Restaurant Marketing Restaurant Websites Social Media

4 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Restaurant Website from Instagram

4 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Restaurant Website from Instagram

By Denise Langenegger, Instasize

Everyone loves a good food photo, and Instagram is one of the best places to scroll through to look at delicious meals and beautifully-designed restaurants. There’s no denying Instagram has changed the restaurant industry and the way customers interact with it. While before someone may have felt chastised or embarrassed to be taking a snapshot of their meal, technology (and Millennials) have flipped that concept onto its head.

In data presented by Fundera, 69% of Millennial diners now take a photo of their food before eating, 59% of them review menus online, and 30% actively avoid restaurants with a weak social media presence. Having a visually appealing Instagram feed and an active online presence gets attention — and restaurants should take note.

Restaurant Instagram food filters

But do these posts actually drive people to click through to a website or visit a restaurant’s location? The answer is yes, they can, but not always. If you want to ensure your posts bring the web and foot traffic you want, you need to consciously optimize your Instagram profile for the purpose of driving traffic. We’ve listed down four ways on how to do so.

Make your main bio link count.

Embrace the phrase “link in bio!” After all, your main bio link is the only clickable you get on your entire profile. You don’t need to link the home page of your website. You can also link to your ongoing campaign, promotion, a menu or even a location list. Use a trackable URL so you can evaluate how many visits you get from social media on web analytics.

Despite only having this bio link, your call-to-action phrases don’t need to be cut-and-paste. First, if it fits your restaurant’s personality, dress up your bio with emojis and special characters that not only describe you, but draw the eye towards the link itself. You can do the same to photo captions as well — using emojis as dividers between the description and your call-to-action makes it more visible. Alternatively, mentioning the link seamlessly in the caption is a natural way to get your audience to read it.

Let followers do the talking for you.

Restaurant Instagram examples
source: @ohdoughmumbai, @blend

What users think of your brand remains as important as it was before internet — maybe even more so. In one study, 84% of respondents said they trust an online review as much as an in-person recommendation, and 68% read between one and six reviews before making a decision.

What users think of your brand remains as important as it was before internet — maybe even more so. In one study, 84% of respondents said they trust an online review as much as an in-person recommendation, and 68% read between one and six reviews before making a decision.

Because of this, user-generated content (UGC) is one of a restaurant’s most powerful tools in the digital age. Social Media Today’s report shows 75% of 500 surveyed organizations believe UGC makes their marketing more human, and most marketers believe UGC assists in various levels of the marketing funnel.

Creating a branded hashtag, displaying it somewhere in your restaurant proper (try on your menu!), and encouraging guests to use it will help track the content you can then repost to your Instagram profile. This attracts diners’ followers to your profile — the first step in the marketing funnel.

Tell stories. Instagram Stories.

Restaurant Instagram Stories examples

Did you know that the rise of food tourism has made Instagram a popular space for travelers searching for the perfect place for a bite to eat? Many posts tagged #travel feature photos of local delicacies. Leveraging this by tagging your location in posts and Instagram Stories will drive interested travelers and nearby locals to your restaurant.

If you have 10,000 or more followers, use links in Stories to send people to your website. If this feature isn’t available yet, type up shortened links in the text that users can easily remember and input into their browser on their own. Remember: Tell stories with Stories.

Instagram Ads

Restaurant Instagram Ads examples
source: Wordstream

If you’re willing to allocate the budget, running Instagram ads is a tried-and-tested way to increase engagement on your posts as well as traffic to your website. One easy way to create an ad is to simply select a post from your feed to promote.

For an effective Instagram ad, choose a post with creative visuals with copy that evokes emotions rather than sales talk. For a restaurant brand, you would want to choose food photos that make your audience think “I want to try that.” Create an ad that looks like a natural extension of your regular posts, put a good call-to-action phrase in the caption, and wait for the ad to bring traffic.

You can’t drive traffic without users being interested in your profile in the first place. This underscores the importance of high-quality visual content. Instasize is a reliable multi-functional app for editing photos and video. You can download it on the App Store and on Google Play.

About the author

NextRestaurants Staff