- 1.Why Should You Use Instagram to Get More Restaurant Reviews?
- 2.Encourage Customers to Share Restaurant Reviews
- 3.Make Good Use of Instagram Stories
- Collect restaurant reviews with the question sticker
- Repost fan-made content and restaurant reviews
- Create a separate Instagram Story highlight album for reviews
- 4.Ask Followers for Feedback
Even the most traditional of restaurant owners can’t avoid Instagram. Today’s customers use the platform to learn more about a business and decide whether it’s worth a visit. Simply being on the platform proves your legitimacy.
Plus, everyone has fallen victim to Instagram food photos—there’s no better way to induce craving than a good food shot and an honest review.
Combining a close-up or Reel of your best dishes with a mouthwatering description can quickly bring diners to your doorstep. After all, 94% of diners will read reviews before visiting restaurants nearby.
Read on to learn how to get more restaurant reviews and gain more customers using Instagram.
Why Should You Use Instagram to Get More Restaurant Reviews?
With over two billion monthly active users, your ideal customers are definitely on Instagram. It’s also interesting to note that about 45% of Instagram’s user base is aged between 25 to 44, which is the age group that spends the most at restaurants.
In the past, people used Instagram to document their meals. Today, we use the platform to help us decide where to eat.
Whether it be a recent post by a friend or a review by a trusted food blogger, Instagram has become a reliable resource for dining and drinking enthusiasts. In fact, Food and Beverage was identified as one of the most popular categories on the social media platform.
As Instagram evolved from a casual photo-sharing app to one of the most powerful advertising platforms for businesses, it has constantly added built-in tools to help marketers and business owners attract more customers.
Instagram is a great place for restaurants to market their menu, communicate with visitors, and even get more restaurant reviews. Once you decide to create a business account for your restaurant, always have an Instagram security guide handy to secure your personal data.
Below, we’re going to walk through three effective ways to get more restaurant reviews with Instagram. Let’s dive in!
1. Encourage Customers to Share Restaurant Reviews
The hard truth is that most customers will share negative experiences over positive ones. This is because emotions are heightened when something negative happens, and they tend to stay in our minds longer.
So, if you don’t encourage or ask your customers to leave restaurant reviews, they won’t come naturally. If you don’t ask, you can’t expect.
To encourage your customers to share reviews of their dining experience, it’s important to ask while they’re still in your establishment:
- Provide each table with a comment card. You can either do this with a traditional slip of paper or provide a QR code with a link to a form.
- Add your Instagram handle to your menu and include a CTA to post food photos and reviews.
Don’t forget to inform your customers that you will be sharing their reviews on your page. Since not everyone enjoys filling in forms or posting reviews, you can incentivize your customers with a free dessert or small treat.
Make the most out of your bio section
On Instagram, make use of the most valuable real estate on your profile—your bio.
Your bio section is like a business card that tells visitors more about your restaurant: its cuisine, opening hours, directions, and more. When done right, you can also set an example for readers and encourage them to share reviews.
And if you want to get more restaurant reviews, include a CTA button to write a restaurant review and share a link to a special landing page for reviews.
Alternatively, you can use third-party links in bio tools to bypass Instagram’s singular link rule and provide your audience with more content choices and boost website traffic.
Leverage influencer marketing
One of the most effective ways to encourage your audience to post reviews on Instagram is by running an influencer Instagram marketing campaign.
The campaign can be as simple as a partnership with multiple restaurant influencers wherein they share Reels, stories, and photos of their experiences in your restaurant.
Since people are more likely to trust an influencer over a business, a single post by a trusted creator can instantly boost your follower count and foot traffic more than you ever could with just regular social media content and ads.
Offer bonuses and discounts
When you offer bonuses and discounts, not only do you encourage people to dine in, but you also give them a solid reason to share their own reviews.
Through the influencers, you can offer discounts and freebies to get more people to share about your restaurant.
While we always hope for positive reviews, no business is perfect and you may encounter the occasional unhappy customer. Don’t make the mistake of deleting or ignoring bad reviews.
2. Make Good Use of Instagram Stories
Posting new stories puts you ahead and on top of your followers’ feeds. Additionally, Instagram Stories’ limited-time nature gives your followers a sense of urgency to view it before it disappears.
Unlike traditional reviews that include an entire write-up, Instagram Stories “reviews” can just be a short clip of people enjoying your food.
This makes Instagram Stories a simpler and more approachable way for customers to leave a review. Instagram users understand that if it’s worth posting about, then it’s likely a good restaurant.
Collect restaurant reviews with the question sticker
To encourage your followers to leave a review about your restaurant, use Instagram’s question sticker on your Stories. Interactive stickers allow you to create eye-catching content that’s also engaging. Answers gathered through the sticker can all be found in one place.
Repost fan-made content and restaurant reviews
Posting about a restaurant on Instagram Stories is as good as a verbal recommendation by a friend. Whether your customers tag you on feed posts or their Instagram Stories, make sure to repost them on your profile.
Reposting reviews and user-generated content (UGC) will encourage them to share more and become repeat customers.
Reposting also signals to your other followers and those still in the research stage that your food is good enough to post about.
Create a separate Instagram Story highlight album for reviews
With a short lifespan of 24 hours, it can be easy for followers to miss out on important content on Instagram Stories. That is unless you make the most out of Instagram Story highlights and make some of your Stories live permanently on your account.
Since Story highlights appear right below the bio section, not only can you make your best Stories live longer, but you can also organize your reviews in one place to help interested visitors read restaurant reviews with ease.
3. Ask Followers for Feedback
Despite the undeniable power of social media, there’s still nothing quite like the personal touch of face-to-face interaction.
If you want honest restaurant feedback from your customers, make an effort to start a conversation with them while they’re in your restaurant or visit your Instagram and ask for a review. It should be a standard for servers, managers, and even the owner to ask diners how they’re liking the experience.
Positive or not, feedback is always valuable and can be used as a reference for improvement. Here are several ways to ask followers for feedback.
Start a conversation with restaurant visitors
It’s no secret that 90% of Instagrammers follow at least one business profile in-app. Users crave brand communication and when you start a conversation with your restaurant visitors, you can get their real feedback on your services.
The easiest way to start a conversation is to create an Instagram post with a strong call to action. For example, you can invite followers to share their thoughts on your menu, dishes, restaurant interior, etc.
If your followers are open to communication, you can invite them to leave their feedback and ask if you can post photos of them along with their reviews. This gives reviews posted on your page a stamp of authenticity.
Share a customer feedback link
Once you’ve had personal interactions and conversations with your customers, provide a feedback link where they can leave more detailed information about their experience. Let them know that you’d like to use the feedback on your page.
For example, you can create an Instagram poll and invite your followers to take a quiz on a specific topic around your restaurant.
It can help you understand your restaurant visitors better and it can also help you get in touch with interested visitors who are more likely to fill out a customer feedback survey when you invite them.
Monitor brand mentions
Some feedback about your restaurant may be shared by customers without tagging your Instagram account.
It’s important to use social listening tools to monitor brand mentions or conversations about your brand on different social media platforms. Find out what people are saying and be quick to respond and reach out if necessary.
Make it a habit to respond to all reviews, whether positive or negative. Here’s a quick guide:
- Respond as soon as possible. This lets the customer know that you value their feedback.
- Always stay professional. Never respond in anger.
- Understand the issue before responding. Gather all information about your customer’s experience so you can give a proper explanation. If mistakes were made, let them know what steps you’ll take to remedy the issue. Don’t apologize for something that wasn’t your fault.
- Offer to reach out via phone call or meeting when necessary. Sometimes a typed-out response in a public forum isn’t enough to appease a customer.
- Make it personal. Show the customer that a real person is responding to their feedback, introduce yourself, and let them know that you’re doing what you can to make it up to them.
Responding to reviews can help boost your restaurant’s online reputation. It also shows customers that you care about how they feel and what they have to say. As a result, you may get more positive reviews.
Reviews are a crucial part of a restaurant’s success and Instagram is a powerful tool to help you get more restaurant reviews.
By encouraging customer feedback both online and offline, responding to negative and positive comments, and using Instagram’s built-in tools to reach your audience, you can have a collection of valuable customer reviews in no time.
Use these tips to help you get more restaurant reviews and build a powerful marketing strategy on Instagram.
Author: Val Razo
Val is a freelance SMM consultant who helps small and medium businesses establish and maintain a social media presence. Currently, Val lays a bet on Instagram marketing, so you can check out her Twitter to find more tips and tricks on using this network for business growth.