25 | 05 | 2021

Build a trusting, sincere and lasting relationship with your customers via Instagram

For a long time, social media has been an integral part of restaurant communication strategies. So you are not unaware that it is essential to be active on Instagram to strengthen your online presence. But beyond pretty pictures and hashtags, Instagram is the ideal network to create a relationship of proximity and trust with your community. Story, live, streaming, IGTV... Discover our tips to build a community, sincere and lasting relationship with your customers.

What content to put forward?

Sure, photos of your dishes are appetizing, highlight your know-how and can encourage Internet users to come to the place. But Instagram is above all an opportunity to get closer to your community by offering them unpublished and more intimate content. For example, you can highlight your teams, naming each member, describing their position or even featuring them at work in a publication.

Chefs in the kitchen also have their place on your Instagram account. In addition to making people dream, this type of publication allows you to showcase your transparency regarding ingredients and preparation techniques. Finally, inviting your community into the kitchen, a place that is normally forbidden, allows you to establish a close relationship.

All of these publications will allow users to be able to identify with and attach themselves to your profile, and thus build loyalty.

Varying formats to use

Publishing simple photos on Instagram can quickly become routine and lose attractiveness. To avoid tiring your audience, don't hesitate to use the different post formats available on Instagram.

Stories: a glimpse of your daily life to your followers

Instagram stories take the concept of Snapchat's story: it's ephemeral content that disappears automatically after 24 hours. This format allows you to be more direct and authentic with your community. It's the perfect way to communicate daily and instantly about your news. You can also use it to repost stories and publications created by your users.

The advantage of stories is that you can also pin them to your profile and make them permanent, to leave certain information accessible for the long term, for example.

Stories are also real conversation facilitators. Your users can easily react to them, just as you can quickly respond to them.

Famous chefs have understood this, such as Cyril Lignac or Jean Imbert, who don't hesitate to share the behind-the-scenes of their restaurants as well as more personal moments on a daily basis.

IGTVs: the long format to answer all questions

In a take on the famous YouTube video format, IGTVs allow you to communicate in longer video capsules. It's a great format for answering your community's questions in more depth, conducting interviews, or posting recipes, like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay do.

These videos should be between 1 minute and 1.5 hours long.

Lives: the instant chat with your community

You can hardly get more authentic than a live stream. Instagram live is a live video format, an instant broadcast tool that allows you to interact with your community in real time. Its advantage? Really federate your community, exchange easily and freely with them, in an even more direct way than by private messages.

Highly engaging and intuitive, live can also translate into a meticulously prepared event or an unexpected little question/answer session.

Reels: the trendy short format to go viral

Latest arrivals on Instagram, reels take on the signature format of TikTok. They are short video formats (15, 30 or 60 seconds) that can allow you to showcase new dishes, your new menu, a specific recipe or tease the arrival of a special evening, and above all jump on trends.

Our tips for more interaction and authenticity in your posts

Now that you know all the tricks of communication on Instagram, here are our tips for forging real connections with your community.

Use a tone that's in line with your restaurant's onsite identity and signature

Your communication should make people want to step foot in your restaurant. If it is not in total adequacy with the atmosphere that you offer to your customers on the spot, they may be disappointed. We thus recommend that you choose a tone that goes with your image, and that will thus speak perfectly to your community.

Be responsive and answer all messages

With a view to reinforcing this closeness with your customers present online, try to answer messages and comments as soon as possible. Whether it's for an inquiry, or to express a positive as well as negative opinion, every comment and private message is entitled to a response! By doing this, you build loyalty, receive valuable feedback to improve your offering, but you also contribute to your good SEO.

Incite your customers to share content about your restaurant via social networks

User Generated Content (UGC) is the holy grail of word of mouth on social networks. It is editorial content created and published directly by Internet users, i.e. your customers. It is therefore interesting for you to encourage them to produce it, not only to benefit from free publicity, but especially to grow and unite your community.

To encourage your customers to produce UGC, you can create a hashtag, repost the best publications, or install a place that will become iconic in your establishment.

Soliciting your subscribers and creating engagement

Some types of publications incite more engagement than others. To boost this rate, you can involve your community in decisions made at your restaurant, or gather their opinions via the use of polls and question boxes. For example, within multiple stories, you use closed-ended or double-choice questions to test your subscribers' knowledge or simply find out their preferences.