefully about ways in which you can benefit from these free but highly valuable ambassadors. How can you create occasions where they naturally feel like sharing their positive experience on social media?

Of course, you can’t implement all these strategies overnight, but we hope that this overview of best practices allows you to build a strategy that propels your restaurant to the top of the pack, all while benefitting from major assets of this unique social platform.

Marketing tips to read or re-read:
How to connect to digital-driven diners
Restaurant email marketing: what are the keys to success?
Restaurant email list: 5 tips to grow your customer database

To learn more about YP Dine’s products and services like online reservations and ordering, gift-cards and e-tickets, changing opening hours and menus, contact us!