How to Effectively Engage Diners Through Instagram Live

More than ever before, restaurants have been searching for ways to stay connected with diners. Instagram Live is a free and easy-to-use engagement tool that exists within Instagram Stories and allows individual pages to broadcast live videos. According to New York Magazine, 82% of consumers prefer live video from a brand over static social posts.

Instagram Live produces many beneficial results for restaurants, including expanded customer engagement, increased restaurant visits, and enhanced brand visibility. Live broadcasting provides an authentic view of your restaurant by inviting viewers to see behind-the-scenes footage of how your business operates. To maintain viewer engagement, it is key to create an Instagram Live content calendar as posting consistency allows for your followers to know when to tune in for new content.

Your restaurant can promote live streams ahead of time on other social channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Instagram Insights can be analyzed to determine when your followers are most active and likely to be online to tune into an Instagram Live broadcast. When you launch an Instagram Live stream, your account page moves to first place in the lineup of Instagram Stories on a follower’s newsfeed. Followers receive a notification when you begin broadcasting live to encourage them to tune into the broadcast. Once an Instagram Live broadcast finishes, there is an option to add the recording to your page’s Story, where it will be active for 24 hours. Ahead, we’ve compiled several suggestions on the different types of Instagram Live content your restaurant can create. 

Host an Instagram Live Virtual Food & Beverage Class 

Hosting a live cooking class led by your chef, or a live cocktail class led by a bartender, makes for an interactive live experience. Viewers can follow along with the class if you post ingredients needed ahead of time, or your restaurant can get creative and make ingredient boxes prior to class time to deliver to viewers’ doorsteps! Encouraging viewers to snap a photo of their finished product, post it, and tag your business is an excellent way to produce user-generated content. Virtual tip jars are an added component to raise money for a charity of choice during live classes.

Broadcast Behind-the-Scenes Segments 

Allowing each staff member to broadcast daily Instagram Live takeovers builds a transparent connection between your restaurant and followers. Behind-the-scenes tours are an entertaining look into a viewer’s favorite restaurant. Employees can take viewers on a tour of the restaurant or showcase their job responsibilities.

Maintain Diner Engagement  

Running a contest will increase engagement during an Instagram Live stream and is a great way to invite viewers to visit your restaurant in person. Raffle off gift cards, free appetizers, and more! 

Your diners will love to hear the stories and significance behind their favorite dishes. Take the time to explain the backstory of each signature dish and allow your viewers to ask questions. Discussing the history of your restaurant and your brand values will create a long-lasting connection between your establishment and diners.

Create Fresh Content 

Instagram Live is used to update followers on upcoming in-person events, menu updates, and important pieces of information such as updated hours. It’s important to keep your audience engaged with daily fresh content to maintain diners’ interactions with your brand.

Generate Ever-Lasting Content 
After live-streaming has finished, you can add your finished Instagram Live recording to Instagram TV, where users can view it whenever they visit your page. Instagram Live allows for interactive, real-time engagement with your diners.

Looking for other ways to engage with your audience? Subscribe to the LevelUp blog below, and we’ll send you our favorite tips!

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