In many posts before, our restaurant consultants have stressed the importance of social media in business. It used to be that social apps, primarily Instagram, were the way to reach Millennials and urbanites dining out in big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Denver. But now, Instagram has more than one billion users
worldwide--it's safe to say that your customer base falls under "social media user" no matter what type of guests you attract.
As the number of Instagram users increases, so do best practices in engaging your social media following--or potential social media following. Recently, we explored using Instagram Stories to beat the new algorithms
, which continues to be a praised method for growing an audience.
There are a few new features, however, that we think make for great connection and conversion, whether converting guests to social media followers or social media followers to guests.
The first is the "call to action" feature in the contact options on a business account. If your restaurant's Instagram profile isn't a business account, it should be. Then, follow these steps to integrate immediate calls-to-action, such as orders on ChowNow or GrubHub; reservations on Open Table; or reviews on Yelp.
- Select "Edit Profile" on your account page.
- Under "Business Information", click "Contact Options."
- Beneath location, select "Add an action button," then use the list to choose what feature to integrate.
This is a great way to connect your social media presence to actual customers and potential conversion. Watch these platforms start working for you when you engage follows and potential followers, then give them the chance to make a reservation right from your Instagram profile.
Similarly, make sure your current guests are following your account. The larger the following, the more social media users will want to engage. Instagram has just rolled out a "Nametag" feature, allowing app-users who aren't following you to simply scan your nametag and opt-in to follow your account. It's something servers and managers can easily display to tables of guests when greeting or collecting the check.
To create your Nametag, click the menu (three lines) in the top right corner of your account page. Just below the insights page, there's a new option to make a Nametag. Follow the prompts to customize it to your own aesthetic, and simply pull it up when a guest wants to follow your account. Similarly, you can reverse the nametag function and follow the accounts of your faithful guests by scanning their nametags.
Our restaurant consultants make sure to stay in touch with new technologies to make sure that your restaurant marketing and communications are relevant to your guests. To learn more about how to engage a social media audience, contact a restaurant consultant
Photo by Luke van Zyl