How Instagrammable is your restaurant? Becoming picture perfect
Could you get more customers by doing it for the ‘gram?
For generations, many independent restaurants have had to rely on word of mouth to spread the message about their restaurant. Fast forward to the early 21st century and reviews in newspapers, on websites, and on TV - meant that restaurants could get a little extra reach. But now, in 2019, we have so many channels available to talk to our potential audience that it can often get extremely confusing and difficult to choose the right one.
One sure thing, though, is the rise of the power of social media. On the 6th October 2010, a new platform was born - A previously text-based phenomenon, social media now entered the visual age with the birth of Instagram. And with the birth of Instagram also came the necessity to make sure that your restaurant has something worth taking a photo of - whether that is the food itself, the restaurant’s decor, your staff, your customers, or your eye-catching cocktails.
Fast forward to 2019 and Instagram now boasts numbers in excess of 1 billion active monthly users, with more than 500 million of those using the platform every day (Oberlo, 2019). Not only are the users crucial, but your presence on Instagram - and the right content - is crucial too. A Mention study in 2018 found that 71% of US businesses were Instagram users, with more than 80% of those stating that Instagram engagement was their most important marketing measurement.
Just being on Facebook may not be enough to grow your brand online. In 2018, a report from Socialbakers stated that Instagram is able to generate 4 times the engagement that Facebook is able to- not only that but Instagram also gives you the opportunity to reach a much wider audience through the use of correct hashtags and location tagging.
So what do we suggest that you do to stand out from the crowd? Here’s our top tips to get your restaurant noticed on social media...
Akin to everything on social media, content is king. This includes both your photos and the captions that accompany them. We’d suggest not only posting photos of your food, but also include images of your local area, fresh produce, your restaurant’s decor, and especially happy, smiley images of your staff members and guests! This will allow your potential guests to see the bigger picture and learn the story behind the plate.
TOP TIP: Ensure that your captions are punchy! Make them to the point, simple, and relatable to your target audience. Ain’t no one got time to read an essay, so keep it short and sweet and choose your emojis wisely!😎
How will you ever get noticed beyond your circle of loyal followers? Well hashtagging is definitely a good place to start.
Hashtags will help reach a much wider audience than just those that follow you without having to sponsor every single post. Relevant hashtags will relate to users’ interests and locations. Statistically speaking, posts that use relevant hashtags gain just under 13% more engagement than those that don’t - although you’ll need to be aware that using some of the more generic hashtags with tens of thousands of followers could mean that your post gets lost in the noise. Use hashtags but keep them relevant!
TOP TIP: Don’t clutter your caption with thirty hashtags at the end of your sentence. Either pick a handful of relevant, relatable hashtags that enhance your caption, or throw a few line breaks at the end to hide the ugly hashtag bulk under a ‘read more’.
Create something Instagram-worthy
Yes, your food may be a work of art, and most people will take photos, but there are also a million other works of art being posted at the same time - so what can set you apart?
Create something special, a dish that captures the imagination, something colourful, exciting, and different. This could be a gut-busting burger, a picture perfect patisserie, a mammoth naan bread, or a dessert plucked straight from a fairytale, each of these dishes will create stand-out moments that your customers will NEED to talk about and show off on social media.
TOP TIP: Away from the food, create an Instagrammable area within your restaurant, somewhere that your customers will want to grab a quick selfie. Create a flower wall or put up some graffiti - or create an amazing bathroom! Give your customers a reason to want to splash your restaurant all over their social media.
Take a look at a few examples of quirky Instagram-worthy interiors and dishes below.
Being successful on Instagram isn’t rocket science, but getting it right can take a little time and effort as well as trial and error. Whatever you do, just be sure to stay on brand and keep a true image of your business.
If this all seems a little too much, we’d love to speak to you about how we can help take the hassle out of your social media presence!
Let us know your favourite Instagrammable restaurant/bar features in the comments below!