Grow Your Kitchen Series: Using Instagram to Build Your Food Business
In this edition of the Growing Your Food Business Series, we’ll look at how to grow your food business with Instagram.
Instagram is a powerful platform for food businesses because cuisine is a visual language. Therefore, prospective customers want more than a written description (although those are important to create a complete picture of everything you can’t see on a plate!). Your goal should be to match your qualifications with their expectations through what you represent through your content.
Why Concentrate on Instagram For Your Food Business
Let’s explore why Instagram is a platform worth concentrating your food business marketing efforts on.
Instagram has over a billion users, which allows you to connect beyond your local audience to include potential collaborators and media. In addition, potential new customer engagement is over 84 times more likely on Instagram than on platforms like Twitter for restaurants because the former offers a visual medium.
In addition, 80% of Instagram users follow a business making it a great way to engage your customer base in real-time.
We live in a full-speed society where making a last-minute dinner choice often means a quick scroll through Instagram. Statistics show that Millenials, who represent 1.4 trillion dollars in disposable income, are 99% more likely to choose a restaurant off of social media than online reviews compared to Baby Boomers and Gen X consumers.
Your Instagram page will quickly allow consumers to conclude about:
- Whether you are offering the experience, they are looking for.
- If your cuisine meets their expectations.
- You will give them the best value.
- What kind of quality do you offer.
Subtle ingredients in your Instagram profile will elevate your presence over the competition and create value for your brand. Psychology plays a significant role in a consumer’s subconscious decision to take on your unique value proposition. Below we break down how little details represent big clues to the customer experience you offer.
Tips For Building A Food Business Instagram
These are the top five ways to build an Instagram for your food business.
Invest In Food Photography
Set Your Instagram Bio Up For Success
Make Your Text Concise, Maximize Its Impact
Timing Is Everything On Instagram
Use the Highlights Section Effectively
Let’s dive into each way your can maximize your food business real estate on Instagram below.
1. Invest In Food Photography
Visual data is processed 60,000 times more rapidly than text by the human brain. The human finger also scrolls at lightning speed when hungry! So investing early in photographing your whole menu and future new menus will give you a bank of images to schedule.
The quality of your food business photography matters. There is nothing wrong with using a high smartphone to create a bank of images, but make sure they represent the quality and value of your brand.
- Take the time to set up your dishes on proper plates, even if you are a takeaway- no dish is giving its “best side” in a box.
- Use good lighting. Natural light will let your cuisine shine, while dull inside light won’t do its flavors justice.
- Work in groups of three. Setting complimentary dishes together will give you the most bang for your Instagram post buck. If someone only looks at one picture on your account to make a decision, let them see the best of the best.
- Use a bold, simple backdrop. Let your hero shine. Eliminate busy countertops and too many props.
- Incorporate some movement! Instagram is currently favoring reels in 2022. Even a short clip of you tossing on the spices or accenting the dish with herbs will impact the algorithm and your customer.
2. Set Your Instagram Bio Up For Success
Consumers are geared toward convenience. Give them what they need, so they don’t leave your page to google the answer. Providing details in your bio may sound basic, but don’t forget the basics:
- How To Order; include your phone number or link to delivery.
- Address; include a hyperlink to a map.
- What you serve; mention the type of cuisine and a few bold adjectives to set you apart. In addition, this is the place to indicate if you cater to specific dietary restrictions.
- Your mission; what experience are you serving up?
- Hashtags; use both consistent high ranking keywords and also bespoke hashtags with your restaurants name it them.
3. Make Your Text Concise, Maximize Its Impact
While the visual will be your main start, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of the text accompanying them. The words that accompany a post will hold your customer’s attention for a split second; make them count!
Use good grammar and spelling. The quality of your text will speak to the quality of your brand.
Keep it concise. One to three sentences should be a max length. Each one should serve as a point to inform, entertain, or be a call to action.
Call to action. Every single post should have a call to action. Examples are; “follow us,” “comment below if you agree,” “share this post to enter our content,” and “Come visit us Friday night for our promotion.
Use a company hashtag. Using a bespoke and catchy hashtag is a creative way to create organic engagement and track your customer’s references to you.
4. Timing Is Everything On Instagram
Food business owners often wear many hats. A startup business owner knows better than any that one of them will have to be social media at the beginning. This can result in doing the social media chores at midnight, but the algorithm gods will tell you that posting while your customer sleeps isn’t helpful.
Post when your customer is hungry. The best time to post is when people are hungry and looking at their phones. These times are usually between 9 AM and 12 PM and 1 PM and 8 PM.
Check your accounts algorithm to confirm that you had the most engagement at these times.
Use a content calendar to automate your posts.
Before launching a promotion, bank posts that will tease the lead-up, go hard while it’s running, and remind people before it ends.
5. Use the Highlights Section Effectively
Those little bubbles below your Instagram Bio can serve a great purpose if they are maximized.
Menu. Every food business page that offers any kind of experience should use a highlight reel bubble for its written menu.
How To Order. Are you a sit restaurant? Do you offer delivery? Do customers need to order ahead? This is the spot to place a few infographics.
Food Photography. Save your customer from having to scroll your entire Instagram if they are in a hurry. Offer them the best of your food photography here to convert their hunger to your sale.
Reviews. Repost your customer’s kind reviews here. If they’ve mentioned you in a post or story, save it and repost in this highlight reel.
Instagram is a golden platform for your food businesses to generate leads, create authority in your culinary niche, create brand awareness and drive sales. Invest early into this visual experience and you can count on organic growth.
Check out more from the Grow Your Kitchen Series:
How Covid Changed Food StartUps
Growing Your Kitchen Series: Finding Your Why