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While brainstorming some new Instagram marketing ideas for one of my client, I came across over 96 million #foodporn posts on Instagram, over 65 million people sharing food related post by #instafood hashtag and 41 million #foodies enjoying and sharing their experience on social media. These are just 3 of the many hashtags that Instagrammers are using to express their love for food and how much they love to me connected with the community.

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I know it’s tempting and the restaurant owners can smell the fragrance of opportunity that Instagram offers. The popular hashtag figures shown above are huge and as a restaurant owner this opportunity demands your attention.

Restaurants can use Instagram for multiple marketing benefits including simple content marketing to consistently grow your followers or launch integrated digital campaigns to increase sales.

The instagram marketing ideas that we are going to discuss below all relate to the basics to help you build a community after thoroughly defining your restaurant brand story. A good brand story will give your customer a reason for your existence and ultimately attract them to your place if they like your restaurant story.

Five Instagram Marketing Idea’s

1. Show Your Big Happy Family by Featuring Your Restaurant Staff
Running a restaurant does not mean that you cannot feature your staff over food. Remember that your customers love food even more when they can see the chefs who made the food. The purpose of showing staff is to build authenticity through their own experience and how they contribute in your restaurant story. Creating a restaurant story requires you to show how the staff is synchronized with your brand values.

2. Interact with Your Customer in Unique Ways
If you want to grab your customer’s attention you need to surprise them, find unique content ideas to make them their day awesome.

  • Offering a new ice-cream flavor, a new summer beverage or thinking of renovating interior? Ask your customer for new ideas and reward them with discount coupons, make them feel like it’s not the food that they want but it’s the aroma of your restaurant that they are missing. Make them feel like a family and your restaurant is a home.
  • With over 55k Instagram followers, Pinkberry does it best by sharing interactive fill-in-the-blank posts. For example, “Your favorite topping is ___________”
  • I always recommend my clients to build a community of followers who are more than your customer. A social community around your restaurant is more than people buying food, I encourage my clients to develop a lifestyle brand which is based on the lifestyle choices that your restaurant and customer shares. You can encourage your customers to post a photo that mentions your restaurant and once the contest ends you can reward the winner with a free treat.

3. Encourage Comments and Feedback
Lets face it, you are missing a lot if you have not yet considered using Instagram to encourage diners to leave feedback about the experience, service and dining experience. There is no better content that you can produce ever than your customer testimonials and reviews, not only the comment will help you improve your service but it speak aloud that your customers are your first priority always.

Having people share their experience, leave valuable feedback is all part of building authentic social following that you want to make

4. Use Video to Promote Your Restaurant Culture
We do know that some moments requires more than capturing static images. Don’t worry Instagram have recently introduced videos to share your stories. Now you can use videos to highlight your daily specials, deals, feature your staff while they are up to the task and most importantly you can make video of birthday parties, official dinners to let your customer know that you value them.

I hope that these 4 tips will help you get started in building a community around your restaurant brand.

Please let me know how you are innovating your restaurant marketing through Instagram.