Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Driving Restaurant Revenue With Social Media - Part 6 - Instagram

The photo sharing social network, Instagram, is another visual platform available to restaurant marketing efforts. As the old saying goes, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, and that has never been more true than in today’s society. Rather than talking about their establishments, Instagram gives restauranteurs the quick and easy functionality to share images on-the-fly via their mobile devices - a clear benefit to the fast-paced food and beverage industry.

Instagram was launched in 2010 and was bought in early 2012 by the social media giant, Facebook. According to current figures from the app, Instagram has 100 million active users every month and 40 million photos are shared on a daily basis. This is a tremendous potential audience. This, combined with the public’s love of photographing their food and sharing the images via social media, make Instagram an important platform on which restauranteurs to have a presence. The app is free and extremely user friendly. Photos can be shared directly from a mobile device without the need of a computer. From the app, photos and associated captions can be posted to other social networks including Facebook, Foursquare, Tumblr, or Flickr.


Here are a few ideas to help make the most of Instagram:


1. More Than Food Photos

Instagram should be much more than pictures of food. You can promote upcoming events, let the fans take a tour behind the scenes with your chef, or present to them a new staff member, for example. Use your imagination and creativity. Also, just as on other social networks, never forget the importance of engagement and interaction with your audience.


2. Use Hashtags

Just like Twitter, Instagram uses hashtags, (#steak) for example. An image with that hashtag would show up in the search results for steak. Anything in the photo, including your restaurant’s name and location, can be hashtagged.


3. Take Advantage of Photo Maps

This new feature of Instagram allows your restaurant to be tagged along with photos on a geo-location map. This will help your fans find your restaurant and view images of your outstanding cuisine.

Because of the unique, visual nature of both the food and beverage industry and Instagram, the photo sharing social network can be a powerful tool for restaurant marketing. In the next part in this series we will examine the benefits of YouTube for restaurant owners

Written and produced in beautiful Naples, Florida by Visit today to get your free trial subscription to our Social Media Marketing Service.

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