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Instagram is the number one social media app for people to engage with restaurant brands. To set up an Instagram account for your restaurant, you can head over to Instagram’s site and follow these set-by-step instructions. Before you setup your account, there are a few things you’ll want to consider before  you dive into this social world.


The Name Game

When setting up your restaurant’s Instagram account, make sure your username is easy to remember for your customers. Include keywords relevant to your business and restaurant so that your restaurant will pop up first when people try to search for you. Develop your own unique hashtag specific to your restaurant. For example, if your restaurant’s name is Daisy’s Dawgs – a hot dog restaurant – your hashtag could be #hotdiggitydaisy.


Engage authentically and reward your followers

Be sure to reward your customers. If a customer tags your restaurant or posts a photo that mentions your restaurant, give them something free or a special discount for their next purchase. Make sure you acknowledge their tag with a quick “thank you” or maybe a direct message with a 15% off coupon. You want to encourage customers to talk about your restaurant, and sometimes, incentives are the best method to get the discussion and positive energy flowing!



Make sure to promote your Instagram account on your marketing materials (menu, takeout bags, etc) By making it known to your customers that they can communicate to you from their own personal Instagram accounts, you are increasing your chances of exposure and positive publicity.


KISS – Keep It Short and Sweet

When posting on Instagram, keep your posts short and sweet. The less text and content you have, the more likely those following you will read everything you have to say. More importantly, if someone shares your Instagram photos on Twitter, and the text is longer than 140 characters, the post will get cut off. If you are going to post photos, make the photos as enticing as possible. Posting mouth-watering food pics goes a long way because the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. And this goes without saying but be sure to include hashtags for every post. Instagram posts with at least one hashtag drive  12.6% more engagement than those without them. A final note on content; Over 73% of businesses post at least one photo or video per week on Instagram. So if you are going to create an account, be ready to commit to content!


What do you want?

Instagram is a great way to connect with your customers on a more personal level. Are you looking to add a new menu item? Set up a poll asking what the customers will eat! Deciding on what kind of deal you should run for a flash deal? Get conversations going to see what your customers want the most. Gathering you customers opinions organically through a medium they already use on a daily basis will help you both connect and collect insight into who they are and what they want.


Link Them Together

Instagram is a powerful integration tool. Once you set up your Instagram account, link it to both your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Remember, the more channels you have, the greater your reach.


Determine the Tone

Decide how you want to communicate to your customers. Do you want to have a funny tone? Do you want to keep your posts to restaurant content only? Do you allow your posts to be a little personal? Having the right tone for your brand is plays a huge role in how customers feel about your restaurant.  


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