Instagram crossed the 50 million user mark in May of 2012, and the founders were paid nearly 1 billion bucks by Facebook. So how are restauranteurs hungry for new customers making this visual marketing tool work for them?
Instagram is a tool that lets you shoot, artistically flavor your image with their filters and share with followers.
Here’s are two restaurants that see the big picture with Instagram and are capturing new business.
Food truck MIHO Gastrotuck (@mihogastrotruck)
Food truck MIHO Gastrotuck updates their Instagram daily with beautiful portraits of their ever-evolving menu as well as snapshots from special catering events. They also mix in shots from their workers and chefs as well as their R&R time, whether it’s hanging out at home with a cocktail in hand or researching new flavors. Below are a few pictures from their Instagram account.
It’s these personal touches that help fans and foodies feel more invested in the brand compared to just seeing the trucks on the street once a week. With over 900 photos, MIHO Gastrotuck doesn’t just post pictures, they connect with their community and in return has a fan base of over 1,300 people.
Los Verdes (@losverdesmiami)
Los Verdes restaurant in Miami Lakes takes their love of food to another level. With over 24,000 followers, it is safe to say they are one of Instagrams most popular small restaurants. Followers of Los Verdes get the inside view of their restaurant, menu items, food specials, employee candids and their charity work with kids in extreme poverty in the Dominican Republic. These fantastic-looking Instagrams of their dishes and drinks will make you want to come right in and order a plate.
When people feel personally connected to a brand, they’re more likely to “follow” your restaurant. Hashtags, which look like the pound symbol, corral search results into relevant categories and conversations on Instagram’s website. Los Verdes uses the hashtag symbol multiple times on all of their photos which encourages their followers to help in the marketing process.
Ways to use Instagram for your restaurant and how to gain new relationships with customers and prospects:
- Post shots of your daily specials.
- Share images of chefs and staff in action.
- Share behind-the-scenes photos.
- Capture photos of guests in action.
- Share your menu with your followers.
- Share photos of staff/food at local events you’re catering.
- Run an Instagram contest. Contest could be promoted in the restaurant and via various social media accounts. For example: have users share images from their meal and tag your restaurant in the photo.
Instagram is an opportunity to reach out to new restaurant customers and to leverage an awareness builder for your brand. Want to manage your Instagram account? Check out Statigram.
How has Instagram helped in the success of your restaurant? Let us know!
This blog post was written by Lauren Angrick. Lauren is the Chief Problem Solver at Restaurant Branding Roadmap. Her expertise includes online marketing, social media, branding, event planning, search engine optimization and content development. A passionate foodie, lover of all beverages from the vine and traveling adventurer, Lauren likes pushing the envelope with culinary experiences and life. To connect with Lauren follow her on Twitter @laurenangrick or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2012 at 11:21 am and filed under Business plan for a restaurant business, Restaurant branding, Restaurant brands, Restaurant business planning, restaurant ideas, Restaurant marketing, Restaurant marketing plans.