Restaurants, cafes, pubs – all of these felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic perhaps even more than some businesses in other industries. That’s why many of them turned to social media to promote their services and find new customers.
One of the most popular of such platforms is Instagram. But while it’s essential that you post high-quality images, your captions should also be well-written for your posts to reach their full potential. Hence, here’s everything you should know about restaurant marketing on Instagram and how you can write better captions for your posts.
Why Do You Need Good Instagram Captions?
A good Instagram post is incomplete without a proper caption. However, the way you write your captions can affect the performance of your post. There’s more nuance to it than you may think. Here are some statistics to give you a better idea of how Instagram captions work and why you need to make them good:
- According to a Quintly study, brands with 1 million followers or less get the most interaction on posts that have captions with 1-50 characters. Moreover, depending on the number of followers you have, your posts will perform better with a particular number of emojis in their captions. Brands with 1-1,000 followers should use 1-3 emojis, 1,000-10,000 followers – 4-10 emojis, 10,000-1 million followers – 10+ emojis, and 1+ million followers – 1-3 emojis.
- According to HubSpot, using more than 1 hashtag in your Instagram captions can decrease your average engagement rate. To get around this issue, you can post the hashtags in the comments section. HubSpot also found that mentions in captions are becoming more popular – in 2018, 72% of Instagram posts didn’t contain any mentions, but in 2019, only 40% of posts had no mentions.
Yet, caption length is still a subject worthy of discussion. An experiment by Hootsuite found that Instagram posts with longer captions drove more engagement than those with shorter captions. While there is plenty of research with different results, there are still some general rules to follow when writing your Instagram captions that will work anytime:
#1 Stick to Your Brand
Branding is everything for businesses of all sizes because it allows you to grow trust and loyalty in your customers, but it can also help you stand out from the crowd. At the same time, sticking to your brand can help you easier figure out a way to connect with your audience on social media and to create a workable strategy for your Instagram account.
Fraser Moss, an expert from the paper writing websites reviews site, explains it this way, “The brand voice you use in your marketing materials and on your website should also be used on your social media accounts. If you are going for fun and friendly, your captions should reflect this brand image.”
#2 Interact with Followers
One of the key goals your captions should pursue is increasing engagement on your posts. To do this, you need to find ways to interact with your followers and encourage them to interact with you. It may sound easy, but brands often struggle with engagement on social media. Here are some tips on how you can use your captions to interact with followers:
- Ask questions and show that you care about your followers’ opinions.
- Share your own opinions, especially on recent and trending topics.
- Host giveaways and contests where users have to leave a comment, repost your content, etc. to participate.
- Reward followers for their engagement by mentioning them in your captions. For example, ask a question in your previous post and mention the person with the best answer in your current post where you ask another question.
#3 Grab Attention Immediately
Just like visuals in your Instagram posts should immediately be attractive, your captions should equally aim to immediately grab the attention of your target audience. This can be done in a variety of ways, but you shouldn’t necessarily use all the options available to you.
Clay Perkins, an expert from the custom writing reviews page site, puts it this way, “The first sentence in your captions can work somewhat as headlines work for your articles. Summarize the main idea of your caption, especially if it is a lengthy one. Alternatively, if you have a short caption, get right to the point.”
#4 Optimize Caption Length
As mentioned earlier, there are conflicting opinions on the ideal caption length. That being said, the best approach is probably something of a combination. In other words, it’s best to optimize your caption length depending on the type of post you are working with.
For example, a simple shoutout may require a single sentence while a customer success story will need two or three paragraphs. If you want to announce something big, you can make a post with a few sentences and ask your followers to use the link in your bio to read the full announcement on your website.
Ultimately, the takeaway is that you need to find the right approach to your target audience. Yet, you can still use common techniques for writing Instagram captions to build a foundation for your Instagram marketing strategy. Use the tips in this article to help you get started and become an expert in Instagram marketing for restaurants.