Why Every Restaurant Should Be Using Instagram

Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Whether it's photos of friends in cafe chairs or of the newest dinner offering on the menu, images can be a powerful tool in the restaurant marketing world. Due to the huge built-in audience, Facebook is where most restaurateurs throw these images up in the hopes that they'll get noticed. Many also use Twitter, but somewhere in the shuffle, some culinary entrepreneurs don't even consider utilizing Instagram. Here's a few reasons that's a mistake.

Restaurant Instagrams Get More Engagement
Images make for some of the most engaging posts on any social media outlet. Some research, however, suggests that images posted on Instagram get more engagement than on Facebook or Twitter. This shouldn't be that surprising considering Instagram is focused on visual imagery such as photos and videos. While using Instagram alone might not fill up the restaurant booths, it can certainly pick up the slack when it comes to image posting.

Instagram Doesn't Stand Alone
One of the biggest headaches restaurateurs face with social media is having to post on so many platforms. After all, who wants to go through five different sites while simultaneously worrying about getting cafe chairs filled? Luckily, Facebook developed Instagram, so this means it's possible to post to both accounts at the same time. Even more impressive, though, is the fact that Instagram will work with Tumblr, Flickr and Twitter. This makes it one of the simplest methods out there for cross-posting.

Restaurant Patrons Become Instagram Marketers
From sitting at the bar tables on Saturday night to trying out a new meal for the first time, people love taking photos at restaurants. Unless it's a special occasion, though, most individuals will only upload a single image on Facebook. This isn't true of Instagram, and this can work to a restaurant's advantage.

Some eateries, for example, have created their own hashtags and asked patrons to upload photos of their meals. In doing so, they created a virtual menu that people could look through without ever entering the restaurant. With hashtags and the photogenic nature of Instagram, the sky is the limit on adding guests to the marketing mix.

Create Instagram-Specific Promotions
One way to increase demand for any product or promotion is to make it temporary. As it turns out, Instagram Stories has this feature built right in. Using this tool, restaurateurs can upload a series of videos or photos as a single “story.” The great thing about this? They automatically disappear after 24 hours.

This means it's possible to create a very limited time promotion without having to go back and delete it later. This also means that patrons will want to follow the eatery's Instagram just so they can occupy the cafe chairs as soon as a promo is available. Require guests to show the Instagram post for the discount, and in the end, no one can complain about not getting the promo since the “story” is already gone.

It can get hectic trying to handle multiple social media sites at a restaurant. In today's world, though, it's a necessity. While Instagram might have a smaller audience than Facebook or Twitter, it certainly has its place in filling up the cafe chairs and other restaurant furniture. And as more people sign up for the site, its benefit to the restaurant world will only increase.

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