If you think you know everything there is to know about how to curate a successful Instagram account, think again. Here are a few more tips to make your restaurant’s Instagram account instantly noticeable. Instagram is, first and foremost, an app dedicated to photos, so what more obvious way to get noticed than with stellar photography? Food is notoriously difficult to photograph appetizingly, so you may have to practice, but you needn’t be a professional to take beautiful food shots. There are plenty of tips on the internet on how to take great food photos (see here and here), some of which include using a neutral background, and getting your lighting just right. You may want to consider having your chef make some “beauty plates” so you can stage a photoshoot before service begins; dedicate some time to getting the best shot. Take a few and post them throughout the week. And use technology as an aid; there are plenty of apps to help you make the most of your food photos.
A popular hashtag can help unique eyes find your account. As opposed to Twitter or Facebook, research shows that the more hashtags on Instagram, the better. Mixing popular, trending hashtags with lower frequency hashtags can maximize viewership. Also, adding your hashtags to the comments section instead of the caption helps your post look less cluttered and generic, but can still drive traffic to your feed.
Speaking of captions, make yours short and sweet. Instagram is designed to be glanced at, not studied. Whether it’s one word, or a one-liner, make it easy for someone who’s just browsing to catch. Better yet, give simple instructions to help continued engagement with your post. Guiding a user to click on a bio link related to the photo drives more traffic to your profile. Asking a question is another way to get users interacting with your post; ask users to answer in the comments. This is a fun way to get immediate, direct feedback. Not feeling creative? Use a relevant quote or a customer testimonial – just make sure to give proper attribution. No matter what you write, always proofread, or use an app to be sure to avoid mistakes.
Finally, give your feed a “look.” The best looking Instagram accounts are cohesive and have a distinctive style. California Donuts uses bright, colorful, uncluttered photos that ensure once you start scrolling, you can’t stop. Another aspirational feed is Taco Bell’s – styling menu items like Pop art makes their feed interesting and upbeat. A good tip for keeping your feed consistent is to use the same photo editing filters and presets for your posts.
If you don’t feel confident with your Insta-skills, leverage your staff. You could have a talented photographer or a social-media star on staff. Work as a team, and get that Instagram account on point.