How to Use Instagram As A Way To Promote Your Restaurant Business


This video tip is about how to use Instagram as a way to promote your brand and use in a competition to get viral photographs going around as well as your restaurant's hashtag.

This is what you do:  You set up a competition in your restaurant and the way that people enter is to take food photographs and then put a hashtag of your restaurant name in that food photograph.

You need to tell people what's going on. You're going to go out a little bit off-line here. You're going to use table talkers, posters in your place and any other way that you can let people know that there's this food photography competitions going on. Also remember to tell them the hashtag you want to use.

There are two actually. One of the hashtags is #yourrestaurantname -- your restaurant name. The other one would be #yourrestaurantnamecomp (C.O.M.P.) -- meaning competition or something to that effect. You can make whatever you want.

At the end of the competition, everybody who's entered it should have #yourrestaurantname in their photograph and #restaurantnamecomp (or whatever it is you've chosen to use).

At the end of the month, you can sort through all of the photographs by going into Instagram and looking up #restaurantnamecomp and all the photographs with that hashtag will come up.

If you make it something that's got your restaurant name and something strange in it like “comp” (#restaurantnamecomp) there's only the photographs in that competition going to come up. You might want to do #restaurantnamecompmonth. So it might be #yourrestaurantnamecomp09, if you were doing it in September so if you wanted to do it on a monthly basis, the following month you could do comp10, comp11 and 12 and so on.

So look up that hashtag in your Instagram, e.g #restaurantnamecomp and in this instance let's say it's 09 : #restaurantnamecomp09. All the photographs with that hashtag are going to come up. You look at all the photographs, you decide which one you like, you click on that, and the person's details will come up and you can send them a private message saying,

"Hey thank you for taking the photograph. Please come in and let me give you your reward.".

Once they come in, get them and yourself to take a photograph, maybe even a video of you presenting the award or the prize to them for winning the competition, and then make sure that goes in your story and theirs on Instagram.  Also make sure that it links to your Facebook business page as well.

So what this does is it gets you to go out and your restaurant to go out on various people's Instagram feeds. And if their feeds are also linked to their Facebook, it's going out on their Facebook. So they're doing a lot of promoting for you.

The other thing that it does is it keeps interest in your Instagram page. And of course, if you're linked to Facebook on your Facebook page, you can keep promoting the fact that you're running this competition.

You can use this to get people to come in and get excited about what they're doing and what they're experiencing in your restaurant particularly if your food looks fantastic. You will also generate lots of those lovely food photographs which will be shared on Social Media.

The thing it doesn't do is it doesn’t give you anybody's details, for example their e-mail, so you can't broadcast out to those people, like you could if they had entered via an email campaign.  You could only do that by doing specific Facebook and Instagram competition marketing which we've talked about separately.

So this really is about branding, is about getting people talking about your place, it's getting your place's hashtag broadcast through Instagram and also if it's linked through Facebook.

I hope that's useful.

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