Effective Ways to Use Instagram for Your Bar or Restaurant

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So, your bar or restaurant is doing well, but you keep hearing the relentless buzzword “social media.” You are eager to jump on this social media train – but where do you start? Facebook and Twitter are great places to start, but recently Instagram has taken center stage in the social media sphere. Its proven success led to a recent acquisition by Facebook for $750 million.

Instagram, a photo sharing platform that reached 50 million users in just two years, is a great way to reach potential customers by showcasing daily specials or mouth-watering photos of signature dishes. You can reach them without having had them step foot into your establishment.
Below are a few great examples of bars and restaurants using Instagram in clever and effective ways.

California Pizza Kitchen

Instagram California Pizza Kitchen

CPK is doing something right! The account is relatively new, with only about 110 photos uploaded. However, it is catching on quickly with 2700 followers.

California Pizza Kitchen knows that the key to a successful Instagram account is not just sharing photos of their restaurants and food. They upload photos of beautiful California scenery and team members engaging in philanthropic activities.

In addition, the West Coast pizza chain has engaged their fans by hosting multiple popular photo contests, including asking customers to upload photos of their entrees using a specific hashtag and offering $25 gift cards in return.

Buca Di Beppo

Buca Di Beppo Instagram

If you have ever been inside of a Buca Di Beppo, then you know the restaurants are filled with photo-worthy scenery and artifacts. In fact, the family-style restuarant is known, in part, for it’s unique atmosphere. Their social media team knows that photos of their restaurants interiors will go over well with fans. Their pictures contain not only mouth-watering pictures of delicious dishes, but also fun pictures of the restaurant’s interior taken by customers.

The Melting Pot

Instagram The  Melting Pot
We bet you can’t browse through The Melting Pot’s Instagram account without salivating. Their photos make you want to drop everything and head to their nearest location for sweet treats dipped in chocolate fondue. They sure do a great job with their photography.
They also update their Instagram with photos of customers including date nights, ladies’ nights out and family dinners.
When creating your own strategy,

Keep These Tips In Mind:

  • Post relevant photos. Upload specials, events, engaged customers or staff, or any other photo that would make a pursuer stop scrolling through their Instagram photo feed to take a moment to digest the content you have shared.
  • Utilize its features. Instagram allows you to simultaneously upload a single photograph to multiple platforms. Upload a photo to Instagram and then share it on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Follow similar restaurants as well as other food lovers in the area. If a new user follows you, be sure to follow them back and start a conversation.
  • Post well and post often. Nothing looks worse than an incomplete profile with minimal or monotonous photos.
  • Use #Hashtags. In addition to owning your own hashtag, be sure to capitalize on a few others as they pertain to your restaurant.
  • Add an element of location based marketing. Instagram is linked to Foursquare, too. Encourage customers to “check-in” when they upload a photograph.
  • Measure, Measure, Measure. Monitor your mentions and hashtags. As you test out Instagram’s ROI, you can tailor your efforts in the most effective way.
  • Lastly, be sure to link to your Instragram page on your website or any other promotional element your may utilize.

Using Instagram as part of your social media strategy can be an easy way to showcase your menu items and reach potential customers.

How are you using Instagram?

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