1) Invite relevant food bloggers to come in and Instagram your restaurant in exchange for a free entrée. People significantly underestimate this kind of exposure because fans will often go wherever the blogger tells them to go. Numbers aren't everything but we recommend looking for foodie bloggers that have in between 5-50k+ followers and at least 500 likes and at least 20 comments per photo. If they're in this range, it generally means people engage with them well and they have a dedicated following.
2) Search your location and engage (like and comment) on other people's photos in your area. Search your competitors and engage with who is following them. This can be quite time-consuming but rewarding if you want to grow your page and once you see more customers start to come in.
3) Giveaways! One of our clients gives away a $100 gift card every month and we ask people to “like” and share the photo and tag their friends for a chance to win—and each tag is considered an entry. We get hundreds of comments and tags and a lot of exposure as well as people who started following the page to keep up. You don't have to do this every month but once in a while will do you some good. If you want to build your email list, ask people to add in their email for a chance to win. If you promote the post, you can now geo-locate on IG so that will help new people see the giveaway who don’t already like your page. This is a lot more powerful on FB but works well on IG.
(FYI: This list is taken from our "Tip Of The Week" section in our newsletter—sign up to get more of these sent to your inbox twice a month: http://bit.ly/AspireEmailList :)
4) Tell stories about your staff, restaurant, decor, neighborhood etc. Don’t just post photos of the dishes. People are emotional and connect well with a story. How was the dish made? What was the inspiration being a certain piece of decor in the restaurant? Fun fact about the head chef? You get the idea... Also, IG rewards you by showing your photo to more people if someone spends a long time on your post, so do the occasional long caption when you feel inspired :) Also, ask questions so people can answer in the comments. What’s your favorite dish and why? When was the first time you dined with us? Can anyone take a guess as to what our new ice cream flavor is?
5) Obvious—but take good photos... Doesn't always have to be professional but use natural light or make sure the object you're photographing is very well-lit. Try and get some nice ambiance in the background to accompany the dish.
6) Leverage your customers' photos. Search your location check-ins and screenshot the photo and think of a relevant caption. You can give credit by doing something like “📸:: @sallylovesfood” and use 5-10 relevant hashtags related to the photo.
7) Dedicate a restaurant hashtag and use it for all your photos. Your customers will start using it as well and you can search to see what people are posting.
To learn more about how Instagram and Facebook can help your restaurant bring in 10-30%+ more customers within 90 days (or if you need an expert to do these 7 things for you), schedule a FREE strategy call with us here: calendly.com/aspirerm/ss