As far as society’s fixation with social media platforms goes, Instagram is the coolest kid on the block. The platform is fuelling people’s obsession to post and view other people’s pictures – which is the biggest part of Instagram’s success. The photo-sharing social network surpassed the one billion user mark this year. There’s some psychology behind this – humans are visual creatures and we are now more drawn to visual stimulation than ever before.

Market yourself right

People love to Instagram their food, and if you’re managing a restaurant, it’s a simple, affordable and surefire way to build brand awareness – if done right. There’s no doubt that images of culinary delights are enough to make your mouth water, and that you will then seek out that meal to satisfy your taste buds. Not only do you need to market yourself right on Instagram, but you need to get customers involved in the process and to help them become your brand ambassadors.

Let’s take a look at how you can build brand awareness for your restaurant by harnessing the power of Instagram:

Let hashtags reach your target

Hashtags are a crucial element in ensuring that more people see your posts. This means that you have to pay careful attention to the hashtags you use and how many of them you have. A great way to ensure that your images are found from the masses of posts on Instagram is to make use of trending hashtags. This could be as simple as calendar events, trending news topics or simply the season. Do some research before you add hashtags to a post. It might seem time-consuming, but an increase in patrons is worth it. Another way to ensure your posts get noticed is to use more hashtags. Posts with one or two hashtags won’t ensure much brand awareness while anything between four and six hashtags will. Again, don’t just use a hashtag for hashtag’s sake – make it count.

Share photos of your food

Before people start sharing pics of your glorious meals, you have to create a following for yourself. You’re in the business of selling the most Instagrammed item in the world – food. If you want other people to post pics of your meals, post your own great images first. Arrange a professional photoshoot and take a few pictures of your bestselling meals. Archive them and then post as a series over a certain time period. You can also personalise your Instagram account by sharing some pictures of your restaurant and staff to communicate your brand and culture.

Share your food on Instagram

Once you’ve built a loyal following, it’s time to use the platform to reward patrons while increasing your brand awareness. You can get people to interact with your restaurant on Instagram in various ways. For instance, offer a free meal to the person whose post about your restaurant received the most shares. You can also utilise Instagram to garner opinions about your restaurant and offer them something in return for taking the time to share their thoughts.

Get your own brand ambassadors

Instagram is a powerful platform for strategically increasing brand awareness through good old word-of-mouth marketing. Your ultimate goal should be to get patrons to generate content on your behalf, basically letting them do all the work for you. Instagram is about community and the more people share the word about your restaurant with their followers, the less you need to build the brand yourself.

These few simple suggestions will leverage the brand-awareness super tool that’s Instagram. The social platform offers endless possibilities to help increase brand awareness about your restaurant. So play around and find a strategy that works best for your establishment.

Author : Rudi Badenhorst