INSTAGRAM FOR RESTAURANTS AND RESTAURATEURS
Instagram in the food industry
- Instagram for restaurants
- Instagram numbers steadily increasing
- Instagram is a social network based on photography
- How to use Instagram for your restaurant?
- What to photograph and post on Instagram for your restaurant?
- How to use Instagram. The basics
- Image size
- How to take photos for Instagram
- The #hashtags
- The best hashtags for food, how to choose them
- How to promote your restaurant on Instagram?
Instagram for the food sector is a great marketing channel because the food on Instagram is one of the most popular segments. Before deciding where to eat, many people try to get an idea through the photographs they find on the net, discovering places, dishes, and emotions from the photos posted by friends and acquaintances.
The community, in fact, has a fundamental role. Your customers can become your ambassadors and advertise your business by publishing their own content, but in the same way, they can also destroy you through a single photograph.
At this point, you might decide that it’s better not to be on the Internet so you will not risk being judged (positively or negatively). But regardless of online presence or not, your customers will still share their experiences. For this reason, it is necessary to be on the Internet to be able to show yourself, who you are and what you propose, and to present in an adequate way the environment, the staff and the atmosphere that will welcome the user.
Let’s start with the numbers. Instagram counts today:
– 100 million active users every month
– 40 million photos published by users per day
– 1000 comments per second
– 19 million monthly active users
– of its active users, 51% are women, and 49% are men
– 58% of users have a strong interest in cooking and food in general
– thanks to Instagram, 40% of users are encouraged trying new things
And these are numbers in constant growth.
But let’s go step by step, a restaurant is a commercial activity it is good that you use the business account that Instagram provides to companies. Compared to personal accounts, there are additional marketing tools to use to advertise, statistics, and directly connect to your restaurant’s Facebook page.
We immediately understand that advertising through Instagram is not a factor that can take second place and needs a good strategy and an excellent organization.
With a business account (also free), besides being able to create sponsorships, we have the statistics section, where you can see the results achieved.
So using Instagram for a restaurant is a great opportunity. In fact, this is the social network that grows the most: every month, more than 500 million people visit it worldwide.
The images strongly stimulate our senses, make us think and desire unexpected things, unlike texts, and various captions. We must take advantage of it.
Moreover, Instagram is a meeting place, where users share the things they love and follow people or pages that have their own interests. Your goal is to contact people interested in your products, but probably, they’ve never seen you and heard about you. This is very different from the “Facebook structure,” where people talk and interact mainly with their friends and acquaintances.
In attracting new customers to your restaurant, Instagram has a very high potential, but we must use it with care and professionalism; otherwise, we risk the opposite result.
Furthermore, from the statistics section, you can see the results you have achieved: the number of people who have seen your images, which photos they liked best and the best times. You can study the data that allow you to make some improvements and take the right path. Even if the results don’t seem to come, don’t worry, it takes time and patience.
People use their smartphones to find information on anything. Even before going to a restaurant, they look for information online to get an idea of where they are going, reading reviews, looking at photos and videos of the place and the dishes they serve.
Videos and images are the most searched and appreciated content by web users; they are more immediate and give the answers they are looking for.
Therefore it is essential to communicate who we are, with photos of dishes, restaurant but also of the staff. So tell about your business and do it with quality photos and/or videos that can attract attention and create the so-called “wow” effect. We must immediately impress the user to attract his attention and thus have the opportunity to let us know and recognize him in the future.
But it is natural to think: “I am not a photographer. How do I create quality images? What should I photograph and what should not be photographed? “
1 – The location, people love to see where they will eat without bad surprises. Take pictures of the restaurants, the garden, and the outside, etc.
2 – The staff, better while working or in funny situations, in other words, introduce yourself to your potential client. Give a face to your company and those who work with you.
3 – Show your dishes in all their beauty; they will speak for themselves.
4 – The backstage, the chef while preparing the dinner or a photo of the sommelier who tastes the wines (perhaps while suggesting an excellent wine to the customers, etc …)
5 – Everything that you think is interesting and that a potential customer may like.
Here are some simple tips, which will not make you expert food photographers, but they will give you the ability to make good quality photos appreciated and, why not, re-shared by Instagram users.
Let’s see how the image size should be:
- 1080 x 566 pixels for the horizontal photos;
- 1080 x 1350 pixels for the vertical photos;
- 1080 x 1080 pixels for the square photos (also used on facebook especially for advertising)
- Take pictures directly from your phone (or a camera), only then share them on Instagram. Do not use the app directly.
- Choose subjects not far away, get as close as possible without exaggerating.
- Avoid crooked photos; the dish would be inclined! To avoid this, help yourself with the grid available for the shots.
- Use your creativity to create compositions or insert details into the photo.
- Take multiple photos from different angles, then choose carefully the one that makes the most.
- If you take pictures of food, don’t use the filters on Instagram, altering the color means making them less appealing.
- Concentrate on the details to tell the dish; the set is not necessary.
- Place your camera at 45 degrees. If a dish has little volume in height, photograph it from the top; if instead, it has a lot of it it takes the photo frontally. For pizza, for example, it is better to choose a 45-degree angle or from the top.
- Do not use artificial light; natural light enhances your dishes and creates the shot.
- Fill the whole framing and avoid taking pictures where the plate is small, the plate should take most of the photo.
- Choose dishes with depth and color
- Contextualize the dish: between the hands, on a counter in the kitchen, with a napkin or cutlery.
- Try to keep the same style for all the photos you post.
Now that you know how to photograph your dishes, we discover how to make them available to your target, inserting the photo with an engaging caption that arouses emotions in the reader, followed by the hashtags that help label the photos indicating the words that can be associated with those images.
Among the top twenty most used hashtags in the world, we find “#food” with more than 280 million linked photos. In your photo, you have a maximum limit of 30 hashtags to add, but be careful, don’t do it randomly. Choosing the best hashtags for restaurants is essential.
Our advice is to use hashtags like this: some, should be always the same and related to your business (the name of your restaurant, your city, etc.), others describing the photo you are publishing (they change according to the subject). Finally, choose from those with various “range”: for example, 1 to 3 hashtags that have a range of 1 to 5 million posts, 4 or 5 hashtags containing from 100,000 up to a million reach, finally from 5 to 10 hashtags with a maximum capacity of 100 thousand posts. It is essential to create a mix of hashtags consistent with the published image.
- #restaurant_name – check if there are already photos before promoting your personal hashtag
- #City – the hashtag with the name of your city (helps geolocate you and let users find you in the area)
- Add hashtags that enhance the territory and the typical local products, eg. #farmtotable, #neapolitainpizza, #lasagna, etc.
- Types of cuisine, hashtags such as #italiancuisine #vegetarian #mexicancuisine #glutenfree intercepts particular needs and precise targets
- Trending topic of the sector but without exaggeration, better a few hashtags but specific (for example #foodporn #foodie #instafood #foodiestrip, etc. use 3 or 4 at most)
#breakfast #instafood #pizza #yummy #food #cooking #foodporn #delicious #delish #foodlove #dinner #eat #eating #fashionfood #favorite #foodaddict #foodart #foodblog #foodie #foodgasm #tasty #foodism #foodlasm #foodpics #gnam #sweet #foodstyling #ilovefood
- Offer special offers;
- Choose hashtags carefully;
- Create dinners or events to bring together your followers, with special menus, themed dinners dedicated to them, etc …;
- Contact food influencers; they will talk about you and increase your brand reputation;
- Create a contest on Instagram awarding the best photos with a hashtag of your choice (#contest_restaurantname)
- Encourage your customers to post selfies also tagging your restaurant (offering them discounts and/or gifts);
- Use paid Instagram listings to promote your restaurant
- Don’t post too much (but either too little)
- Use also short videos.
- Use the Instagram Stories
On Instagram, you can also publish short videos of a maximum duration of one minute or the “stories,” which is mini-stories made by adding videos and/or photos. The stories are automatically deleted 24 hours after their publication.
Carefully select the profiles you decide to follow: do not follow random users hoping that they will follow back. It will not work, but above all, it is not necessary to be followed by people not interested in your products.
The main objective is to intrigue the interested user, and not to have large and useless numbers that will not end up in your business.
This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)