Today, foodies are everywhere — especially on Instagram. From picking the right filter to coming up with the perfect caption, they have this particular social media channel down to a science.
And they know an Instagram-worthy dish when they see one.
In fact, sharing photos of food on social media actually enhances a customer’s overall dining experience, according to the Journal of Consumer Marketing. While Yelp or OpenTable typically serve as go-tos for getting the scoop on restaurants, the success of your restaurant’s marketing tactics may now also hinge on Instagram.
Restaurants are changing everything from their lighting to the color of their plates to accommodate the new wave of foodies on Instagram. But the value of gaining traction with social media aficionados, otherwise known as “Instagram Influencers,” doesn’t end in the dining room. The photos can also be repurposed for your delivery and takeout menus, website or even within a delivery platform you work with.
Foodies often have thousands of followers, and if their posts are reposted by aggregate accounts it can give your food even more exposure. This means one of your mouthwatering dishes could end up on an Instagram account that reaches millions. It’s a de facto marketing opportunity you may not want to miss.
Wondering how to pursue that type of Instagram fame? The three tips outlined below can help you achieve just that.
Do your research. The first step is to decide where you want to be featured. Research food bloggers or influencers who are relevant to your business — if you specialize in Asian cuisine, search for accounts with that focus. These accounts are sometimes classified by type of food or location, like @eatseattle or @burgerweekly.
Get your restaurant’s Instagram up to par. If you expect people to share appetizing photos of your food, you should post some examples on your restaurant’s account as well. It’s the first thing users will click on if you’re featured on a foodstagram, so make a good impression.
Try creating a hashtag with the name of your restaurant and tag your photos with it. Encourage your customers to also use the hashtag and to check in to your establishment when they post a picture of their meal. It’s also helpful to make sure all posts are geotagged to the location of your restaurant. This will allow you to monitor posts and interact with people who are interested in what you bring to the table.
Engage with food ‘grammers. While you could offer a foodie a meal on the house in exchange for a flattering photo of one of your dishes, you may also come across more organic opportunities by standing out from the pack online. Follow different foodie accounts, and then follow their followers. Engage with other restaurateurs and leave encouraging comments when appropriate. If your food looks good, you’ll likely start getting tagged in more posts.
Instagram has made leaps in harnessing restaurants’ abilities to make the most out of social. What will you do to help your restaurant stand out online?