IGTV: 5 Restaurant Marketing Ideas Using Instagram’s New Video App

Marketing is essential for any business, especially a restaurant. You’ve probably already invested in some marketing, whether it be creating an online presence, participating in local advertising, or trying out new social media tactics. IGTV is a new app that you can use as part of your overall marketing strategy. Today, we’ll discuss IGTV, what it is, and how it can help your restaurant gain visisbility (and maybe even virility) on social media.

What is IGTV?

IGTV was launched on June 20, 2018. Instagram TV, or IGTV, was created to celebrate the app hitting 1 billion Instagram users. Instagram realized how much people love video content, but has a time constraint that only allows for 60-second videos and 15 second Instagram story videos. And so, because of this need for longer video content, IGTV was born.

On IGTV, users who are verified and have a large following can post videos up to one hour in length. All other users can post videos up to 10 minutes long. There is a separate app for IGTV, but the longer content can also be seen in the original Instagram app. All videos are vertically displayed for an easier mobile experience.

How can IGTV be used to your restaurant’s advantage? More opportunity to provide content! As a restaurant owner, you’re always looking for ways to market your business. This is just another channel to do so!

“According to research by Zizzi, 18-35-year-olds spend five whole days a year browsing food images on Instagram, and 30 percent would avoid a restaurant if their Instagram presence was weak.”

Of course, you don’t want your Instagram presence to be considered weak! You should already be posting high-quality photos of your restaurant and food. But, now you can take it to the next level with in-depth videos.

In this article, we give you 5 ideas on how to creatively use IGTV to boost your restaurant’s social media presence.

Cooking Lessons

Food Network has gained a cult-like following and has turned everyday home cooks into kitchen ninjas by providing cooking lessons, recipes, and competitions on television shows featuring famous chefs. The binge-worthy channel has taken cooking as an art form to a whole new level – (I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t addicted to Cake Wars). It’s clear that people are interested in learning new recipes and picking up kitchen tricks by watching their favorite chefs on the silver screen. So, why not take this phenomenon to your own social media?

Use Instagram TV as an opportunity to show people how you make your best dishes. Of course, you’ll want to leave out any secret ingredients, but this is a fun way to let your followers go behind the scenes of your restaurant operations. Take the viewer into your restaurant kitchen, introduce your head chef, and give them a step-by-step look at how you make a favorite entree or dessert. You can even choose to do shorter snippets, on a weekly basis, of quick kitchen tips from a restaurateur. Of course, make sure you’re promoting your IGTV presence on your other social media accounts so followers are aware that you’re using the new app to provide content.

VIP Restaurant Tour

People love “inside looks” into places, whether it be a luxurious home, a royal palace, or a really awesome restaurant! HGTV has made a business out of taking people into mansions and tiny homes (virtually, of course). Food Network shows like Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives give people a firsthand look into restaurants and cuisine from across the country. Put your own twist on this!

Give your followers a taste of your restaurant’s stomping grounds by giving them an inside (and outside) tour of the space. You can discuss the history of the restaurant, tell viewers why you chose the decor, and share the ins and outs of your restaurant kitchen. Providing your followers with insight into how you got started and what makes your restaurant unique helps make it a more personal experience when they come to dine with you.

Meet the Staff

Take the dining experience with your restaurant to a personal level by doing a virtual meet and greet with your staff members. Each week you can choose a new employee to feature. Do a Q&A session and ask questions about how they got started in the business, what they like to do in their free time, and what their favorite dish at your restaurant is. Make sure the video isn’t totally restaurant-promotional, but really tells the story of the person you’re interviewing. Putting faces to your restaurant’s name helps make your online presence human. When a social media follower comes in for a meal, they’ll recognize their hostess or waiter from seeing them on the screen.

Loyal Customer Spotlights

Chances are you’ve got those patrons who have been dining with you for years, come into your restaurant quite often, and are like family members. Use this opportunity to include them in your IGTV efforts. You can ask these loyal customers to be featured in a video bit called “Customer Spotlights.”

Let them tell the viewers why they love your restaurant, what they like to eat there, and any other anecdote they may be able to share (do they remember the first time they dined with you? That could be a great story in itself). Leverage the loyalty of your customers to create unique pieces of content that will inspire others to give your restaurant a try.

New Menu/Item Releases

Use IGTV to create buzz around menu updates and new items. Release a new video when you publish a seasonal menu or add an interesting new item to your offering. Show real footage of the dishes, explain what ingredients are being used, and talk about why you chose to add this new item to the list. If your seasonal menu is only available for a certain time, make that known in the video to create a sense of urgency, i.e. “this addition of four new summertime desserts is only available through August 31st, so be sure to stop by soon!”

Pictures are worth a thousand words, but videos are worth even more than that! If you incorporate mouth-watering footage of your food, it will inspire people (especially hungry ones) to come to your restaurant and try it out for themselves.

Additional Helpful Tips

When creating content, you always want it to be high-quality and eye-catching. Depending on your budget, you may want to consider hiring a professional to shoot the video. Take into account the atmosphere, especially the lighting and background noise. There are apps you can test out for quality video, like Filmic Pro, Pro Cam, and Videograde.  The video is a reflection of your restaurant, so you want it to look and sound the best it can.

As far as length of time goes, shorter tends to be better. According to Brandastic, short, two-minute videos are typically what most people are willing to watch regardless of where the video is. Medium Marketing & Growth Hacking says the sweet spot for video length is between 3-5 minutes. People’s attention spans tend to drop off after a few minutes, so try sticking with a shorter time frame. If you want to experiment with a longer 10-minute video, go for it! Longer videos may work well for your audience. You can always use the analytics feature (located in the “…” next to the like, comment, and share buttons) to see what videos are working better than others so you can film more of those in the future.

Don’t forget to write a description of your video and use relevant keywords to help people understand what the video is about. You can even add a link for people to click on to be taken outside of the video (to your website or menu) in order to drive traffic elsewhere.

The next phase of social media video is here. IGTV allows you to expand your Instagram video presence from one-minute snippets to longer length videos. Create captivating content that will give your audience an inside look into your restaurant so they can get to know your business even better.


Thanks for reading. Interested in improving your restaurant’s online presence? We can help! SinglePlatform puts your menu and business information accurately on the search, review, travel, and social sites people are using to find new restaurants. Get in touch today to learn how we can help you stand out everywhere that matters online.

Geotagging on Social Media: How It Can Boost Your Restaurant’s Visibility

Geotagging. You may be familiar with the phrase, or maybe you’ve never heard of it before. Either way, it’s a very useful tactic to boost your business’ visibility on social media. Geotagging takes your online presence a step further than just having a website and being searchable on major search engines. It helps people discover you when they might not even be trying. And that’s the beauty of it. In this article, we’ll define geotagging and discuss the impact it can have on your restaurant.

Geotagging is the process of identifying a location, whether it be of a photo or just where you’re posting a status at any given time. It’s available on most social media apps, like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. The purpose? To let followers know where you were when the photo or update was created. And people love using it, probably because posts that are geotagged get 79% more engagement!

When people tag your restaurant’s location in their posts, it’s basically free advertising for you. People trust individuals they know for advice on places to visit. If someone tags your restaurant in their post, followers can click on the location link to see exactly where your business is located, as well as other photos that were taken there. If they like what they see, they might ask the person who posted the photo about how their experience was, or just skip the small talk and pay you a visit!

Since the engagement is so high when posts are geotagged, you should consider doing the same when you post to your own social media accounts. Tag your Instagram photos with your location so when people are exploring the app and stumble upon your page, they can quickly identify where you are on the map.

So, how does one go about geotagging? Today, we’ll focus on Facebook, Instagram, & Snapchat.

Facebook

The average person spends about 35 minutes per day on Facebook! I’m sure you’ve seen the little map pin pop up when you’re posting an update on Facebook. This tool allows you to let people know where you are at the time of the post by “checking in” to a location. Some people may find this a bit intrusive, but a lot of social media users are utilizing this feature in order to spread awareness and opinions of a particular restaurant, shopping center, or other establishments to their followers. Here is an example of how the tagging option will look:

Create a new status on Facebook:

 As you can see, As you can see, “Check in” is an option when posting a status.   Once you click on Once you click on “Check in” you’ll be given an option to choose where you’re located at the time of the post.

Once your location is tagged by an individual, it is in the form of a clickable link. If someone clicks, they’ll be taken to a map of the location or, if your business has a Facebook page, directly redirected to your page. See below:

Having your location tagged on Facebook is a great way to gain visibility, as most people are checking out what their friends are up to on a daily basis.

Instagram

As for Instagram, geotagging is simple as well. When someone uploads a new photo, they’ll be prompted to first apply a filter. When they click next, they’ll be given the option to tag people or add a location.

Once they click Add a Location they’ll be given a list of places in the surrounding area of where the photo was taken.

If the photo was taken at your restaurant, they will be given the option to choose it as a location. Once the photo is posted, the location tag will be visible below the username and above the photo.

And there you have it! Once a location is tagged, it’s clickable, so if someone does click on the location, a new page will appear that has the restaurant on the map, along with your own Instagram page, the Top Posts and Most Recent posts that occurred there.

Instagram geotagging is a great way to gain extra exposure through user-generated content. Make sure to remember to tag your location in your own posts as well, so Instagram users can quickly locate you on the map.

Snapchat

Snapchat allows users to post stickers, text, and even GIFS on top of their videos and photos. They also offer “geofilters” which are fun, decorative border geotags that you can place around your photos that identify your location.

For example, if someone is visiting Broadway in New York City, there will most likely be a geofilter that says Broadway (see the example below).

You can create your own geofilters for your business, so consider making one for your restaurant (note: this costs money & you can choose how long you want it to be visible for). You can design the filter yourself, so get creative! Make sure the geofilter represents your brand. Find out more about creating your own geofilter on the Snapchat website.

Here is an example of one I made from scratch, but there are also pre-loaded filters you can choose from as well.

Once you purchase the geofilter, patrons can start using it to decorate their photos. This builds awareness and interest for your business. And although this option isn’t free, it’s a pretty creative, useful marketing tactic!

Geotagging is a way for people to let their followers know where they are, whether it be at a restaurant, park, mall, or any other location you can think of! People who use geotagging when they’re at your restaurant are basically giving you free advertising. Their followers can engage with the photo or post by clicking on the location and find out more about your business. Social media is a popular tool used by millions, so take advantage of the opportunities it presents for your restaurant.


Thanks for reading. Interested in improving your restaurant’s online presence? We can help! SinglePlatform puts your menu and business information accurately on the search, review, travel, and social sites people are using to find new restaurants. Get in touch today to learn how we can help you stand out everywhere that matters online.

Google My Business Google Posts Now Available in SinglePlatform

We’ve been talking a lot about Google lately – and we are again! We’re announcing our release of Google Posts integration to the SinglePlatform portal. Google Posts is a feature that allows businesses’ announcements to be discovered in Google search results & Google Maps. And now you can create Google Posts within your SinglePlatform account.

Google is always looking for new ways to innovate the online experience & to make businesses like yours more discoverable. With Google Posts, you can incorporate images, videos, and GIFs to make them eye-catching to online researchers. The advantage? When a diner searches for your restaurant, they’ll be getting owner-verified content right within the search results and maps, so they’ll be hearing directly from you and learning about current offerings and events right away.

To be able to post, you’ll need a verified Google My Business (GMB) account for your restaurant. Read our guide on how to claim your Google My Business listing. Don’t want to set up your account yourself? We can do the work for you! Due to our unique partnership with Google, we can claim your restaurant and get your Google My Business account set up on your behalf. Just contact us! Unsure if your business is verified on Google My Business? You can reach out to our Customer Success Team via email at customersuccess@singleplatform.com.

Of course, you can create and control your posts within your Google My Business account directly if you prefer, but now, as a SinglePlatform customer, you can choose to create your content right from your SinglePlatform portal in the announcement section! This allows you to save time & repetitive effort.

The announcements section within SinglePlatform is a tool that allows you to post and schedule messages and updates on different social media channels. Now, Google Posts is also integrated into this function. As a SinglePlatform customer, your posts from the announcements section of our portal will now be visible as Google Posts as long as you have a verified Google My Business account. When you make an announcement for your SinglePage, Facebook & Twitter accounts, it will automatically be pushed to Google Posts as well, so there’s no additional work on your end. Save time and effort using our integration to Google Posts.

Here is how a SinglePlatform customer’s posts appear in Google search results and Google Maps.

Please note that your post will be live on Google for seven days before it automatically expires, but you can also select a date to remove it earlier than that via the SinglePlatform portal.

Google Posts is a great tool for posting about weekly events, happy hour specials, live bands, and current discounts and deals.

Things to remember about Google Posts:

  1. Google posts only stay live for 7 days (they automatically come down after 7 days).
  2. You can post weekly recurring Google Posts if you would like to keep a Google Post in search results.
  3. Google Posts within the SinglePlatform portal supports adding photos.

This new advancement is an exciting opportunity for you to gain even more visibility online! Take advantage of the tool in order to get in front of your customers right at the beginning of their search.

Interested in learning more marketing tips for your restaurant? In our blog, we break down 9 useful tips for marketing your business. Read it here.

Best Practices for Facebook

Facebook is one of social media’s major players and needs to be a cornerstone of any successful social media strategy. Whether or not you are a Facebook newcomer or already have a strong following, these tips can help you build out a successful Facebook strategy and attract more customers today.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks to get the most out of your social media profiles. Want more tips and tricks? Subscribed to our Youtube channel!

Social Media and Your Business

Social Media: You know it’s important for your business and we’ve talked about it before but so many of your are still struggling with getting your social strategies off the ground. New year, new marketing! Learn how important social can be for your business.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks to get the most out of your social media profiles. Want more tips and tricks? Subscribed to our Youtube channel!

How to Create a Small Business Social Media Plan

Now that you’ve decided which social media networks your business is going to join, it’s time to write out your social media plan. Why Develop a Social Media Plan?

You may be wondering why a social media plan is necessary. After all, maintaining a social media account seems simple enough—you post content, share other peoples’ content, and interact with followers. While this is true to some extent, if your posts and interactions on social aren’t driven by a carefully crafted plan, you may be wasting your time. In order to get the most out of your efforts on social, you have to determine what your goals are and how you’re going to achieve them. Your content will then support those goals.

What Should a Social Media Plan Include?

Each business’s social media plan will be unique based on its individual needs. However, every plan should contain the following basic elements as a foundation:

  • Audience: Who are you trying to reach? Are they the same people on each social network, or different?
  • Goals: What do you hope to achieve by using social media? Do you want to drive engagement and repeat business from current customers? Connect with new customers? Boost traffic to your business’s blog?
  • Networks: Which networks will you be posting on?
  • Content types: Will you be posting news articles? Videos? Photos? Quotes? Will the type of content you post be the same across every network, or customized?
  • Content mix: What percent of content will you post to engage and inform your viewers, and what percent will you use to promote your business’s products, services, specials, and events? The standard mix is 80% informative content and 20% promotional content, but your plan may vary depending on your audience and industry.
  • Posting schedule: How many times a day will you be posting on each network? What times during the day will you be posting? Who will be responsible for posting on each network?
  • Customer service policy: Who will be in charge of responding to customer service inquiries? How will you handle negative feedback or angry customers?
  • Testimonials and reviews: Will you share positive feedback from happy customers on social channels? If so, what format will this feedback be presented in, and how often will you share it?
  • Contests and ads: If you plan to run any social contests or ad campaigns, make sure to include those in your plan as well. You should include your concept, budget, and desired outcome so that you can benchmark your results once the campaign has run.

How to Optimize Your Plan

Starting off with a social media plan is a great first step, but as you begin to post regularly and see how your audience interacts with your content, you’ll inevitably end up adjusting your social media plan to maximize your reach and engagement. Make sure to go back and put it down in writing; you never know when you might hand off social media responsibilities to someone else, and you’ll want your plan to be as accurate as possible for that person to follow.

The Bottom Line

Before you invest time and energy into posting great content and engaging with followers on social, make sure you have a solid social media plan in place so that your goals are clear. Then, any time you struggle to come up with content to share, you can go back to these goals for inspiration and guidance.

3 Reasons You Should Have a Facebook for Your Business

In today’s incredibly dynamic and ever-changing world of business, it is paramount that business owners keep their businesses in the limelight. Throughout time, business owners have explored countless options from the conventional to the nontraditional. With the impact that the internet has had on our lives, your online presence is naturally an integral part of your business’s success! Facebook, which boasts a network of over 1.5 billion active users, is a strong resource for getting the word out about your business. Here are a few tips to help you use Facebook to best work for your business.

1. Create a Business Page

Creating a business page on Facebook will not only serve as a resource to your customers, but you will also be able to communicate and connect with them directly. You can use this platform to promote contests and giveaways or to highlight new menu items. Announce special events or holidays hours. Facebook is a great way to keep your client base engaged.

2. Tailor Your Posts

Your customers want to consume information that they believe is relevant to them. It is very important to cut through all of the clutter on Facebook by specializing your posts. Make sure you are posting when most people are online. Studies show that the best times to post are between 1PM and 4PM!

3. Listen to the Number

Facebook provides a suite of analytics for business owners to use. With these numbers, you can see what types of content work best. Once you have an understanding of what your customers respond to, highlight the most relevant parts of your business effectively and efficiently.

Facebook is a powerful tool that is here to stay. Make sure that you utilizing it to the best of your ability. Here is an infographic that helps to outline some of the best practices as far as Facebook is concerned.