How This Restaurant Found Success in a Pandemic Thanks to TikTok Struggling Small Businesses Conquer Covid-19 Thanks To Digital Marketing Strategies

author image Written by: Wade Morris           Categories - In The News

There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it hard for small businesses to thrive. The restaurant industry in particular has struggled. In fact, more than 16,000 American restaurants closed down for good between March and July 2020.

Some restaurants fortunate enough to survive found that one factor gave them a huge boost: social media. Perhaps the story of one food joint in Waterloo, ON, is a perfect example.

Mario Gonsalves told the Cambridge Times that he was getting ready to open his restaurant, called The Local Option, in early 2020. The restaurant would act as a healthy alternative to traditional fast food, with a ‘grab-and-go’ approach.

The start of the pandemic made an impact on his business plans, though. Fortunately for Gonsalves, the restaurant eventually opened in October.

Gonsalves knew he would need to be savvy and strategic to stay afloat in such a challenging time for the food service industry. He turned to social media.

“Guests are on their phone and computer and on three or four major social media outlets and you can reach them through there. Being more active on social media and having fun with that […] has been helpful,” he told the Cambridge Times.

Using apps like TikTok to promote his restaurant, Gonsalves found surprising success.

“We saw decent numbers, and sales were climbing,” he said. “Covering our niche into the market was nice and we had a good time with that.”

Hopefully, more local businesses will learn the power of digital marketing techniques like local SEO and social media sharing.

Wade Morris

Wade brings an energetic approach to writing – he is always on the hunt for stories and angles that matter. With years of experience in journalism and marketing environments, Wade has written about everything from politics to education. Now, he writes about SEO and digital marketing trends.

Instagram Has A New Guide For Setting Up Shops


Instagram published a new guide to setting up an Instagram shop and using product tags in the app, SocialMediaToday reports. And based on a recent Insta survey, you shouldn’t miss using that piece of information this holiday season.

Turns out that 44% of people surveyed use Instagram for shopping purposes, using shopping tags and the Shop tab. Add to that there are more than 500 million Instagram users and the fact that half of them follow at least one business profile.

What’s Instagram Shopping?

Well, it’s a set of features that let people see your brand and shop from your brand’s photos or videos, all across the app. Just like in real life, you set up a shop, a place to sell and share your brand’s story. In your shop, you can have products and collections of those products. It’s pretty cool, actually.

Let’s say you just published a video tutorial for using one of your favourite cleansers. By using a Product Tag, your audience can click on the product right then and there and find out more about the product. According to Instagram, 117% more transactions happen when you use a product tag in 2 or more posts per day!

There’s also a Shopping Tab on the bottom of the screen which offers even more ways to get people talking about your brand.

Read more: Instagram’s Main Feed Going Full Screen

How To Set Up Shop?

First, you need a Facebook business page and an Instagram business profile.

In this new guide, Instagram suggests setting up your catalogue first and maintaining it. Give your users a full product selection and elaborate descriptions. That will help users find your product when they’re searching for a specific thing. Assign permissions, use one catalogue, set up product variants and complete all product fields. Then, keep product information up to date and curate your shop. When you upload, upload high res videos and photos so people can actually see what you’re selling.

The guide then explains how to use each Instagram post type for shopping purposes. Or selling purposes, that is. With Stories, Instagram says, you can share behind-the-scenes moments and inspire connection with your products. For instance, you can show a how-it’s-made short video, a coming-soon video, or a back-in-stock video!

Photo source: Social Media Today
Read More: Videos Shorter Than 15 Min To Become Reels

As far as Feed is concerned, you can put our product in the spotlight by tagging it in a photo or a (max) minute-long video. According to Instagram, 37% more sales are made for businesses that tag products in their feed posts.  You can also use the Live feature to connect with shoppers live, you can host events and how-to-use demos. This also helps encourage purchases in real-time.

Reels, however, got their own page in the guide. This makes sense since Instagram really wants Reels to take over TikTok. With Reels and product tags within, you can boost your brand and your product awareness.

Instagram Shop guide
Photo source: Social Media Today

Why Should You Use Instagram Shop?

  • Makes shopping easier and faster
  • You can promote your products directly to your target audience,
  • including those with a high purchase intent
  • It expands your brand awareness
  • Shows that your business keeps up with the times
Read More: Instagram Releases New Reels Features
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Instagram Releases New Reels Features


Instagram rolled out some new features to its Reels. Now, users have more ways to let their creativity shine in creating short video clips while engaging with their audience.

And they’re engaging all right.

Currently, Instagram video posts are generating an engagement rate of 1.5%, which means that users are interacting with them, not just scrolling past them. Also, 86% of consumers say they are more likely to buy a product if it’s rated as “shareworthy” on Insta.

Read More: Instagram Has A New Guide For Setting Up Shops

If you’re on the fence and thinking about starting making videos for Instagram, maybe this next statement encourages you:

Public accounts with more than 10kfollowers who posted at least five reels over two months gained 250% more followers than the ones that don’t post reels – according to Instagram, at least.

Read More: Benefits Of Creating Video Content

What’s New With Reels?

Read More: Instagram Subscriptions Tests Three New Features
  • Audio Options

Not only did Instagram update its collection of sound effects, but it also allows us to add our own audio files. Now we can use the audio from Instagram’s music library, record audio, add voiceover to clips, and share or collect audio pages too.

Audio can be imported from any video in your camera roll, as long as it’s at least five seconds long. You can use them in Reels for commentary, jingles, or background noise for example.

Read More: Instagram Videos Shorter Than 15 Min To Become Reels
  • Length

Reels have a new length restriction. Before, Reels could last for only 15 seconds. Then, Instagram extended that and users could post 90-second clips. Now, Reels ads have a maximum running length of 60 seconds.

  • Interactive stickers are now available for videos, not only stories. That means you can use them in your videos for polls, quizzes, etc.
  • Also, you can use another video as a template when you’re creating your own Reels. You only need to add and trim your own clips by pre-loading audio and clip placeholders from source videos.
Read More: How To Create A Successful Video Content Strategy?
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