Dining isn’t all about food anymore - it’s about the perfect photograph. If you live in any well-traveled city, you’ve probably witnessed people striking poses outside the trendiest of restaurants, bars, and cafes. All of those people don’t carry the status of an “Influencer,” but to these businesses, any customer with an iPhone and an Instagram habit are simply free advertising. In fact, some brands abandon traditional web or television advertising altogether to invest in free advertising driven by Instagram. Want to catch up the rest? Here are 4 proven hacks to fuel your restaurant into a Instagram powerhouse:
This is an obvious hack, but if you can wine and dine a food blogger into posting about your restaurant, you’ll gain the benefit of huge brand exposure with even just a single post. Research food bloggers in your area and offer them a comped meal in exchange for posting. Most are easily reachable by DM or email and you know a hungry blogger has to eat somewhere!
#Hashtags are friends, not foes. The single best thing you can do to drive organic impressions and reach a new audience is by adding hashtags to your post. Instagram posts with even just ONE hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than those without, so take time to research tags relevant to your audience and add those hashtags (you can have up to 24 hashtags!) as a comment on your post to start driving some serious visibility.
Generations living on social media know how to take a great iPhone picture, it’s practically in their nature. So instead of paying a food photographer for all of your content, consider browsing the “tagged pictures” in your profile or check the geolocation for content customers have created at your restaurant. Those photos can be yours! Just make sure to ask a user for permission to post and give them credit after you post to your page.
Don’t Forget the Details
According to a study by Maru/Matchbox, 69% percent of millennials take a photo or video of their food before eating. The current trend of Instagrammable plates and spaces directs brands to create a collective aesthetic and pay more attention to detail. So consider building your restaurants’ identity from the perspective of social-media oriented design, knowing that Instagram will be the most valuable platform for these details to come to life.
The popularity of Instagram and the rise of an influencer economy drives brands to form experiences that go beyond food - experiences fueled by sight, not just taste. As Instagram takes over as the new word-of-mouth marketing, lean in to this new territory and watch it pay off!