Benefits of Using Instagram for Restaurant Marketing

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It’s difficult for a social media platform to gain wide use, but once they do, it’s important that restaurateurs utilize the platform for marketing purposes. Since Instagram has surpassed 600 million users per month, it has certainly met the “wide use” threshold. And while tossing up every picture of a new café chair or the same entree repeatedly might not do much, there are some unique benefits to using Instagram for restaurant marketing.

Allows Patrons to Come “Behind the Scenes”
Consumers—especially Millennials, who now number more than Baby Boomers—love to feel as if they’re actually a part of the companies they do business with. Instagram can achieve this by allowing restaurateurs to share photos of just about everything that goes on during a regular day.

While images of patrons enjoying themselves or employees smiling can pay off, a photo of a fish filet being plated or garnishes being chopped might do even better. It shows consumers something they’re not usually privy to, and this feeling of inclusiveness can result in the café chairs being packed.

Announce New Menu Items
Getting the word out about new menu items can be difficult, and Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms aren’t exactly ideal for doing so. Instagram, however, was made for this type of announcement. Instead of a simple post explaining a new dish or specialty beverage, restaurateurs can appeal to consumers visually with a great looking example of the new item.

Instagram followers love the platform because it’s based on images. Add a love for images to an appealing photo of a new dish or drink, and real magic starts to happen.

Amazing Engagement Rates
Businesses of all types, whether café chairs or industrial paint mixers are their primary tools, get great engagement rates with their Instagram pages. In fact, the nickname “king of engagement” has been floated around for the social platform. This is because Instagram sees an engagement rate 58 times higher than the exact same content on Twitter or Facebook. If this isn’t reason enough for restaurants to use Instagram marketing, nothing is.

Contests Made Easy
In many cases, patrons will promote a restaurant unknowingly while sitting at their bar table. This is because they’ll snap an image and tag the eatery while sharing it to their Instagram. After all, people love taking pictures of their food for some reason.

As it turns out, this is a great way to host a contest. Make an announcement that a drawing will be held every week for a free meal at the restaurant. The only way to enter this contest? Take a picture of their trip to the eatery, whether it be their food or simply smiling friends in a restaurant booth, and share it to Instagram while tagging the establishment. In the end, this is free marketing and can do great things for engagement.

Filling up the café chairs and booths on any given night can be difficult, but with the right digital tactics, the task becomes much simpler. When restaurants use Instagram marketing strategies, they’re appealing to a huge subset of the population that’s ripe for the picking. In other words, not using Instagram is a marketing mistake.