How to Improve Your Restaurant’s Instagram Account?

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Instagram offers tremendous marketing opportunities for restaurants aiming to attract more local customers. With over 2 billion monthly active users, it’s the perfect platform to showcase tempting dishes, promote specials, and convey your restaurant’s unique ambience.

But simply creating an account isn’t enough – you need an effective strategy to nurture followers and drive engagement. This article covers key tips to level up your restaurant’s Instagram game.

Post Consistently and Frequently

Consistency is key for Instagram growth. Post at least once daily, ideally twice, to stay top of mind. Sporadic posting trains audiences that interactions are unimportant. Schedule posts in advance using tools like Later or Planoly if producing fresh imagery daily is unrealistic.

Vary post types – menus, specials, food prep, plated dishes, drinks, decor, staff, customers, events, etc. Make a posting calendar to develop consistent sharing rhythm. Analyse best times and frequencies for your audience and adapt accordingly. Consistency plus variety in imagery and angles builds anticipation for what you’ll share next.

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Curate a Cohesive Aesthetic

A visually impactful grid should be your starting point. Ensure each photo and video aligns with your overarching colour scheme and style. Using the same filters and editing techniques creates cohesiveness across posts.

Consider investing in professional commercial photography Scotland agencies to capture mouthwatering, high-quality images showing your dishes and restaurant interiors in the best possible light.

Share Varied Post Types

Don’t fall into the trap of only sharing perfectly staged photos of your food. While these should form the majority of your grid, also give followers a behind-the-scenes look into your workings. Post enticing videos showing dishes being prepared by your talented chefs.

Share Instagram Stories highlighting your excellent customer service and bustling ambience. Showcase events and activations happening in your space. This variety paints a fuller picture of why customers should visit your restaurant.

Strategically Use Captions

Well-crafted captions transform static images into intriguing stories. Strategically highlight hero ingredients, cooking methods that enhance flavours, your head chef’s experience – details that make followers’ mouths water. Use clear, friendly language and don’t overly plug your restaurant.

Save the hard sell for occasional promotional posts publicizing special menus or deals. Geotag your location so nearby users can easily find your account. Include relevant hashtags to appear in keyword searches and utilize links in bios and captions directing followers to your website or online reservations.

Collaborate with Influencers

Local social media influencers with engaged on-theme follower bases provide powerful word-of-mouth marketing. Most charge for sponsored Instagram posts, Stories, and dedicated feed takeovers – but the payoff from targeted endorsements often merits the expense.

Micro-influencers with under 10k followers typically offer better value. Provide complimentary meals in exchange for organic posts where you lack budget for paid collaborations. Even unpaid mentions introduce your restaurant to new potential diners.

Analyse and Respond to Metrics

Consistently analysing your metrics is key for maximizing your Instagram success. Widgets like Sprout Social make tracking follower growth, engagement rates per post, website clicks and conversions from Instagram simple.

Observe when your audience is most active to pinpoint optimal posting times. Identify the top-performing post types that are worth allocating more creation time towards.

If certain dishes prove popular across posts, consider featuring them more prominently on physical menus. Respond to all comments to foster community and directly message followers sharing user-generated content featuring your restaurant to repost this authentic advocacy.

Use Relevant Hashtags

Effective use of relevant hashtags is critical for discovery on Instagram. Research popular hashtags around cuisine type, location, ingredients, cooking methods, etc. Strategically include 5-10 top hashtags per post to help the right audience find your content.

Mix niche and broader tags. Track highest performing tags over time and adjust. Beware simply copying competitors or over-tagging irrelevantly. Your hashtags should feel authentic and complement visuals. Curate them wisely to attract locals, foodies, travelers who will genuinely engage.

Run Contests and Giveaways

Contests, giveaways and promotions are hugely valuable for engaging your Instagram audience. Offer free food, discounts, merch, experiences, or access in exchange for follows, shares, tags, etc. Requires small investment but drives exponential growth. Encourage user-generated content around your brand by prompting hash-tagged images for reposting.

Consider partnering with local businesses on joint contests. Be creative – “caption this photo” or “guess the secret ingredient” type posts allow participation without barriers to entry like follows or tags for shy followers. Clear, simple rules and appealing prizes entice involvement. Play to your strengths and customers’ interests.

Cross-Promote with Staff and Customers

Every staff member or loyal customer is a brand ambassador. Encourage them to post about your restaurant and tag your handles or location to help broaden your digital reach. Even small followings interact within distinct local networks unseen by your brand directly.

The concentrated exposure from someone’s trusted social circle often bears more marketing weight than broad corporate announcements alone ever could. Enable connections by boosting ambassadors’ status, access, or sense of ownership.

Solicit their elemental contributions of tags, shares, check-ins, reviews, etc. Respond online and give appreciation in-house. Nothing sells better than authentic recommendations from people “in the know.”

The world’s best restaurants creatively leverage Instagram to keep diners engaged between visits. With consistent posting, savvy strategies and relentless optimization, your Instagram offers incredible opportunities to build lasting customer relationships.