How to use Instagram for Your Restaurant
Instagram is a social media platform for sharing pictures with an audience. Utilizing Instagram for your restaurant is a great way to build your brand and reach a large audience online. It is free to set up and easy to use.
We give you the steps below to create your own Instagram account for your restaurant and show how to share your very first post.
Create Your Instagram Account
Set up your Instagram Profile
Instagram is very easy to navigate. At the bottom menu from left to right, you will see buttons for Home, Search, Add Image/Video, Activity, and Profile.
To set up your profile, tap the last button in the menu and it will take you to a blank page. Click “Edit Profile” to start adding details.
- Change Profile Photo: add a logo of your restaurant or an image users can recognize your business by
- Name: enter your restaurant name. This helps user find for your business on Instagram
- Username: provide a shorter version (no spaces) of your business name. This name can be used by others to tag your restaurant. It is like a nickname for your account!
- Website: provide a link to your website or page that where users can learn more about your restaurant
- Bio: description of your restaurant. This is limited to 150 characters
- Click the checkmark in the top right to save.
Change your Account to a Professional Account
To gain business features and analytics, convert your account to a Professional Account:
- On your Profile Page, click Edit Profile
- Click “Switch to Professional Account”
- Select “Business” and continue through the tutorial
- Select Category: “Restaurant”. Click Next
- Enter your business email, phone number, and address. Click Next
- Connect Facebook if available or skip. (Skip this for now)
Awesome, your profile will now show the details of your business.
Create Your First Instagram Post
Step 1: Choose a Picture
There are plenty of articles on how to take the perfect picture, however, we will only cover the basics of creating and posting a picture.
To create a post, tap the middle “+” button on the bottom menu bar. You will see a page with options for Gallery, Photo, or Video. The “Gallery” lets you browse through previously taken photos while “Photo” and “Video” lets you take a current picture or video. We will focus on the Gallery and Photo options for now.
With the Gallery, choose a picture from the bottom half of your screen. The top half is a preview of the image you select. In the Photo option, Instagram lets you capture an image right inside the app. Just point your camera at an object to snap a picture!
When you have your photo ready from either method, click Next at the top right corner. This will bring you to a Filter/Edit Page.
Step 2: Filter/Edit Image
Because this is a basic guide for your first post, we will skip the Filter & Edit options as they are more advanced. Filtering and editing can make your images look better, however, take some time to learn. Feel free to play around with the options!
Now that your image is ready, let’s finish off your post with some details. Click Next on the top right corner.
Step 3: Add Details and Share Post
At this final step, context about your image can be added. The following text boxes and options help provide more details about your post.
Write a Caption
This is the text that your audience reads when they see your post. In the “Write a caption” box, provide a few sentences that are engaging and interesting. Examples can include:
- Asking a question.
- Educating by providing facts, unique ingredients, cooking tips, or special features about your dishes
- Announcing special events, deals, or offers
In the same caption area, you can add hashtags (#) or mention other users in your post.
Hashtags are keywords with a “#” sign in front of them. These words act like categories that describe your image. The keywords are searchable by the community and are a great way to reach an audience with similar interests especially if you are first starting out.
As an example, a post about food in Edmonton, Alberta would contain hashtags such as #yegfood and other “categories” related to the image.
Tip: A great way to find the hashtags used in your local food community is to use the search button. Tap the second button in the menu, hit Places, and type in your city. Browse through the images and click on food pictures to see what hashtags local restaurants and foodies are using!
Mentioning Other Users
In addition to hashtags that use “#” in front of keywords, you can “mention” other users by using the “@” symbol in front of a user name. Mentioning another user (or a business if using their product) is a great way to grab their attention as a notification is sent to their account.
Tip: If unsure on when to mention another user, ask for permission first before including them in your post.
Under the Write a Caption area is the Tag People button. It is another method to tag people but adds the mentioned user name into the actual photo.
The Add Location Button is a great way to include your business location or city. Users will be able to see and directly click the location when viewing your post.
Also Post To
The Also Post To section is more advanced and requires connecting your account to other social media accounts. We will cover this portion in a future article.
Now that we have covered the basics of creating a post, it is time to share it! Click “Share” on the top right corner and your post will be available to the public. Your followers as well as the communities that browse the hashtags will be able to see and learn more about your food and restaurant.
We hope that this guide on using Instagram for your restaurant can help your business grow. Let us know if you have further questions and we can help!