Between Instagram rolling out to the Android market in early April and its purchase by Facebook a week later, it was only a matter of time before social-savvy businesses began tying the photo editing and sharing app into social media-based initiatives.

Not only is Maggiano’s Little Italy encouraging users to follow their own Instagram account, they are also asking diners to share photos taken at the restaurant on Twitter with the hashtag, #Maggianos.

This isn’t the first time the Italian restaurant has effectively used social marketing – last summer, they sent out another excellent message to their mailing list encouraging fans to like them on Facebook.

Again, Maggiano’s has done an excellent job tying in social media to their latest initiative.

Rather than a basic message announcing their happy hour offers (that they’d probably have sent out anyway), they opted to go this route and tie in a timely social component.

And, to incentive users to participate, they’re going to choose several winners to receive $100 gift certificates throughout the month of May.

Kudos to Maggiano’s for staying being innovative with their marketing strategies.

I’ll definitely be sharing photos of my cocktails next time I’m there for happy hour!