Similar to Snapchat, Instagram Stories allow users to post temporary images and videos, that are displayed for 24 hours before disappearing (unless saved in ‘Highlights’ on your profile page). They work particularly well for restaurant and food businesses, because of the visual nature of the product, and the popularity of food porn on social media in general.
So while you may or may not have a solid social media strategy (if not, have a read about why it might be beneficial to get some help), it’s worth mastering Stories as it’s an engaging, fun way of getting seen – not to mention that Instagram has now surpassed 1 billion monthly unique users, so get a piece of the pie!
Stories are discoverable
…meaning people who aren’t following you can find them, so it’s a great way to get exposure to an audience who for whatever reason, may not come across your content in the feed. It all helps to expose your content to new potential customers.
Just add a hashtag to your story or tag a location, and experiment – you can see how many of your viewers have come via the hashtag/location.
If you have 10,000+ followers you can make use of the ‘swipe up’ feature, meaning viewers can go directly to your website, menu, event page, ticket page or wherever you want to send them, without extra steps in between.
Highlights add depth
Whilst Stories only last for 24 hours, you can extend their shelf-life by adding them to your profile. This means your beautiful creations remain there for all to see, and it also adds more opportunity for your visitors to engage with your content.
If you have a restaurant for example where you launch new menus, create a highlight for each new launch – it acts like an album, allowing visitors to see exactly what’s what.
Features provide opportunities
Features that can be used in Stories include countdowns (for openings, launches or events), music, polls and questions – all great for encouraging engagement, which is what we’re looking for on Instagram after all.
Tie it into your wider marketing strategy
If you’re working with influencers (if not, here are some tips), tie some stories into the agreed plan – you can then share, demonstrating social proof and increasing their reach.
If you’re hosting chef residencies, ask them to do a takeover for a day for a different perspective. There are lots of ways to utilise this fun, useful aspect of Instagram, flag it to your social media manager and they’ll do the rest!