Five Easy Ways to Engage Your Followers

#1: Ask questions.

Take the time to show your followers you value their input. Build a real connection rather than just spewing information at them.

  • Ask for their feedback on new items or what they would like to see on the menu.
  • Get their opinion on what you should name the drink of the day.
  • Post two different items and ask which one is their favorite.

Have fun and be creative! Your followers will appreciate you taking the time to listen to their opinions.

#2: Create contests and challenges.

One thing is certain: people love free stuff, ESPECIALLY when they win it. Here are 4 creative challenges to promote your business and increase your Instagram following:

  • “Like and Tag” contest – tell followers to like your post and tag a friend for a chance to win _____.
  •  “Selfie” contest – offer an incentive (free dessert maybe?) for followers who take a selfie at your establishment. Tell me to tag your business page and use your unique hashtag.
  • “Caption this” contest – post a photo and ask followers to caption it for a chance to win _____.
  • “Voting” contest – challenge followers to submit photos doing something related to your business. If you’re a pizza place it could be “most creative pizza challenge” for a chance to have a specialty pizza named after them.They can help design a new logo or menu item. Perhaps a chance to play at your business if you offer live entertainment. Whatever it is, they must submit a photo or video and the winner will be chosen based on likes.The prize should a big enough incentive for people to share their photo submitted to gain votes (gift cards are always a good option).

#3: Make people laugh.

If you can make people smile, you can keep their interest. Witty captions, silly faces of the staff, and customers having a good time at your establishment peaks interest in your followers.

Don’t be afraid to share relevant memes or if you’re feeling really adventurous, make your own. Humor is a great marketing tool, just be sure to maintain good quality pictures and remember moderation is key.

You are a restaurant and your focus should be the products you offer, not just a bunch of memes (as humorous as they might be). But every once in a while is perfectly acceptable and encouraged.

#4: Use fill-in-the-blank captions.

Encourage follower activity by captioning posts with fill-in-the-blanks. These captions don’t have to be directly related to your business, as long as they get the conversation going.

Remember, activity buzzing on your page makes the Instagram algorithm happy and more likely to feature your page as a suggested profile to follow.

Here are a few examples of effective fill-in-the-blank captions,

  • “Life would be boring without _____.”
  • “Before I die, I want to _____.”
  • “If I could go anywhere in the world, I would go _____.”
  • “My biggest weakness is _____.”

#5: Utilize Instagram features like stories, live videos, and highlights.

When Instagram first came out with the stories feature, it had its pros and cons.

One pro is it gave Instagram the edge over Snapchat marketing by providing the same feature and then some (sorry, Snapchat).

One con we’ve noticed is engagement and posts on profiles decreased once followers began utilizing this feature more.

That is why it is CRUCIAL to post Instagram stories and not just pictures on your business profile. It is an entirely new outlet for marketing within one social media platform. Explore different features, have fun with it, and be creative!

Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Repost pictures posted by customers and give them a little shout out
  • Take pictures of two signature dishes (or cocktails) side by side and take a poll on which one looks the best to your followers
  • Do a live video of a busy night (or live entertainment) so those watching will see what they’re missing
  • Add love songs to go along with food pictures (the “heart” setting on the superzoom feature is one of our personal favorites to add a bit of humor to your post)
  • Use the rewind feature when a bartender pours a cocktail for a unique, eye-catching effect

Instagram is constantly updating with new features so the possibilities are limitless.

Happy Instagramming!

How Businesses are Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic

Saying these past couple of weeks have been slightly unnerving would be the understatement of the year. From government mandated closures to possible mandatory quarantines, businesses across America are struggling to survive during a time when everything is seemingly...

Instagram Story Takeover 101

The What, Why, and How of It. Recently, we gave you an inside look into the world of Instagram Stories and offered some tips on how to implement stories successfully to grow your business. This week, we’re expanding on a particular area of interest - the Instagram...

Marketing to Generation Z in 2020

A few weeks ago, we posted an article summarizing effective marketing strategies for each generation. This week we’re diving deeper into the fastest growing consumer population in the U.S., Generation Z (also known as Centennials or iGen). In this article, we’ll go...

Your Marketing Guide to Instagram Stories

Social media is a constantly-evolving aspect of digital marketing making it tricky to master. The number of popular social platforms alone poses enough challenges - not to mention the ever-changing landscape of app-specific features and trends. When you put it all...

5 Ways to Build a Better Instagram Ad Campaign

So, you’re killing it on Instagram. You’ve got a beautifully curated feed, you post consistently, and you’ve learned how to leverage user-generated content from local influencers to grow your brand. Now’s the time to take your social media marketing game to a new...

Is a TikTok Marketing Strategy Right for Your Brand?

TikTok, like its predecessor Vine, is emerging as one of the most popular social media platforms among young millennials and Gen-Z. Its newfound popularity has lit a fire in the marketing world to quickly integrate the growing platform into their digital marketing...

How to Run a Successful Instagram Contest

With over 1 billion active monthly accounts and 90% of them following at least one brand, Instagram has quickly positioned itself as one of the best social media platforms for brands looking to connect with their audience and skyrocket their engagement.  And while...

Rebranding Strategies for Your Business

Is Your Business in Need of a Makeover? The average business updates its brand every 7-10 years. A brand isn't just a slogan or logo, it's the foundation of what a business is built on. It involves a mission statement, a set of values, and the overall culture of a...

How to Increase UGC Through Social Media

What is UGC? User-generated content is content produced by people who use a brand's product. UGC is more than social media platforms. It can be blogs, podcasts, review sites, and more. Social media is an effective tool to boost UGC for your business. The ability to...

Generational Marketing for Social Media

What is Generational Marketing? Generational marketing is the process of marketing to specific age groups such as Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millenials, and Centennials. It involves several steps. First, you must analyze your target audience. Instagram Insights...