Ready to learn how to get the most out of your Instagram marketing? This visual-centric platform has given restaurants the opportunity to grow unlike any other.

There’s an obsession with Instagram for many reasons. For restaurants in particular it’s an extension of your business. You can display your finest dishes in the same place you communicate with your customers.

Running a restaurant’s Instagram page can be time-consuming and tricky. But, there are many hacks that can help with this. In this blog post, we’re going to give you 10 Instagram hacks that will have you working smart, not harder. Let’s get into them.

#1 How to Appear in More Search Results

Do you want your business to be exposed to new customers on the Explore page? This hack is easy and will help boost your chances of appearing in more search results.

It all starts with your Instagram “Name”. The “Name” field in your Instagram bio is searchable. This means you need to include important keywords in your “Name”. These keywords should highlight what kind of eatery you own.

For example, if you operate a coffee shop, the keyword “coffee” should be in your Instagram “Name.” But, this goes for all restaurant types. Bar, diner, or cafe, you name it. It’s essential to add this to your “Name” field to increase your chances of appearing on the Explore page.

Country Touch Cafe is a perfect example of including keywords in their name.

As a business marketing on Instagram, you want to be on the user’s Explore page. It’s going to help you attract new business and raise brand awareness.

#2 Push Notifications

Keep your customers up-to-date with your latest social posts with push notifications. Sadly, Instagram’s new algorithm makes it easy for your content to go unseen. It’s non-chronological and with every refresh, the images change. To prevent this, encourage your customers to turn on push notifications for your page. With this feature, your customer must be following your account to turn this on.

Have them follow these steps to turn on push notifications:

  1. Go to your restaurant’s Instagram profile.
  2. Tap the “Following” dropdown button under the bio description.
  3. Click the “Notifications” tab.
  4. Select the desired notification option (posts, stories, and live videos).

You need to entice your customers to turn this feature on. Do this by building buzz on your posts and stories for limited offers. When your customers enable this feature they’ll never miss your posts again.

#3 Use Instagram Stories

Stay top of mind by utilizing Instagram’s “Story” feature. Stories are unique because they are more frequent and effective than posts. They provide a place where information and photos are promoted for 24 hours only. Instagram stories strengthen engagement and are very useful for marketing your business.

Stories use real-time marketing to reach your customers at just the right moment. Another perk of stories is that they allow you to keep your profile organized. There’s no need to clutter your feed with 10 images a day. That’s a content overload that will push customers away. Your story is where you can share daily specials and posts or stories that your customers tag you in.

The new algorithm is also another reason to use Instagram stories. While your posts may have to fight for a spot to be seen, stories don’t. They’re at the top of your feed and allow you to maintain visibility.

#4 Helpful Tools for Creating Stories

If you’re looking to save time and create consistent stories, use a story template. Templates help create on-brand content and appealing stories. The most popular design photo applications that you can use are Over and Storyluxe.

Here is a guide by Later featuring more apps and tips for creating one-of-a-kind stories. Later is a marketing platform that helps streamline your social strategy on Instagram.

Instagram also has many features that allow you to create fun and easy stories. Did you know that you can access more colors for your text and background than just the default colors? This is a great hack because it allows you to match your text with your brand colors and aesthetics. Let us show you how to get them.

  1. Open Instagram Stories and select the brush tool.
  2. Tap any default color and long-hold it to open up a color slider.
  3. Swipe across the slider until you find your desired color.
  4. Alternative way: Use the color picker tool to match an exact color from your image. Move your finger across the image until you pinpoint the color you want.

This hack allows you to be more creative with your stories and stay true to your brand colors.

See more social media tips & tricks for promoting your restaurant here.

#5 How to Keep Your Stories Alive

Instagram Stories Highlights is a valuable feature your restaurant should be using. This tool allows stories to live on past their 24-hour lifespan.

Highlights are in a prime location for followers to get a quick glimpse of what your business is all about. You could have Highlights for your cocktails, food, and events. This is also a place where you can save and share user-generated content.

#6 Repost User-Generated Content

Have you ever seen a photo you loved that one of your customer’s posted of your food? Today’s consumers allow their phone to “eat” first so there’s a good chance you have.

User-generated content for restaurants can be compared to positive word of mouth. According to FSR magazine, user-generated contact helps make your brand human. When your customers take photos at your restaurant, encourage them to tag you.

Food influencers are also on the rise creating social media content. Many restaurants share photos from food influencers because they take captivating pictures.

See if your restaurant can benefit from partnering with a food influencer here.

#7 Take Advantage of Photo Presets

Did you know that 30% of millennials will avoid a restaurant if their Instagram presence is weak? No more blurry, old, and dull photos. It’s time to familiarize yourself with photo presets.

What are presets? Presets are filters you can add to your photos that have predefined edits. One simple click is all it takes. Photo presets allow you to do two things at once. Save time editing and create a visually appealing aesthetic to your page.

Restaurants especially have the opportunity to showcase high-quality photos of their food. Adding presets to your images will sharpen your brand. Once you find one that matches your style, use it to create a cohesive Instagram feed.

Ready, preset, go! Check out these 10 free, easy-to-use presents from Hootsuite. Presets will help you stand out amongst all the #food photos on your customers’ feed.

#8 How to Hide Old Photos Without Deleting Them

Maybe by now you’re feeling inspired to give your Instagram a makeover. Luckily, you can do this by hiding old photos without having to delete them. Instagram has an “Archive” feature where you can store as many photos as you’d like.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Tap the three dots on the upper right-hand corner of the photo you want to hide.
  2. Select “Archive.”
  3. To bring this photo back onto your feed for any reason, do the same first step and select “Show on Profile.”

Hiding old photos from your feed can be beneficial to building your theme and brand.

#9 Hide Your Hashtags

In our previous blog post, we gave you the best hashtags to use for marketing your restaurant. Now, we’re going to show you how to hide them on Instagram.

Why would you want to hide your hashtags? They clash with your photo and caption and make it look messy. But, this is a simple fix. All you have to do is add line breaks after your caption before you add your hashtags.

You can create line breaks by adding a series of symbols like dots or dashes. You put one symbol then hit return so there’s one on each separate line. Another way to hide your hashtags is by posting them as a comment on the photo. Doing this will push your hashtags down and away from your caption so it looks neater.

Take a look at Bleu Duck Kitchen‘s Instagram image for example.

You should also practice this on your Instagram stories. Hashtags can take up a lot of space and affect the aesthetic you’re trying to create. Pinch the text to make it smaller and hide it under your image or a GIF.

#10 Be Active & Have Fun

Instagram has huge potential for you to engage with your customers through the right strategy. You must be present and active to draw in new and repeat customers. When you’re tagged in a photo, comment on it and thank your customer for coming in.

Have fun with your social media! After all, it’s an extension of your business. There should be an equal effort between what you put out on the floor and online. Use the tips and tricks in this blog post to help boost your profile today. Give CAKE a follow on Instagram so we can support you along the way.