Your customers are using Instagram every day. And, with more than one billion active users, you’ll find this platform is an ace at creating engagement with your target audience.
In fact, did you know that Instagram user engagement with brands is 84 times higher on Instagram than Twitter?
Instagram is also keeping up with its sister, Facebook, and if you currently aren’t using Instagram fully, we encourage you to start today. You’ll find that not only can you engage with your current diners, but you can grab some potential customers, too.
To help you, let’s look at 15 restaurant Instagram post ideas.
1. COMPLETE YOUR PROFILE
Before you post anything on Instagram, you want to complete your profile. Just like with your website and your other social media profiles, you want to stay true to your branding.
You will reference your profile and link there in many of your posts.
Consistency is always key. For example, all of your information across your profiles and website should be similar so your customer feels familiar with your restaurant. Here are a few tips:
- Keep your display name consistent across all your social media platforms so when diners look for your restaurant, they can find you.
- Attend to your profile photo. Again, this should be consistent. Your best bet is your restaurant’s logo.
- At the top of your Instagram profile, always use your location.
- On Instagram, the only place you can use a link (until you have 10,000 followers) is in your bio, so make sure your restaurant’s website URL is right at top so people can visit your website if they’d like.
- Use your bio section to really market your restaurant. Fill this section with what sets you apart from the competition.
2. HIGHLIGHT YOUR MENU
Now that you’ve filled out the top section of your Instagram profile, you’re ready to go.
Instagram is a highly visual platform, so you want to post beautiful photos of your food. Showcase your delectable food and delicious drinks.
After all, it’s your food that’s going to lure diners in your doors or to your website to order online.
The most important thing you can do in your visual posts is to make sure your photos are high quality and attractive. You are using posts of your menu items to encourage people to eat at your restaurant.
Don’t forget a great piece of content and the hashtags as well.
3. SHOWCASE CANDID MOMENTS
Instagram users like to see posts with some spontaneity. They want to see those candid moments in your restaurant.
Do remember, though, on these posts to remain professional. Your followers probably don’t want to see your kitchen staff dropping food on the floor.
These posts are a great chance to highlight staff members having fun on their job or doing something wonderful with a customer.
Get creative with these so people can get an inside look at your restaurant and your staff.
4. USE STORY POLLS
Instagram Stories are a must-have for your restaurant. Try using these at least once a day, but you can always use them more often.
In addition, create Highlights so your best stories live right on Instagram instead of disappearing.
One of the best features using Instagram Stories is the ability to conduct polls and find out what your followers think. This is a great way to get them to engage and invite their opinion.
Not only does it increase your engagement, but it also helps you learn more about what your customers think.
For example, you might ask a question like “Cheese or Pepperoni” when it comes to pizza. Or you could pose a question when you’re thinking of adding a new menu item or event.
Polls on Instagram are fun and engaging for your users.
5. RE-SHARE CUSTOMER’S CONTENT
Many of your customers have probably taken pictures at your restaurant and shared them on Instagram.
To find them, go to the search bar and look for #yourrestaurant. When you come across content you’d like to share, contact the poster, and ask them if it’s okay to re-share their content. You’ll note this is different than Facebook where everybody shares everything without permission.
It’s important to gather permission with Instagram. You can also offer your customer a free drink, appetizer, or dessert for letting you use their imagery.
6. SHARE GIVE-AWAYS
Giving things away on your restaurant’s Instagram page is a huge traffic driver.
It’s a fun way to engage your customers and get them to participate by commenting and tagging your restaurant.
Get creative with your questions. Here’s an idea: “How many French fries are on our steak platter?” The winner gets a free steak meal.
7. FEATURE YOUR STAFF
Highlight an employee once a week with a photo and short bio. You can also do this with a video by having them introduce themselves and share their favorite dish at your restaurant.
8. FEATURE YOUR REGULARS
You can do this with either a photo or video. Either would be fun and engaging. Get their permission and then feature what they like best.
9. SHARE MEMES
Seems like memes are everywhere these days, and your goal is to pick one that really resonates with your diners. These can be inspirational or very funny.
10. SHARE YOUR REVIEWS
Create beautiful imagery around some of your reviews to highlight them.
This provides social proof for anyone wondering if they should stop in and dine with you.
11. POST “HOLIDAY” INFO
You can use websites like Holiday Insights and others to come up with post ideas (think National Waffle Day) for different days of the week. Or make up your own special days.
12. USE DAILY THEMES
Consider having a different theme at the start of each week.
Your calendar might look like this: inspirational post on Monday, breakfast on Tuesday, a recipe on Wednesday, a candid moment on Thursday, lunch on Friday, dinner Saturday, and customer curated content on Sunday.
13. POST EVENTS AND PROMOTIONS
Make a plan for your posts by using your calendar to schedule any promotions and events.
14. INTRODUCE NEW MENU ITEMS
This is another great way to increase engagement with both current and future customers. You’ll encourage your regulars to step outside their usual and entice new customers with a new dish.
15. USE VIDEO POSTS
Video is the most engaging medium on social media right now, and when you use it, your views will skyrocket user engagement. You can even use videos longer than one minute by harnessing the power of IGTV.
Your best bet is to create an Instagram content calendar. This helps you keep to a framework for your social media posts, so you are posting consistently. Your content calendar ensures you are able to post at least once per day to really engage your audience.
The content calendar, along with the post ideas here will help you stay organized and consistent for better restaurant Instagram posts.