How does a restaurant with a brick and mortar location target potential customers in their specific region?

It can be really difficult to do this over Instagram especially. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just run a search for all of the food lovers within a 5 mile radius?  Instead, you might be hashtagging your way into oblivion, coming across instagrammers all over the country, and going crazy because none of it is helping you to target local customers who will actually sit down and eat at your restaurant.

Here’s the good news, it’s easier than you think.  Here are my recommendations of how to find and target ideal customers on Instagram:

1.  Follow local hashtag

Follow region-specific hashtags that your potential customers may be using such as, #dcfoodie, #newforkcity, or #chicagoeats.

To follow a hashtag, search for the hashtag in the search bar, click on the result and then click follow. This will bring new posts into your home food that are posted by people using that hashtag.

What’s great about this is that it will push posts using that hashtag into your home feed, even if you do not follow that person.

When you see these posts in your feed, comment and engage with the person who posted it!  Maybe click over to their profile, follow them, or comment on a couple of their other photos.

Make sure that your comments have substance, don’t just post emojis.  If you engage with someone authentically, they’ll take notice and maybe even click over to your profile.

2.  Search for posts at other restaurants in your city

To search for posts at other locations, click the search icon, click places, and type in the name of a restaurant.  You can then see posts taken at that location.

You are looking for posts posted by customers, not posts posted by the restaurant.  Comment on those posts, click on who posted it, follow them, and engage with them. Authentically.

3. Engage with local customers who are currently online

To find potential customers who are most likely online, find posts that were posted in the last 10 minutes. To do this, search for a local hashtag or location, click the result, and then click “Recent”.

This shows you posts in reverse chronological order.  By commenting and engaging with these posts, the person who posted it has a higher likelihood of seeing your comment and answering it in real time because they are most likely still on the app.

Do you have any other suggestions? How do you target customers within your region?

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