Restaurant & Hospitality Consultants

Why Your Restaurant Should Be on Instagram

Why Your Restaurant Should Be on Instagram

By Lauren Shortliffe

Already have an account? Understanding why you should have one will also help you strategize how to make the most of it. Stay tuned for my follow-up blog post, where I’ll share my top tips and tricks for taking full advantage of the tool.


A picture is worth a thousand words. We’ve all heard the old adage before, but in today’s world of continually shrinking attention spans and instant access to limitless digital information, the message rings especially true.


10 Reasons your restaurant should have an Instagram:

– You can show more and tell less- perfect for flaunting food and beverages visuals

– It’s a free marketing tool with 300 million users

– You will have the chance to control the visual conversation about your brand

– It will help establish credibility and trust with potential new customers

– You can cultivate a network of relationships with partners, publications and guests

– It will help build your SEO and discoverability

– You can use it to fill gaps between media coverage

– You will have a living listing in a visual directory that is regularly referenced

– You will enjoy better (free) visibility, discovery, and interaction than with Facebook

– Mobile is the future


Instagram is a free tool that wields a surprising amount of marketing power if you know how to use it. It provides the opportunity to control the visual conversation about your brand (outshine those dark, gray, unappetizing, crowd-sourced food shots), establish credibility, and cultivate relationships with both your customers and partners. It also helps build your SEO (search engine optimization) and gives you the opportunity to fill gaps in “conversation” when media coverage is slow by providing consistent content and ongoing opportunities for connection.


There are over 300 million people using this photo app every month, 75 million per day. That’s not chump change! With the proper use of hashtags, geo-tags, and user handle tags, you have the opportunity to easily connect with a strategically targeted interest-based audience. Connecting with guests, partners, complementary brands and local publications will help build your web of influence both within the industry at large and your specific geographic region. In addition, displaying your brand and products the way you want them seen will help you control the credibility of your persona and convince users you’re worth seeking out in person.


Although reaching a high count of “likes” and “followers” is a fair goal, starting with low numbers does not change the fact that your Instagram page serves as a living window into the culture of your brand. Users can and will continue to reference this directory of information without necessarily choosing to engage (follow, like, comment) with it through the platform. But, that doesn’t mean they won’t later engage in a more meaningful way – as a customer, face-to-face.


Think about it – how many times have you visited the website, online listing or social media profile of a business and not immediately taken action on the information you found? At least those who discover your online presence are now aware you exist and have a better idea of who you are and whether they identify with it.


Those who do choose to actively “follow” you on Instagram give you the priceless opportunity to speak directly to them with every post you create. Unlike on Facebook, where it’s not guaranteed that everyone who “likes” your page will see your updates, there is no selection process or news feed algorithm in Instagram. Everyone who chooses to follow you will be fed all of your posts.


It’s also clear that much of social media has moved away from desktop computers and into the palm of our hands. It’s said that 90 percent of social media activity today takes place on a mobile app and, unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram was conceived as a mobile app and that’s what it does best.


Mobile is the future and Instagram appears to be here to stay.


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