Blog / January 7, 2022
How to Use Instagram Business To Increase Awareness and Drive More Reservations
Hospitality operators are always looking to increase demand, boost direct reservations and drive more direct delivery and takeout orders. One very effective way to achieve that is to show your customer experience with pictures. Here’s why:
- The human brain can process images up to 60,000x faster than words.
- We remember 65% of pictures 3 days later — compared to just 10% of words.
- Seeing pictures of food has been scientifically proven to make people hungry.
Read on to learn 11 ways to use Instagram to get more followers and drive more conversions.
1. Repost the pictures you’re tagged in.
As Instagrammers and as humans, we often base our decisions on what we see from our peers – or in this case, the accounts that we follow.
That’s why it’s worth taking those pictures your restaurant is already being tagged in and sharing them with the world.
Pro Tip: Use a free app like Repost for Instagram. No more screenshotting, cropping, and posting on your own. Just scroll through a page with all of your tagged photos, and click one!
Don’t forget: In order to capture diners beyond those already following you, you need to use hashtags strategically. Keep in mind that foodies and critics monitor these hashtags!
2. Engage your followers with giveaways.
By asking your followers to comment on your photo or tag you in one of theirs, you increase engagement with your existing fan base and get new follows from their followers.
3. Promote special events and unique experiences.
Whether you’re selling tickets to an upcoming event or promoting a special experience, use an Instagram post to give attendees an idea of what to expect– and always include a signup link!
Pro Tip: Make booking even easier by adding a “Reserve” button to your profile (SevenRooms customers can do that here).
4. Help your followers celebrate every day of the week.
Whether it’s Taco Tuesday or a Summer Friday, tap into your audience’s feelings to drive more bookings and online orders. They’ll tag their friends, and soon those friends will follow you.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to hashtag your own restaurant in your caption, because guests searching for you may click on your hashtag to see pictures from all Instagram users.
5. Advertise your dine-in and delivery specials.
One of the best ways to drive demand is to let your delicious menu speak for itself. Use these opportunities to include not relevant hashtags, as in the example below.
6. Give your followers the first look.
Whether you’re about to add a new delivery item to your menu or launch a special on-premise experience, say when and what in the caption, and show it firsthand in your picture.
7. Celebrate national food days.
We all want to be the first to know something, so we can share it with our network. Use this to your advantage by alerting your followers to: a) the fact that it is an obscure food- or drink-related national “holiday”, and b) your related menu item.
8. Highlight seasonal items and limited-time-only specials.
Because we all wish truffle season lasted longer.
9. Take advantage of the weather.
Whether it’s giving your followers refuge from bad weather or helping them refuel after a long beach day, keeping your marketing messaging in sync with the local weather is a great way to drive reservations and orders.
10. Play show-and-tell.
It’s one thing to read dish descriptions on a menu. It’s another thing entirely to see the whole thing laid out beautifully on the table. Tempt your followers to lean into the #FOMO and watch your guest spend grow.
11. Tap into pop culture and popular events.
When it comes down to it, the people who follow your Instagram account are just that: people. That means you can focus on points of connection, just like you would in a real conversation. Whether it’s game day or Grammy night, use your Instagram messaging to capitalize on the excitement.
- Start small — Pick one tip and practice it for a month before adding a new one.
- Use an Instagram scheduler to plan posts in advance and not have to remember on your own. It’s important to get a cadence going so you have a sustainable presence that keeps your followers engaged.
- Get a Reserve button if you don’t have one already. If you’re a SevenRooms customer, contact your CSM or write to us at [email protected].