How to Effectively Use Instagram as a Marketing Tool

Many of us remember the instantaneous fun a Polaroid camera brought to any family function. Well, the creators of Instagram turned that nostalgia into an innovative photo sharing service available through a variety of social networking services, including Instagram’s own site, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Posterous and Foursquare.

As restaurant consultants, we know the importance in keeping up with trends – and not just those in the kitchen and on the plate.  We think that Instagram is a great tool to connect with guests!  A snapshot about Instagram:

In October 2010, Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger took their passion for social products and software design and combined it with their fond nostalgic views of instant photography and the days when telegrams were considered instant communication.  So they figured out a way to marry nostalgia with our modern connected era and Instagram was born.  And with
its recent $1 billion acquisition by Facebook and an estimated 30 million registered users already, Instagram is officially the hottest thing in the realm of today’s social networking technology!

We think you can use Instagram as an effective, engaging marketing tool to build awareness of your brand.  Invite others visually into your restaurant through sharing behind-the-scenes photography of your culinary creations and how you plate them, the interesting ingredients you use, creative candid shots of chefs and line cooks hard at work, your décor, guests experiences and more.  The authentic, real pictures will allow your guests to connect deeply with your restaurant, staff and concept in general.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to get your point across and create a beautiful, visual story about your brand. Think about what your restaurant is all about, who your guests are, what makes you stand apart from the rest – and snap away!

You can even invite your guests to share their Instagrams of their favorite parts of your concept!

Our industry is based on enticing visuals. Enabling you to instantly go viral and visually communicate with your restaurant’s network of friends, family, regular guests and potential guests is a vital component to your success.

Check out the Instagram blog for how-to tips on getting started, photo specs, retouching, tagging, hyperlinking and other user features.