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There’s no doubt that social media has changed the face of business in many ways. For Canadian restaurants i.e. restaurants all over Canada. Instagram has increasingly become one of the more popular platforms. This is for engaging guests and potential guests on the social stage.
With new and innovative add-ons for businesses such as booking tables. While on the app, the platform is helping to facilitate better and deeper engagement. No surprise Instagram has always been very business-friendly for restaurants. Not only are customers likely to post images of their experiences and dishes. But a new range of messaging tools and a more business-focused approach. This focused approach on the platform is also helping restaurants to really stand out.
Restaurants Canada’s Kartikey Bhargava, speaks with Instagram COO Marne Levine
A restaurant’s Instagram success is driven by creating a good business profile on the platform. “I highly recommend any restaurant having a business profile. First of all, it helps the restaurant stand out to their customers as being a business. Second, it gives customers a lot of really important information about who that business is,” says Levine.
The Stats That Make Instagram Worthwhile
Use Instagram and you’ll find more than just foodie snaps and videos in your timeline; the platform uses the most popular hashtags for dining and
restaurants in the world. For example, according to Instagram, 111.9 million posts have used the hashtag #yummy. And the fourth most followed hashtag with over 250,000 followers is #foodstylist.
Instagram differentiates itself from other social media platforms because of the larger number of users. These are the ones who choose to follow a particular business. With over 200 million active users who visit at least one business per day. In addition to this 150 million that further engage in conversations with businesses every month. The potential is there for all to take advantage of.
A popular tool today for engaging with users is Instagram “Stories.” Pioneered by rival Snapchat. One-third of users have started a conversation with a business after viewing an Instagram Story. Stories work simply and dynamically.
The truth is that Instagram has been at the forefront of creating a wide range of business tools that allow restaurants of all kinds to engage with potential guests and raise their profiles.
Create a Business Profile
Research shows that 59 percent of Canadian consumers say they are inspired by the content they see on Instagram and a quarter of them use this
platform to decide whether to buy something or not. Setting up a business profile on Instagram is a particularly powerful tool for restaurants where the visual side of things is so important and brand development is vital.
Assets such as allowing a user to book a table with the simple click of a button on Instagram are starting to provide an invaluable way to boost business as it is rolled out globally. According to Marne Levine, it’s key to make use of all the tools now available if you want your restaurant business to stand out on Instagram.
Direct messaging has been developed on the platform over the years and has improved since it was bought out by Facebook. Now you can get inbox management tools with filtering capabilities so that you are able to better manage engagement with customers. New buttons that allow users to book a table or pay for order means that potential customers can now take direct action without leaving their homes.
Twenty-five companies are currently working on or have completed their integration with Instagram and that includes fast food restaurant A&W in Canada.
They ran an Instagram campaign over a period of five weeks to attract new, younger customers to the brand. This involved posting a series of photo ads featuring close-ups of their food which ran concurrently with another campaign on TV. Over the entire campaign, A&W registered a 39 percent increase in ad recall.
Why Instagram is the Complete Restaurant Promotion Package
Whether you have a small restaurant or a chain of outlets across Canada, making the most of all the assets at your disposal is vital. Call-to-Action buttons in particular are improving bookings for many businesses across a variety of sectors, including hospitality.
This has changed the way we do business. In the past, where some restaurants tried to ban smartphones from the dining table, they now actively encourage guests to snap away and take videos.
Guest-generated reviews are a marketing powerhouse, but negative UGC (user-generated content) can also do the exact opposite. In any case, it may not have the slick, professionally produced quality of a formal restaurant marketing campaign, but positive UGC resonates far more with today’s consumers. If your restaurant is confident in its brand and the quality of food you produce, embracing Instagram and making use of its growing number of tools and UGC is vital.
What this means is that restaurants need to be able to respond and evolve to new additions and changes in the social media landscape. That’s going to be a really big challenge for small and medium-size outfits over the next few years.