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...
When it comes to communication on social media, we all want it to be completely flawless. However, that’s not always the case, let’s be honest with each other. Uploading a messy/uncomplete copy with grammar mistakes will not come across as professional. Posting a low-quality photo every once in a while will not make you an Instagram sstar. Not being aware of Instagram mistakes is actually making it too easy for your competition. In this article, we’re bringing you the most common Instagram mistakes and simple guidelines that will help you to stay clear of them in future.
Instagram is a social media platform primarily focused on high-quality visual content. Especially when you’re a company or a brand, low-quality photos are a big no-no.
Posting quality photos is easier than ever before. Now, almost every smartphone has a camera that takes great photos for social media. So, even when you find yourself without a pro photographer at times, knowing how to make the most out of your smartphone camera will help tremendously. Avoid one of the biggest mistakes Instagram managers often do by following these three simple steps:
Always choose beautiful visuals over desperately trying to stick to the posting schedule. If you, for some reason, don’t have a nice photo ready for your post, don’t rush it. It’s better to post an amazing photo the next day than to mess up your brand’s image with something that is clearly not up to your standards.
Also, make sure that you’re uploading photos that have the correct dimensions. Not following Instagram’s recommendations on image sizing is one of the common social mistakes and may badly affect all your effort. When editing high-resolution pictures taken with a DSLR, for example, adjust their size in post-production. Instagram will automatically compress gigantic photos and you’ll end up with low-resolution images.
It’s important to think about the type of content you’re posting and switch it up regularly. Your followers will likely get bored if your content and captions are the same all the time. A great example of how to do this right is Herschel Supply – their Instagram managers are doing an amazing job posting photos of models and products, followed by amazing travel shots from around the world.
There isn’t a worse thing than publishing an Instagram post with mistakes in the copy. This can easily be considered the biggest mistake you can make. A lower-quality photo can be blamed on technology fail but messed up copy clearly points to people on the social media team. A post like this looks highly unprofessional. Especially when it’s supposed to be part of a campaign using celebrities or influencers. Users – your customers especially – are very sensitive when it comes to this, they always want the best.
To make sure that you’re posting the correct copy every single time, send the finished post for internal approval first. You can do it easily inKontentino. Remember that two heads are better than one. And just to be sure, Kontentino will also check the spelling for you, so your post will be 100% flawless.
For some Instagram managers, hashtags prove to be more difficult to use correctly than for others. Some people use them in abundance, others ignore them completely. What’s the answer then?
If you’re going to use them, use them right. There are several principles you should follow when it comes to using hashtags. Use them moderately. Nobody wants to see a post with 300 hashtags attached to it. It looks spammy and it’s completely unnecessary.
Also, don’t use the same hashtags all the time. They need to be relevant to the particular post. It’s good to make lists of hashtags related to different topics regarding your industry. That way you don’t have to waste time on coming up with new hashtags every time you’re uploading a post.
It’s very important to check the meaning of hashtags before you start using them with your brand. What looks OK or funny to you, might have been already used in different contexts that you don’t necessarily want to connect with your brand or product.
What should be the right number of hashtags used for maximum engagement? To avoid making more social mistakes, the majority of articles online will tell you to use 11 hashtags. Some authors recommend using up to 30 hashtags.
Many Instagram managers don’t include hashtags in the post. To keep their post “clean” they tend to paste all the hashtags in the first comment. As more and more users will comment on the post, your hashtags will be hidden. Unless someone clicks to read all of the comments. If you want to add hashtags to comments, you should be very quick. It’s best when your comment is the first one and doesn’t get lost between users comments. To make the hashtags hidden within the comment, start with a dash/dot, each one in a separate line (at least 5 lines). Then, the users will see the whole comment only if they click on “more”.
There’s a lot of different opinions on what the best hashtag practice is. The best thing to do is to test it with a couple of posts and find your sweet spot.
Posting only from time to time isn’t going to bring you results. Posting too often can come across as spammy and overwhelm your followers. There doesn’t exist a single formula that would tell you how often you should post on Instagram. Companies and brands usually post once or twice per day. Even if you don’t have enough content to post twice a day, every day, you can create a posting schedule. That will help you see the designated days for content publishing and you’ll be better prepared.
Neglecting the Instagram account for a couple of weeks or months is one of the biggest Instagram mistakes anyone can make. Sporadic posting will not bring you a steady flow of followers or marketing success on Instagram. There are many theories regarding how often you should post on Instagram. If you’re not sure, you can always check your business profile analytics page to see the times your followers are on Instagram. You can build your posting schedule around that.
The key to this is finding the right balance and being consistent. Your social media strategy will help you with this. If you’re struggling with social media strategy creation, try following this step-by-step tutorial and the free template.
One of the Instagram mistakes that brands make is forgetting to post stories. You already have a beautiful and consistent feed. Why not taking advantage of Instagram’s Stories feature? Nowadays it’s one of the most favourite Instagram formats. It’s not that difficult to create them, you need just your smartphone and a good idea. Provide your audience with company updates, glimpses behind the scenes, introduce your team or make a live video.
You can use an array of funny stickers, GIFs, filters. Engage your followers by letting them ask questions or vote in polls.
Instagram Stories are also a great way how to put a link in an Instagram post. That is after you reach 10K followers and have a business profile. Even if you don’t have 10K followers and the privilege to use swipe up links, it’s OK. You can still use the common Instagram workaround and put the link in your bio. Then simply send your followers to click on it there.
Instagram is first and foremost a social network. A community. Not just a place for your company to chase customers. Not engaging with your audience is a social mistake that you should avoid making.
Every day, set aside some time (half an hour) to show some love for the accounts you follow. While you’re at it, try responding to at least some mentions or comments where other users tagged you.
Social networks are about creating connections. Your customers and followers will appreciate your effort. It will strengthen the brand-customer relationship. Your company will appear more human.
Instagram marketing cannot be just about posting pictures of your newest products. Your Instagram followers (customers and potential customers) will notice this very quickly. In the era of social media, all the power is in the customer’s hands. There are so many alternatives to choose from on the market. That’s why Instagram managers should always try to put their best foot forward.
Having a large following base is somehow still considered as the most telling metric there is. But is it really true? Does a huge followers number mean that you’re successful?
In recent years, the trend of buying Instagram followers is becoming more and more popular. I say “trend” but what I should’ve said was “social mistake”. Instagram managers should be able to see the whole Instagram big picture and behave accordingly.
Numbers created by buying followers only look good at first glance. Then you’ll notice that these followers are not engaging with your content. Isn’t it better to have fewer followers that are genuinely interested in your brand and actually comment under your photos and take an active part in discussions?
This Instagram mistake isn’t content marketing related but it’s essential to avoid it. How to hack people’s Instagram is a hugely popular search term on Google. Hackers either do this to random accounts just for the sake of it or they target the biggest fish in the pond. After they hack people’s Instagram, they sometimes ask for money in return for giving the account back. For example in August 2018, there was a massive outbreak of Instagram accounts getting hacked.
It’s difficult to say why somebody does hack people’s Instagram, though.
Can you do anything about it? Prevention is better than cure, so make sure your profile is protected by all the methods available to you. Instagram has a guideline with safety tips for these purposes. Make sure you’re not staying logged into Instagram on a shared or public computer, don’t ever send somebody your password and use the two-factor authentication. If this already happened to you, and you cannot access your account, you or your friends should report it to Instagram immediately.
Password hacking isn’t something you have much power over. But you can control other things. For example, usage of unreliable third-party Instagram schedulers might end up in Instagram banning your profile. Therefore always use third-party tools which have the best reputation.
With the Instagram mistakes already mentioned above, we have to talk about the obvious one. It goes without saying that you uploaded a profile picture/company logo (here’s a cheat sheet that will help you determine the right image dimensions), filled out your bio and provided a link to your website.
We’ve all seen the delightful mistakes when a famous brand/celebrity publishes a post with a copy saying “copy to be inserted here”. It’s all funny until one day it happens to you. That’s a proper nightmare for Instagram managers.
Instagram can be a powerful social media marketing channel when it’s used the right way. It’s important to be aware of how often you should post on Instagram and what you should post on Instagram.
When creating your social media strategy, you need to see the social and especially Instagram big picture before you start planning.