Social Media Marketing for Restaurants: A Quick Guide [+Examples]
You’ve just opened your restaurant and you want to get the word out. Or you’re counting the days until launch, but you don’t want to wait until then to start...
As another year passes, there are many different hits and misses on social media. A few things remain the same though, and Instagram growth is one of them.
On the whole, Instagram is doing quite well with its relatively old yet extremely successful features such as Instagram stories and some new ones like Instagram Reels. So to help you avoid drowning in an ocean of Instagram statistics, we have selected and explained 50 of them with a quick takeaway on how to apply them to your own strategy.
Here we go, then!
Social media demographics tend to change and be subject to rumor. According to some, Instagram’s audience is getting older while younger users are fleeing to TikTok. There are also those who feel that only women use the platform. Are these assumptions based on guesswork alone, or Is the truth somewhere in between?
The actual number is 1.393 billion monthly active Instagram users, according to Statista. However, there is also some insider data, delivered by e.g. CNBC, claiming that in reality, this number is actually beyond 2 million active users already.
Kontentino takeaway: Instagram is definitely NOT saying good night just yet. When people said Snapchat would kill Instagram, it introduced Stories. Then, TikTok’s growth led to Instagram launching Reels. Users and businesses alike still find many reasons to keep using this platform.
The entire breakdown of Instagram usage is shown by Statista, and the highest numbers come from the 18-24 and 25-44 age groups. Another conclusion can be drawn from the same chart, but we’ll save it for later.
Kontentino takeaway:it goes without saying that if your target audience group is below 34 years of age, you should consider getting on Instagram to maximize the reach. But what if that’s not the case?
Well, we’re not getting younger. Today’s thirty-somethings will be over 40 in 10 years, which gives you quite some time to build up your recognition on Instagram. It’s also not like older age groups don’t use Instagram at all, as shown above.
Busted. According to statistics, Instagram is (slightly) more popular among men, who outnumber female users. This goes against a common belief that Instagram is all about women.
Kontentino takeaway:of course, the differences are so minimal that it makes no sense to masculinize your communication just because of this stat. So don’t do anything rash, and think about your own demographics before taking any action.
There are hundreds of millions of Instagram users in all three of these countries, so companies operating in these locations should be pleased with their Instagram efforts, right?
Kontentino takeaway: there is obviously a correlation between population and Instagram saturation as well as digitization, but don’t get down looking at these numbers and comparing them to your own location.
The stats may actually be more favorable in other countries. For instance, Statista claims that the Japanese Instagram user base is 48.7 million or 39% of the population. That number for India, meanwhile, stands at an estimate of 17.5% – 20% less. So, instead of looking at stats blindly, always consider the proportions.
Instagram, as a concept, was likely invented in the US and introduced as a product by a company based mainly there too. However, 88% of Instagram users are from outside of the US.
Kontentino takeaway:Instagram is an international platform where brands and companies use various types of communication and languages. Don’t assume that if your business is not located in the US, it won’t be successful on Instagram.
To be exact, 297 hours per year and up to 53 minutes a day. Isn’t this simply another statistics showing that Instagram is doing well, since it’s been maintaining people’s attention for years and it’s still on a high level?
Kontentino takeaway:you have almost an hour every single day to reach your US audience, so it’s high time to give it a go on Instagram if you don’t already. It often takes just one Story to become attracted to a particular brand, so why not try it?
25% of American teens claimed that Instagram became their favorite platform in fall 2020, being surpassed only by Snapchat and TikTok.
Kontentino takeaway:there are some false beliefs that Instagram reaches only audiences older than teens, but that’s simply not true. Furthermore, as we pointed out earlier, all age groups are getting older. So if you manage to reach teens on Instagram today, they are likely to be loyal to your brand when they grow up.
Instagram users often use the platform not only for entertainment, but also for evaluation before they decide to buy something. As many as 70% of users check on brands, see influencer content, or verify shoppable posts.
Kontentino takeaway:think of the omnichannel experience. The reverted ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline) approach can be the key element here – you may want to deliver brilliant content on Instagram and then display the products in an attractive way in your brick and mortar store so they are easily searchable. Or, you can use the same photos on Instagram and in your online store.
In terms of time spent in-app, Instagram was one of the platforms that grew the quickest in 2020. The pandemic might have had a huge impact here, as people wanted to share their stay-at-home practices and ideas.
Kontentino takeaway: Instagram became the place-to-go-and-be for many, so brands who digitalized or intensified their marketing efforts back then had the chance to win a lot of attention and following.
The video format is still gaining traction all over the Internet, so this stat isn’t particularly surprising. Especially in these days of fast Internet connections, it isn’t necessary to connect to Wifi to upload or watch even long movies. Since videos are engaging and dynamic, they are an excellent tool for many brands.
Kontentino takeaway: creating videos is still often considered to be time-consuming, boring, and expensive. However, with the stats showing clearly that this format is popular and with many different and free tools available to help you create them on the spot, there’s no excuse not to give it a shot.
The same research also states that an additional 20% of people check IG weekly, so that’s nearly 80% of all users who log into the app at least every seven days.
Kontentino takeaway:some brands stay away from Instagram only because they don’t have the resources to post a few times per day. However, since many users are only logging in weekly, you may want to introduce a similar frequency to your posting schedule. Who knows, maybe this could somehow work for you too?
Out of all the Instagram content formats available, Stories has one of the most significant shopping impacts. According to Instagram, 50% of users were influenced to make a purchase.
Kontentino takeaway: Stories often make the very first touchpoint with a brand. A piece of content that is just a few seconds long can get you a client for life. If Stories aren’t part of your Instagram Strategy yet, how about trying them out?
Instagram seems to be a more engaging platform for users, since it sparks more interactions than it’s older sister. Because the former is widely mobile, a lot of engagement happens on the fly and in seconds. The Instagram photo feed also occupies the entire screen, while Facebook can be distracting and that might have an impact on interactions.
Kontentino takeaway:on Facebook, friends of users can investigate more about what they like, what they don’t, and where they react. On Instagram, this info is kept more secure and private (you don’t see where your friends have commented, for example), which may encourage users to be even more involved.
7 out of 10 users publish Stories on their personal profiles on Instagram, with many using this format more often than they make standard posts.
Kontentino takeaway: Stories are a widely popular format all over Instagram, and brands can get extra visibility through users’ stories with hashtags, tags, gifs, and other types of user-generated content that can be shared on the platform.
And counting. More than 200 million Instagram users have switched to Business Profile in order to access more options for reaching their target audiences.
Kontentino takeaway: if you run a company account on Instagram then you might want to make the free switch to a Business Profile as well. The sooner you do it the better, since only they have access to advertising options and advanced contact information. Plus they are typically the first to be notified of new features.
The game of hashtags is a tricky one. While there are urban legends that recommend using 11 hashtags as a rule of thumb, the study from the top 100 brands on Instagram says to only include about two or three. So, who’s right here?
Kontentino takeaway:just do what works best for your brand. It’s not about using the whole limit of 30 hashtags, but rather using those you do correctly. You can check out our good practices for picking the best Instagram hashtags right here.
It’s not surprising that Instagram generates more interactions than Facebook because it’s a platform that heavily relies on images and visuals. However, there may be even more reasons for this.
Kontentino takeaway: there are fewer interactive reactions on Instagram, with users only being able to “heart” and comment under a photo post. Engagement is rather diffused on Facebook because the same photo can be posted with clickable links, spark various reactions, and be widely shared.
The interactive elements including polling stickers, music, and mentions were introduced simply to be used – they are visually appealing and easy to leverage. Instagram Stories began slowly with only a few features that could be added, but they now offer the possibility of increasing engagement, which brands love.
Kontentino takeaway: you can’t introduce your own features to Instagram, but you can customize those that are already there for you. How about introducing your own set of GIFs (we have), filters, or branded hashtags? Make it memorable.
The fashion industry is one of the sectors that can leverage Instagram the most with interactive and shoppable features. The fact that 98% of fashion brands use Instagram should come as no surprise, then.
Kontentino takeaway: fashion brands should look even further on Instagram. While there are options for making their own posts really engaging, the fashion industry may also want to consider involving influencers and user-generated content as well as using this platform for ordering and customer service.
There is a lot of confusion as for not only whether or not to use Stories, but also how many of them to post if so. We’ve been checking up recently on the most popular brands’ accounts, and the outcome stands at up to 7 Stories per day.
Kontentino takeaway: this amount may sound like a lot, but don’t let it deter you. Don’t forget that there are often huge teams behind a single IG account, so don’t feel bad if you can’t post as often. Even a few Stories a week is a lot. Also, don’t limit yourself if you e.g. run a new collection with dozens of products in your shop.
We mentioned that Instagram has almost 2 billion monthly active users, and 90% (or roughly 1.8 billion via unofficial data) follows at least one business on Instagram. Perhaps that could be yours?
Kontentino takeaway: following a profile on Instagram seems easier and more appropriate than liking a Page on Facebook these days, so don’t be afraid to encourage your followers to give you a “follow” as well as a “heart”.
We found this Instagram statistics fairly interesting as it goes against the perceived casual “lifespan” of each social media post. In an era when we are all told that posts live for only a few hours max, this may be surprising until you look into it.
Kontentino takeaway:there is a chance that newcomers would love to explore your profile as a whole when they visit it, especially if you don’t post much content.
Look at @philippineleroybeaulieu. This French actress got worldwide recognition after her appearance on one Netflix series, and became popular on Instagram overnight. Even her photos from years ago keep receiving new comments and reactions. Would that happen on Facebook? We’re not entirely sure.
Instagram Stories were created in 2016, can you believe that? Yes, it’s been years now and closer to a decade since the world first became excited about this new Instagram feature that it has been using ever since.
Let’s see how the Instagram Stories landscape looks in 2022.
This is pretty self-explanatory, half a billion people worldwide use Instagram Stories daily. With such an extensive audience, this platform is a prominent social media channel and one of the most popular in general. It gathers millions of people each and every moment, with 350k users every minute on average.
Kontentino takeaway:Stories are a quick, dynamic, and often more digestible format than standard posts. If you don’t use them yet in your communication, it’s never too late to start. They don’t have to be professional to be seen – check what your competitors publish, peep on industry leaders, and try for yourself.
Is that low or is it high? Businesses often have quite an array of tools to make great Stories but not the drive, time, or audience to make them really successful.
Kontentino takeaway: Stories gain popularity if a few boxes are ticked – when viewers like a brand, are interested in its content, interact with their purchases, or are about to make one. Before you begin creating content on a large scale, make sure you have a wide enough audience for it to make an impact upon.
If we had to pick one stat to encourage social media managers to start using IG Stories, it would be this one. 86% of users who start watching Stories finish them.
Kontentino takeaway: uploading random Stories that don’t make sense together and are not consistent with your strategy may not be the best for user retention. Making them interesting yet still in a way that tells a story while, on the other hand, help you obtain a better completion rate. You don’t want to just quit a story, right?
In addition, the same research shows that 55% of marketers are planning to create more Instagram Stories in the future. In other words, there are probably some marketers who still don’t do so despite knowing that they should. As such, it is likely that we’ll get to see them crafting some incredible Stories in 2022.
Kontentino takeaway: although 46% may seem quite low, we need to bear in mind that even if some marketers would love to create Stories for the accounts they manage, the company guidelines might not allow it or they simply have no resources to do so right. Let’s not be harsh on our fellow social media managers.
The Stories feature has become a key part of a business’ presence on Instagram, with over ⅓ of all interactions they get on this platform coming via this format. Stories incorporate several tools, making them ideal for encouraging interactions.
Kontentino takeaway: reactions to and interactions with Stories can be more meaningful than those for Instagram feed posts. Why? First of all, you can use interactive content like polls, Q&A, or stickers. Second, various reactions to Stories carrying precious feedback go beyond the “hearts” known from regular posts.
The “swipe up” feature has the appearance of a sticker, but it would be difficult to miss. It is often packaged with a CTA button, which 67% of users who discovered it click through.
Kontentino takeaway:one of the reasons why this percentage is relatively high is the fact that Swipe Up was once reserved for brands with more than 10k followers. Such a following base was usually quite loyal and dedicated anyway, so clicking through swipe up links was natural to them. For someone outside of that base, it’s likely that the feature was so new and interesting that they also clicked through.
Now this proportion might even increase, since the Swipe Up option is being rolled out to all Instagram users without the 10k/blue badge limit.
While in one of the aforementioned Instagram statistics 50% of users claimed that they purchased after seeing Stories, 62% said they made them interested in a brand.
Kontentino takeaway:don’t overuse Instagram Stories for sales. Make people intrigued by your brand to the point they decide to watch more and more Stories, then hop on to your profile to become a devoted follower.
This is in contrast to 15% who say they never watch Stories with sound, and 59% of respondents who do so sometimes. The latter is likely to be associated with their ability to listen to something (e.g. when commuting) or depending on the account they follow. What’s the best practice, then?
Kontentino takeaway: accommodate all of your viewers by focusing on making them visually appealing first. Then, if there are crucial sound elements, make sure to stretch them by adding the name of the song that’s playing or subtitles for speech). Be sure that your Story is understandable to everyone who views it.
Reels didn’t come on the stage by accident. Instagram couldn’t miss out on the popularity of TikTok, so it decided to introduce its own twin feature of Reels. This quickly gained traction to get where we are now after a slow start and in only a few countries at first, combining what’s best of IG feed posts and Stories.
Kontentino takeaway:Reels are extremely similar to TikTok, so this stat is not surprising. However, IG offers more than just TikTok-like video shorts – you can build a more sustainable online presence here with feed posts, Stories, and now Reels too. Plus, you can repurpose your TikTok content on Reels, and vice versa.
Reels generate up to 67% more engagement for NFL teams compared with the average Instagram video. This may be game-changing for those who until now only posted videos on their feeds or Stories. What are you waiting for?
Kontentino takeaway: Reels give another change for you to repurpose whatever you posted on TikTok or Snapchat, but with an Instagram twist. Even if you’re not planning to stay with this format for long, try your luck and publish a Reel or two. It could go viral, as marketers usually hope for, and you’ll soon see their real power.
The NBA is a fast, dynamic, and challenging game that is perfect for showing in the form of Reels. The NBA has always been involved in social media, so watching them jumping on the bandwagon here is not shocking – but the scale is. 67% of NBA teams already started using this relatively new format on Instagram.
Kontentino takeaway: the popularity of watching basketball is slowly declining, as Gallup research indicates (34% of people surveyed said that it was their favorite sport in 1960, versus 9% in 2017), so NBA teams may want to use Reels to attract younger generations and appeal to them via a format they love.
Compared to less than a dollar on Facebook, this expense is a bit higher. But there are more factors to consider here rather than simply crossing Instagram out of your advertising budget.
Kontentino takeaway: we’ve stressed it enough times here already, but IG is a very visual platform with only a few limited link placements. As such, clicks may be fairly expensive yet valuable and meaningful, ultimately leading to conversion.
That’s quite a leap from the $17.4bn it reached back in 2020. If you analyze the chart below, you can see that the value of Instagram just keeps on growing.
Kontentino takeaway:IG ads can be a few times cheaper and more effective than those on Facebook or LinkedIn, especially for a few Instagrammable sectors. Covid-19 also pumped money into e-commerce that now benefit from their social media presence and invest money into Instagram Dynamic Ads or remarketing.
This is slightly cheaper than the FB engagement cost of $0.085. Either way, for a dollar you can have almost 20 interactions (including sales or lead gen) with your content. Would any form of advertising buy you that?
Kontentino takeaway: the prediction is that this cost will only get cheaper, despite the competition and mountains of content already available on Instagram. As interactions on this platform are easy to get, brands will continue to generate even more of them with advertising.
As if you would need more encouragement to start using videos.
Kontentino takeaway: as above.
It would be difficult not to mention influencer marketing as a part of advertising on IG. Of course, the rates depend on many factors (location, niche, popularity, etc.), but eMarketer found that the cost of a Story published by a celebrity with 500k+ followers is more than 4 times cheaper than a regular Instagram post.
Kontentino takeaway: although lower prices for Instagram Story placements may sound tempting, don’t forget an important detail here – they disappear after 24 hours (unless pinned to profile’s highlights afterwards, with lower visibility). Other advertising placements are more expensive, but can have more power when it comes to brand awareness and even SEO (if we’re talking YouTube).
If we assume that writing this paragraph took 2 minutes, Instagram is richer by 130,000 photos by now.
Kontentino takeaway: even though you may think the Instagram scene is oversaturated by now, there are still new businesses going there to engage their audiences with photos. You could be next if you’re not present there already.
We’re talking color psychology here: blue is associated with calmness, inspiration, stability, and productivity. Red is often associated with anger and fear, so graphic designs using this color may be less popular among Instagram users.
Kontentino takeaway: there could be even more to it than that. Red is usually a terrible color when it comes to online conversion, as it can easily turn into pixels or blurs and thus ruin the whole effect. This issue even sparked a discussion on Reddit the other day. Best to stay away from this color on your social media channels, or at least not overuse it, if you want to get likes.
EXTRA: the same source identified the four colors below as the most Instagrammable. You can thank us later.
Now we know about which colors to use on your photos, let’s hop onto some Instagram statistics about the most engaging content. It turned out that photos featuring faces can spark almost 40% more engagement than those without.
Kontentino takeaway:faces, especially those belonging to the brand at least somewhat (e.g. founders, employees, models), have an element of personalization and bring your audience closer. Remember that people want to deal with people, not businesses. By showing “your faces”, you show your brand.
According to FanBooster, posts that leveraged geo-locations and were thus associated with specific places generated up to 79% more engagement than those without. Of course, this is also because geo-location can give them a place in the Explore tab, but that may not be the only reason why they are more popular.
Kontentino takeaway: like with faces, if you add a location to your posts then you create a bond with people who live in that place, have been there, or even just passed by and liked it. This bond can result in a reaction such as a like, repost, or follow and then in sales, lead gen, and a loyal client.
At least pretend to be surprised.
Kontentino takeaway: the fact that #love is the most popular hashtag doesn’t mean that you need to use it whenever you have the chance. Sticking to your hashtag strategy may be more beneficial than jumping on the #love bandwagon, currently on 2.1 bn mentions.
It may seem difficult to create posts with shoppable tags at first, but in reality it is as simple as uploading your products to a Facebook catalog (yes, you’ll need to be on that platform too for this) and tagging them. It’s worth doing this, since as many as 130 million Instagram users click through such posts every single month.
Kontentino takeaway: if you have hundreds of products yet you might just move a few priority ones first instead of adding them all to extensive catalogs. This way, you’ll be able to test the water without spending too much time upfront.
User-generated content is the highest form of appreciation of what a brand is doing online. If your business is getting natural mentions from your clients, you simply know you’re doing a great job. As many as 92% of Instagram users claim they trust UGC way more than other methods of advertising.
Kontentino takeaway: it may be hard to get user-generated content if you have only just started having a presence on Instagram or launched a new brand. Consider encouraging clients to share stories about your brand (e.g. for a discount code) or involve influencers in your strategy.
More than ⅔ of Instagram users head to Instagram to get in touch with their favorite creators, not just brands. They are open to discovering new ones, which makes IG one of the best places for experimenting with creative strategies.
Kontentino takeaway: Instagram is not only a great place for boosting brand recognition or sales, but also for building a loyal community around your activity. If you are a creator, you can gather a great following on Instagram in no time with a consistent strategy and proactive approach.
Every Instagram user can browse the Explore page to discover posts, accounts, hashtags, and products that they may be interested in, and half of all users actually do that every month. This can open up a lot of new possibilities to brands that are active and regular with their strategies, with the main benefit of being seen among potential new followers.
Kontentino takeaway: there is no golden rule as for what steps to follow to land on the Explore page. To increase the likelihood of that, you should always add relevant geo-tags and hashtags to your posts, stimulate interaction, and take care of the visual layer of your content.
Over half of the influencers surveyed claim to use Instagram Stories for the sponsored campaigns that they run for businesses. There may be a few reasons for that. Stories disappear after 24 hours, so influencers can promote many products without them clashing. Also, Stories are a very interactive type of content that are quick to produce and publish on a large scale.
Kontentino takeaway: what sounds great for influencers doesn’t have to sound that way for businesses. Who would like to see their adverts gone after a day? When discussing arrangements, you may want to make sure that your brand will be covered in the right way (e.g. by saving a Story to particular Highlights).
From what Phlanx has analyzed, it turns out that the more followers an account has, the lower its engagement. While for huge accounts with more than a million followers the average ER is below 2%, smaller creators can count on up to 5.6% ER.
Kontentino takeaway:the data above may inspire you to seek micro-influencers for collaboration. They may have smaller followings, but higher engagement rates and loyal communities built in their fields. Micro-influencers won’t be the right choice everywhere, but there are many cases (e.g. local promotion or a very niche product) where you’ll hit the jackpot with them.
One campaign I personally ran with micro-influencers a few years ago on Instagram was to promote a new product and show its texture (a very thick and moisturizing hand cream). We managed to involve a few smaller influencers and collaborated with them on barter rules instead of spending the budget on one post for a bigger account. The result? That hand cream sold out in a few days.
This doesn’t come as a shock, right? The same research shows though that there are more carousel posts (18.6%) than video posts (15.9%) on Instagram feeds. This may indicate that brands rather keep videos for Stories and Reels.
Kontentino takeaway: what about combining a few images you have into a GIF, then an MP4 file, and adding it to your feed as a video? No one says to create videos from scratch, but repurpose what you have and see if animated content drives better results. Especially if they are supposedly not that popular on IG feeds.