If you are a bar or restaurant, I hope you have put your business on Instagram. If not, it is time. Why, you might ask?
First of all, Instagram is a feed of pictures. There are a ton of things to take pictures of in your place. I will go in to that in the tips. Secondly, The newest Instagram stats show there are currently more than 800 million monthly active users and many experts believe it could reach a billion in 2018. (sproutsocial.com has a lot more stats for you) And thirdly, with so many of your current and future customers hanging out on IG, you want to put your brand in front of them to stay relevant and top of mind with pictures of the amazing food and drinks that keep people coming back! Here are 6 tips I use when marketing bars and restaurants.
- Use the stories. Instagram stories are great for bars and restaurants, and 2018 is all about IG stories. I usually post 3-5 stories a day. They include daily specials, videos of drink making, people hanging out and having fun, food being made, food prepared on a plate, teasers of upcoming events. Stories are useful because I feel like people choose to see them. They are at the top of the news feed so they cannot be missed like a post.
- You can also post polls and/or questions in your stories. This gives you an amazing opportunity to learn more about your customers. You can show them 2 new beers you are bringing in and ask them which one they’re interested in. Or which sports team they are cheering for on Sunday. This kind of quick information can be used to help you make informed decisions about what your customer wants. Plus,when they engage with stories, it improves your Instagram algorithm. Your posts will show up higher in their news feed.
- Check out your Instagram Insights. Once you’ve created a business account, Instagram will start to track your costumers’ behavior with insights. The insights will tell you what days your account received the most interaction, what content was seen the most (both stories and news feed) and what time people are online. Pay attention to this information, then use it to decide when to post and what to post more of.
- The more people engage, the more your followers will see your content, and vice versa. So encourage your followers to engage! Make it fun, create contests and give-aways with engagement. Encourage likes and shares creatively so your customers want to do it.
- Engage with your followers. Respond back to comments and messages. Take the time to look at their posts and comment on them. When you take the time to treat them like a person and not just a follower, you create a relationship with them. This helps build trust and loyalty. Plus, they will see your posts higher up on their newsfeed.
- Come up with a consistent posting plan. Consistency is key here! I like to come up with a daily theme to help my creativity. #sundayfunday, #mondayblues, #whiskeywednesday, #thirstythursday, #fridaynightparty. Play into specials, use hashtags, plan out your week! Keep in mind special events you have coming up so you can promote those as well.
Running a business Instagram can be a challenge, but planning and consistency can help. Put it on your list of things to do each week/day. Make sure you or someone else is taking pictures for you. Or hire a social media manager to completely take it off your plate (Kee Hart Marketing can do that for you). Whatever you decide, Instagram is a great tool to build your brand with. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to keep your bar or restaurant relevant in 2018!