When you unlock their potential, Twitter and Instagram can be some of the most powerful social networks out there for your restaurant.  The sites offer huge potential for exposure to new fans, can help your content go “viral” if used correctly, and ultimately have become mainstays for any business owner trying to remain competitive in the digital age.  But all that being said, they can also be harder to use than Facebook, and might have a steeper learning curve.  So, building on the information we have shared about these sites in the past, here are 5 more tips for marketing your restaurant on Instagram and Twitter.

1.  Be Consistent with Hash Tags

If you’ve been following our posts on social media, you will remember that food hashtags are huge and that smart business owners often hashtag campaigns.  But taking it back a step, it should be emphasized that hashtags won’t catch on if you don’t use them regularly.  If you spend the time to research the best hashtags for your business, make sure to use them!  And keep using them, so your followers will take part in your hashtag campaigns.  When you do, you will see your hashtag efforts take off, and see your accounts gain a lot of traction.

2.  Interact with Fans

Your fans will probably interact with you on Twitter and Instagram if they are tech savvy and enjoy your restaurant, and may “tweet” at you or tag your business in their Instagram photos.  When this happens, have some fun and interact back!  A simple “thanks for the follow!” might turn a casual browser into a longtime fan.  Let your personality shine through, and respond to as many fans as you can on twitter, and your following will grow.  If you don’t interact with fans, you may see your followers fall off, as people may think your pages are “dead” or inactive.  By responding to fans, you not only come off as personable, but show your appreciation and keep your fanbase happy!

3.  Jump Aboard Content Sharing Trends

Everyone who has spent time on twitter knows that sometimes, certain articles or pieces of content just explode.  And as a restaurant owner, you should tastefully get aboard some of these content sharing trends.  If you see an article that is trending and related to your business or vision, feel free to share it.  Doing so on twitter, or “liking” the right pics on Instagram, will connect you to other people who have done so, and will help your business seem connected to what’s going on in the world of social media.

4.  Offer Retweet Incentives

In the Twitterverse, “Retweets” are the most powerful currency there is.  The friendly retweet button shares a piece of content to all of your followers, and is one of the biggest signs of respect that one twitter user can show another.  If you use twitter often, think of ways that you can encourage retweets of your content, and offer incentives for users who retweet your posts.  Something as simple as “retweet us and we will retweet you!” can be effective, or get more generous or creative by offering small discounts for people who show you retweet love.  Alternatively, once your fan base has grown enough, you can offer retweets themselves as an incentive.  Try a “tag yourself in our restaurant and we will re-tweet you!” approach, or think of other ways you can offer the popular social media props as a thank you to loyal fans.

5.  Be Spontaneous

The power of Twitter and Instagram revolve around the fact that they help businesses tap into what is happening now, in real time.  So don’t rely entirely on pre-planned tweets and Instagram posts to keep your accounts alive.  If you do so, you may be posting new material, but won’t unlock the potential of these #hashtag based social media accounts as trending engines.

Instead, be as spontaneous as you can on these two social media platforms.  Respond to posts in real time when you can spare a few minutes.  Browse news feeds to see what is happening in the twitter world, and have some fun when you can.  It can be more time consuming to invest the energy needed to keep an air of spontaneity around your Twitter and Instagram accounts, but if you have the time and energy to get beyond the pre-scheduled posts, you will see lots of benefits.

The Bottom Line:

Don’t get too overwhelmed by all there is to learn about Twitter and Instagram.  While these two social networks can be intimidating at first, they start to feel intuitive after some practice, and have enormous potential to grow your business.  So read over all of your Twitter and Instagram tips again, stay tuned for more content on these sites in the future, and get hashtagging!