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How to get Your Restaurant Discovered on Instagram

As popular as Instagram is, the massive number of users makes it difficult to stand out when first starting an account.

Now that you have successfully set up your restaurant’s Instagram account, it’s time to start using it to attract some of the clientele who frequent the photo sharing platform. Because there is so much competition for views among the 600 million Instagram accounts, there are some tricks to make your restaurant stand out.

Thankfully, the platform has several built in tools that a restaurant can take advantage of to get noticed by potential customers. Like any tool, it is important to know how to use it. Below are three ways to help get your restaurant discovered on Instagram.

Use the right hashtags

Hashtags are the bread and butter of Instagram. By inserting a “#” in front of a word, you instantly become discoverable by anyone who taps on an identical hashtag across the entire platform. So what types of hashtags are potential customers engaging with?

One way to get noticed is to join in on trending hashtags. When searching under ‘tags’ as you type, the most popular hashtags will appear with the number of public posts that include them. The more public the posts, the more popular the hashtag is. Having a St. Patrickâ’s Day special? Find out whether more people are using #StPattysDay or #StPatricksDay. Also make sure to capitalize on any annual or recurring trends that relate to your business like #NationalIceCreamDay or #TacoTuesday.

Another style of hashtag that can bring eyeballs to your profile are niche tags. Though certain hashtags may not have a global appeal, you can target a market that is more prone to actually visiting your restaurant. For example, #TorontoEats has over 300,000 public posts. Though that may pale in comparison to #ThrowBackThursday, it can be discovered by foodies in your geographical area.


Always add location

Before posting any photo, you will have the option to add a location. This could be as vague as the city it was taken in or as specific as the restaurant’s name. Similar to hashtags, photos under a single location will be grouped together and any user who taps on a location could stumble upon your post.

You could be surprised to find that your business is already an option on Instagram. If not, either making a business account for Foursquare or Facebook for your business will ensure your restaurant appears when people add a location. This allows you to post photos tied to your location, and better yet, it allows your customers to do the same.

You may be tempted to post to a more general location to get more eyeballs. Tying your post to the “Entertainment District” will open the door to people who are not yet at your restaurant, but you risk getting lost in the crowd. When first starting out on Instagram, you may want to add this type of vague location, but the end goal should always be making your “location” an Instagram sensation.


Incentivize Customers

Building an Instagram presence is difficult to do alone. Leverage your loyal customers to generate content of their own.

Create a promotion that requires people to post content from your restaurant. Perhaps offer a $50 gift card for the best photo of your new menu item. People love to take photos of their trendy meals anyways, so you can be sure that a prize would spur even more action.

Make sure that customers know that to qualify for the prize they must include a specific hashtag. Use your new hashtag expertise and come up with a creative tag that needs to be included. This is necessary for you to gather the photos to be judged, but also will hopefully generate buzz and more entries. Do not be afraid to require participants to also add your restaurant as a location. However you handle the contest, just make sure your rules are clear.


Social media can be an amazing asset when used properly. The most important thing is consistency. These tips will help you be discovered, but it is up to you to generate appealing content and campaigns to engage customers.

Quality photos, concise descriptions, and unique subjects will keep users coming back to your page, and more importantly, your restaurant.

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Originally posted by Yelp WiFi

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