The online space can be challenging. If you thought the competition was widespread in your neighbourhood, then social media might surprise you with its vast assortment of amazing restaurant profiles and active social engagement. As intimidating as social media marketing may be, it’s important that you embrace it, especially if you want your hospitality business to work.
So, you’ve created your social media profiles, you’ve compiled interesting content to post regularly. Most importantly – you have gathered a collection of high-quality photos and designs to represent your restaurant across your social platforms.
Problem is, now you can’t get anyone to engage with your profiles.
With over 2 billion active users on Facebook and 800 million on Instagram, it’s just a matter of catering to the right audiences and then drawing them in.
Our secret – #HASHTAGS
When it comes to having your turn of fame on the internet, then hashtags are your best bet when your focus is to place a restaurant in front of the right audiences. In this article, we will discuss what hashtags are, exactly. We will share some tips on how to choose the best hashtags for your restaurant.
What are Hashtags?
Most social media platforms allow you to do three things when posting content, namely:
- Adding a short caption or description
- Uploading a photo or an image
- Adding hashtags
When you add a hashtag to a post, then you categorize your posts. This means that when users browse for something online that’s relevant to your category, then the chances of your very own content appearing on search engines and feeds increases.
If you use the hashtag #greatfood in your post, then it will stand a much better chance of being discovered by audiences who are searching for “great food”.
Most social media platforms allow you to use more than one hashtag in a post. This increases the chances of your post being found even further. The more your post is seen, the more engagement it will attract.
How to Choose the Right Hashtags for Your Restaurant?
Right, now that you have some basic knowledge on what a hashtag is and how it works (and why it’s important), let’s walk through some steps on how you can choose the best hashtags for your restaurant, coffee shop, or café.
- Do some research into which hashtags your top competitors are using.
Look for posts by popular restaurants and see which ones have the most engagement. Then, take a look at which hashtags are included in these posts. This is a quick way to gather a list of hashtags that have proven to be valuable.
- Investigate to see which hashtags social media influencers are using.
Take note of the hashtags that social media influencers in your industry are using. Study the posts of famous chefs and popular foodies to see which hashtags they use religiously. Social influencers are people who have spent years capturing the same market you are interested in, so following their lead makes sense.
- Get to know your audiences and what they are looking for.
If you can define who your audience is, then it’s easy to delve into what it is they’re after. Wi-Fi marketing, for instance, is one tool that can be used to follow customer trends. You can also look at the hashtags your followers are using to get a better understanding of what interests them.
- Keep your eye on current trends.
Every now and then, an event or cause will create a stir. Large audiences will turn their focus on these trends and this is the perfect time to create posts around that topic to catch a ride on the wave of popularity.
Need More Advice?
When it comes to adding hashtags to your restaurant posts, use a variety that will typically fall into the following three categories (let’s assume you are running the Instagram account for an Italian restaurant in New York):
- Large region-specific hashtags.
These hashtags categorise a post according to a broad location you are targeting. They will draw the attention of holidaymakers or nearby “out-of-towners” who may be on the lookout for a place to eat when they decide to visit your neighbourhood. Example: #newyork #thebigapple #nyc
- Smaller region-specific hashtags that relate to your industry.
These are hashtags that feature more specified search terms that are relevant to what you offer – oftentimes having thousands of posts per tag. Example: #newyorkfood #newyorkrestaurants #italianfoodnyc
- Generic hashtags.
Generic hashtags do not specify a location but focus more on relevant keywords that will apply to your services. Example: #food #whatsfordinner #instafood #veganfood #pasta #pizza
Tip: If you only have one restaurant to market, then combine your smaller region-specific hashtag with a generic tag to create engagement with nearby audiences. Example: #whatsfordinnernewyork #veganfoodnewyork
We’ve Got Your Back!
Here’s a list of effective hashtags that you can use for your restaurant to get you started (just make sure that they are relevant to your post):
#foodie (currently trending)
#veganfood (currently trending)
#yougottaeatthis (adds a touch of fun and intrigue to your post)
* You can use the above keywords and merge them with your location to make them more localised.
Hashtags are not the only effective technique that can be used for internet and social media marketing. If you want to know more about how you can nurture both online and offline marketing efforts and draw in followers, then please chat to us here at Stampede. Our mission is to provide a level of customer insight and marketing automation that works for businesses in the hospitality industry and beyond.