There are over 600 million ‘Instagrammers’ (the term the company now uses to refer to its users).

That’s over half a billion people regularly postings images, sharing those posted by others and scouring their feed for photos of stuff they find interesting.

Imagine if, as a restauranteur, you could tap into just a tiny percentage of that user base. Imagine how it could impact your restaurant’s standing within the industry and open your doors to a much larger audience.

You could share new food ideas and invite feedback; post ten second testimonials from happy diners; judiciously share imagery of your operation at work; the possibilities would be literally endless.

There’s just one problem…

How do restaurants get more followers on Instagram?

It’s far from easy, but we think you can start building your audience on the most important of visual social networks by doing the following:

Post regularly!

No one likes a social network account that is seemingly on its last legs or, well… dead. And, if you only post fleetingly to your restaurant’s Instagram account, you may as well not bother.

Marketing bods will provide plenty of contrasting opinions on how many Instagram posts per day is enough, but the fact remains that if you post at least once every twenty-four hours, it’ll be clear to anyone who visits your profile that you’re an active business which takes the medium seriously – and that counts for a lot.

Promote your Instagram presence – everywhere

There’s a lot to be said for organic follower growth on Instagram (i.e that which is obtained by posting regularly and using relevant hashtags), but as a bricks and mortar business, your restaurant can do an awful lot more.

Promote your Instagram presence as much as you can by filling your restaurant with notices that you’re on the service and inviting people to follow the account.

Add incentives for follows, such as ‘Follow us on Instagram and get 10% off your next meal’! You’ll be surprised by how many people take you up on the offer.

Offer brand exposure for your suppliers

Your food and beverage suppliers are looking for the same level of exposure on modern marketing platforms, and if you have an active Instagram strategy underway, you can do a lot worse than invite them to get involved.

Test the water by reaching out to the supplier of a product that is popular with your customers. If it’s a particular beer, for example, you could suggest that the brewer supplies you with branded glasses or other accompaniments with which customers could pose for Instagram snaps.

A collaborative effort on Instagram is highly effective and will strengthen the relationship you have with suppliers, to boot.

Find the most relevant hashtags – and use them

Hashtags were once the sole domain of Twitter, but this method of tagging content for the most appropriate audience has successfully made its way onto numerous other social platforms.

Instagram is particularly nifty when it comes to hashtags, and by finding those that are most relevant to your restaurant, you can use them as often as required. You’ll be surprised by how quickly the right hashtags draw in new followers for your account.

Final thoughts

The best news? Once your Instagram following starts to build, you’ll have an audience which remains largely engaged.

The beauty of this particular social network is that it offers users a relatively ‘clean’ browsing experience. Compare Instagram to Facebook, for example, and the latter is crammed full of various forms of content, status updates and adverts. By contrast, Instagram mixes relevant, eye-catching adverts with what it does best – images and video.

Use our tips above to build your restaurant’s Instagram following and you’ll quickly discover something of a domino effect. That’ll enable you to get on with the business of sharing imagery of your business which draws in more customers than ever before!

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