As we mentioned in our last post , leveraging social media is critical for restaurants to survive the Covid-19 crisis. Here are some helpful hints on how to harness the power of social media and boost your restaurant business. If you have to focus on one platform, we suggest using Instagram, since it’s a free tool that has proved to be effective with a few easy steps.
How to Write Your IG Bio
Your bio is the new maître d’ since it’s the first thing that customers will see, so it's important to make it count.
The first sentence should be a short 2-4 word description of your restaurant (“Desserts Make You Happy” @roselle_to, or “Authentic Spanish Tapas” @Patria are some examples).
Next, you’ll want to make a short statement about your current situation, such as “Open for Takeout/Delivery”.
Add your location ("Toronto"). If there’s space, you can add how customers can best get a hold of you (“Email/Phone Orders Only”)
You can use emoticons to shorten the number of characters used.
Use a service like Linktr.ee that generates a page of links if you have multiple links you want your diners to see (such as a delivery page, your website, and/or any press articles you may have).
How to Use Highlights & Posts
Pin your operating hours and how to best contact you in your highlights for quick reference.
In a separate highlight, add your current menu and products.
Do you have a DIY donut kit (@rollingpinto) you want people to know about, or a Mother’s Day brunch box (@lightcafecanada)? Post info about any specials you may have (use the magic words “limited quantity”), and include info on how to order those specials and the deadline to do so.
Tag local food bloggers/city related accounts for easy sharing when posting in your highlights.
Repost your customers stories featuring your food and write personal comments thanking them for their support.
Support other local restaurants and tag them.
Download the IGTV app to make and post longer videos, such as sharing recipes.
Work the Algorithms
Instagram links like-minded accounts together and recommends them to users so it’s important to play the algorithm game.
Join local community groups and BIA’s on Instagram and Facebook. Locals will be more inclined to support local (and pick-up food as well if it’s close by).
Follow other local restaurants/businesses, and support them with likes, comments and tags. They’ll likely do the same for you!
Follow food bloggers, city related accounts and influencers.
Include an actionable hashtag right after your post’s text such as #savehospitalityCA or #supportlocalrestaurants , and/or try creating your own unique hashtag. Create a Google Keep file containing other hashtags that you can copy and paste easily.
Make Their Order IG Worthy
We know. The Uber driver delivered your pizza upside down. You lovingly put a handmade cake in the perfect box, only for it to get sloshed around. Presentation just isn’t the same and you have no control over deliveries, but you can still make each order IG worthy. Being IG worthy, of course, means more exposure for your business and the effects are exponential. Here are some tactics you could try:
Try adding a personalized note of thanks or add some quirky stickers
Slip in a coupon for a pick-up order, or add a freebie.
Give patrons a secret menu, or offer a sneak peek at next week’s menu to encourage repeat ordering and a sense of exclusivity.
Print a QR code to a Spotify list to play while they eat, or link to a secret page on your website thanking them for their patronage.
Photograph Your Food Like a Pro
Find a place with good natural lighting and a neutral background. Do not use your built-in flash.
Consider investing in a tripod and other equipment like a light box.
If you’re using your phone to take photos, turn on the auto white balance function.
When shooting photos for your Instagram feed, use the 1:1 format.
If you’re having a hard time with composition, try to shoot larger food like salads and pizzas from top down, and detailed food photos from the side.