Social media is one of the best tools for attracting new customers and enticing previous diners back to your restaurant. Ahead of The Social Media Playbook 2020 event in July, we asked social media expert Alison Battisby, CEO of Avocado Social to choose five restaurants who are using Instagram successfully.
Instagram has become the platform of choice for many restaurants due to its visual nature and huge community of foodies. With over one billion active users across the world, it's a no-brainer for your restaurant to have an engaging and up to date presence on the platform.
There are plenty of great tactics being used across the restaurant world and I've detailed my top strategies for a successful Instagram account.
1. Give users an exclusive window into your world
Holborn Dining Room is fantastic at showing key moments from behind the scenes in the kitchen, and the effort it takes to put together the restaurants most notable dishes. I particularly liked this professional shot of three chefs preparing their famous beef wellington.
2. Make sure your images are attention grabbing
We all scroll through Instagram at an alarmingly fast rate, so considering ways to make your food shots stand out is sensible. I love the way 12:51 is grabbing attention with bold, bright backgrounds against their dishes. It certainly draws you in to read the caption and helps the restaurant to stand apart from everyone else.
3. Chefs need to get personal
One of the biggest trends I've noticed in the past few years is the move to chefs having their own Instagram channel, which is run separately from the restaurant. This gives the chef the opportunity to discuss recipe development, ingredients and suppliers, as well as adding their personality by using Instagram as a diary. One of my favourite chefs to follow is Nathan Outlaw. He posts a great mix of dishes from his restaurants, his favourite ingredients to use, and shots from his days in Cornwall.
4. Get your customers to tell the story
A great strategy for creating awareness is to get your customers documenting their experiences at your restaurant on Instagram. There are plenty of ways to encourage more of this by designing your restaurant for Instagram, adding prompts to the menu and around the restaurant itself, or simply encouraging your staff to offer to be the photographer. Berners Tavern are excellent at getting their customers to ‘gram their visits, and they showcase the best ones on their own Instagram grid too.
5. Choose the right hashtag
Hashtags are one of the best ways to reach new audiences and attract new followers to your Instagram account. It's important to do your research to choose the right ones, as #food and #restaurant are oversubscribed and contain a lot of spam. I like the way The Ninth arranges their hashtags in a separate comment. This keeps posts tidy and they use a lot of well-established food hashtags which attract the right sort of engagement. For example #londonfoodie and #eatlondon.
If you want to learn about the latest Instagram trends and strategies that convert followers into customers, then join Alison Battisby and brand expert Mark McCulloch at The Social Media Playbook 2020 on 19 July at the Soho House. Information about how to book is here.