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When promoting a restaurant on Instagram, hashtags amplify the effect of your efforts. They increase the reach of your content and they brand and position your business. They allow you to start, encourage, or join in conversations, and allow you to leverage trending topics in real-time.
Let’s have a closer look at how to promote your restaurant on Instagram using hashtags.
Identifying hashtags are a unique tag which you consistently use for your restaurant. It’s almost like the hashtag version of a logo. They should be unique, easy to remember, and as close to your business name as possible. You can use identifying hashtags across all social media platforms to stamp your name and your brand on all of your posts.
Promoting your hashtag to your customers encourages them to use the tag in their own posts of your food or your restaurant, therefore spreading the word to a wider audience. Keep it easy to remember so that customers are more likely to use it.
Content hashtags are common words or phrases that describe what is in the photo. This is super effective for restaurants as #food, #foodporn, and #nomnom, along with many other food related tags, are hugely popular. Tag your picture with all of these descriptive tags so that anyone searching for these types of images will come across your post.
The joy of Instagram as opposed to other social media platforms which use hashtags (like Facebook and Twitter) is that it’s totally acceptable to whack as many hashtags as you like on your Instagram posts. It’s best practise, however, to only use relevant content hashtags.
Using incorrect or inaccurate content tags on photos just because the tag is popular or trending is a no-no. Even though it will draw more attention to your post, it’s attention from people who aren’t interested in your post anyway, so there’s no point. So, no #carsofinstagram on your food photos.
Branding hashtags help you to find your audience. These are tags which describe what your restaurant and your food is about, for example, #vegan. Using these branding hashtags is like tailoring your marketing directly to the people who are interested in what you do.
Branding hashtags target your audience and position you within the target community. Building a loyal audience on Instagram then translates into more customers IRL.
Location Hashtags and Geotags
When potential customers are looking for a restaurant, they can search based on their location. You want to make sure that your content comes up on their searches. Pop a geotag on all of your pictures so that Instagram knows where you are.
Similarly, hashtag your posts with the common hashtag of your city or location. This engages your local audience and involves you in the local community.
Event and Current Affairs Hashtags
Social media and Instagram are forever on the move. New content is being uploaded every second and to cut through the noise it needs to be up-to-date and on point.
To show you have your finger on the pulse and are relevant, use hashtags that signify current events. For example, if your restaurant is open and feeding people during a city-wide blackout, post a picture of it and use the hashtag which is being used for posts about this current event. You can check which hashtags are trending using websites like Websta and Hashtagify.
Trending hashtags can help with branding as they give your brand personality. They also increase exposure by allowing you to join in the online conversation around a topic.
Just be careful when you’re using trending hashtags that you’re using them appropriately and respectfully. If it doesn’t tie into your business, don’t try to shoehorn it in just because it’s a popular topic. That’s bad Insta-etiquette. Only get involved with events and trends that are relevant to your business.
Using the right combinations of hashtags is the best way to really pack a punch with your Instagram marketing. Content and branding hashtags find the right audience, location hashtags find them in the right area, and your unique identifying hashtag allows people to look specifically for you. Hashtags allow you start and join in a conversation, to brand your business, and to increase the reach of your marketing. It really is that #simple.