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6 Great Instagram Story Tips For Restaurants


Since the launch of Instagram Stories back in 2016, users have enjoyed an increase in engagement/impressions and a decrease in the pressure to post perfectly. It’s also lots of fun with added effects and layers being added on a regular basis (your reminder to check your updates). New Stories appear at the top of the feed and so, if you are active, your followers will likely see you there before they will see your latest post in their feed.


However, since Stories data is limited, it’s much harder to keep an eye on content performance. That means that if you are using Instagram as a marketing tool, you must make an effort to develop a Stories strategy to stay competitive.


Here are 6 great Instagram Story tips for restaurants:


1. The Swipe Up Feature

If you have an account with over 10k followers, congratulations! You have won more than half the battle because you need at least that many followers to have this feature available to you. Once this magical feature is bestowed upon you, like an accolade to confer Knighthood, you have won the keys to the kingdom! No, not really. BUT, you do have the ability to add other links for your followers to click - besides the one you already have in your bio. This is game changing! Imagine that you have launched a Mother’s Day event at your restaurant. Simply create your Story post with an engaging graphic and click the link icon at the top to add your reservation url. Post your Story and now your followers will be able to swipe up to “see more” and be directed to your link, without ever leaving the comforts of the Instagram work hole they have been in for hours. Now, if you do not have 10k followers, then you have a new goal to reach (link to other post here).


2. Polls/Ask A Question?

If you ask, they will answer. Not only are the POLL and QUESTIONS features highly engaging for your following, it also provides you with valuable data that can better inform your overall strategy. For example, before officially launching a new dish, post it to your Story and ask your followers for feedback. You will be surprised as to how much people love to give their opinions! ;)


3. Reposts/Add to story

Last summer, Instagram announced a fun change to Stories. Like reposting to the main feed with your trusty Repost App, users are now able to tag accounts in their Story, which in turn, allows that account to add or “repost” to his/her/its Story. Ok, stay with us here: the feature, called @mention Sharing is only available when a user is tagged in a Story post. The user that is mentioned will get a direct message notification with a link to “Add This To Your Story”. The clock is ticking from here as you only have 24hrs to add the story. It’s kinda like repost meets inception. You can even add someone’s added story to your story, as long as you have been tagged. Can you see it? An inception of Story posts if you will.

Ok, now that we have the technical logistics all laid out for you, here is how all of this can help your business: Reviews! If you like to share customer reviews, you can now quickly use this feature to share to your Story. Take it an extra step further by adding a “REVIEWS” highlight and adding these posts. It’s like giving thanks to your customers and highlighting how awesome your restaurant is…. plus it’s easy no-brainer user generated content. Everybody’s happy!


4. Add Your Location

Similar to Yelp, Google and Trip Advisor, people are using location tags to search for bars and restaurants in their desired location. In the mood for Indian food? Simply search it on Instagram under “Places”. Voila! A list of business’ based on your GPS location. While there may not be a lot of data available on Instagram searches at this time, we can assure you that we have heard of plenty of successful stories (no pun intended) where hungry people Instagram searches are generating revenue for Instagram savvy restaurants.


5. Keep It Real

Take your followers behind the scenes and give them a more intimate look at your establishment. “Behind the Scene”content is irresistible for your followers and goes beyond what is visible on the surface. This kind of content creates a sense of authenticity that will humanize your business and establish a connection that is more rich and satisfying… like the dishes you serve. Also, this is where you don’t have to be perfect. It’s perfectly acceptable to post photos here that you took with your iPhone. No Food Photography degree needed here!


People expect to see “in the moment” posts, a snapshot into a day in the life of your restaurant. Of course, you could also post those gorgeous photos from your last shoot, just try to keep a good mix of pro photos, spontaneous iPhone shots and user generated content, keeping it real.


6. Promote Your Story

Do you have “must see”content and want to make sure that your followers see it? Consider promoting or boosting your Story. This will help you get more impressions, engagement and may help to increase your following. Not sure how to do that? Check out our Blog for more tips.


Instagram Stories are hot and here to stay! How long? We never know, but we do know this: every business should be leveraging this social media platform for its massive popularity. With more than 1 billion monthly active users, across all ages and locations, the potential is huge… and as long as you are using it, you might as well be rocking it!

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