Elevate Your Instagram Feed
Creating a solid social media presence is essential for any business looking to thrive in today's online environment.
Creating a solid social media presence is essential for any business looking to thrive in today's online environment. For many hospitality owners, that means focusing their efforts on Instagram to reach potential customers. But how do you take an already popular platform and make it work for your brand?
More than half of millennials view Instagram as their primary source of information when deciding where to eat, drink or shop. So, if you want these young professionals (and everyone else) to notice, we have some tips for perfecting your Instagram feed.
With Instagram, you must understand your audience and their wants and needs. You need to know what they care about, what they're interested in, and what visually attracts them. If you don't know that yet, your first step should be market research!
Once you've figured out the best way to engage your audience on Instagram, it's time to post! First, you'll need a content strategy—a pillar of posts that helps keep your brand consistent and cohesive. Then, once you've established the pillars of your account (and gotten approval from higher-ups), it's time to create some amazing content!
1. Create reels and long-form videos
Reels and long-form videos are effective ways to show off the atmosphere of your business and showcase what sets it apart from competitors. If you have a specific location or environment that's unique, consider using this in your video content. For example, if you have a restaurant with an outdoor seating area that overlooks the beach or even a cafe at the university, try creating a reel showcasing different times of day or seasons at this location. This way, people can see what it would be like to sit there during other times of the year or at different times of day!
2. Set up a content strategy / have a content pillar for each post
Instagram users aren't just on Instagram for personal enjoyment—they're there for business too! To benefit from Instagram as a marketing tool, set up a content strategy so that every post has something in common with every other post: whether it's an aesthetic theme or tone. When posting on Instagram, it's crucial to clearly understand what you want to say and how you want it told. What are the most memorable things about your brand? What do you want to communicate about your business? How should people feel when they see your posts? If you have these questions, you're ready to build a social media calendar and create better content.
Content Pillars describe the strategy for the post. For example, some content pillars that can be relevant include promotional, educational, community, entertainment, and engagement. For example, if you're promoting a new coffee on the menu, then a promotional content pillar will be your goal! If you need more help in developing a content strategy, check out our recommendations:
3. Take and create aesthetic images for posting and stories
Don't be afraid to plan out gorgeous content ideas. Instagram is the perfect platform to showcase your business visually and can help showcase your business/service vibe through images, captions, and colours.
Picking the right images will also fit perfectly into the revamped Instagram design, where you can view full-screen imagery.
Instagram is an eclectic place, but research shows that an aesthetic image alongside a friendly and engaging caption can increase your engagement. Consider showing a flat lay of a beautiful table at your cafe with some latte art, for example. We can guarantee fellow coffee lovers will click the like button!
4. Establish a brand colour, font and caption style that suits your brand
Establish a brand colour, font and caption style that suits your business. This is where you need to be consistent in the way you post! Your Instagram audience will recognise your posts because they know what they look like. Why would anyone choose yours over theirs if everyone else posts in black text on white backgrounds with red logos and blue hashtags? Taking the time now will save you loads in the long run! You can use a similar design and change it up each post but keep your brand colour scheme or fonts to keep that familiarity.
5. Design tools
When elevating your Instagram, design tools can be your best friend. For example, Canva is an excellent tool for using customised design templates and cool fonts and editing your photos in the right way for your social media account. Canva also offers design school/design tutorials to help you create the best designs possible!
6. Reels and long-term videos
Video content is one of the most engaging ways to gain a new audience and engage with the audience you already have and can maximise engagement with differing audiences. Now you can make longer-form videos directly into your feed. Some examples of stellar content for this are making behind-the-scenes of your business video, showcasing uses for different products, or showcasing a new design choice in your cafe!
Don't be afraid to be unique and authentic when showcasing your brand. Showcase what makes your brand special; whether it's impressive latte art designs or unique decorations, a reel can showcase your brand and place it on the map (tag location).
You can also now reply with Instagram reels! Basically, in the comment section of a reel, you can create a reel of your own, and then the video reply appears as a sticker. It's a highly visual way to engage with creators and for you to engage with, say, fans of your cafe.
7. Use your Instagram stories to your advantage
Instagram stories are essential to help your audience engage with your content! You can use Instagram stories in the following ways: using the location sticker to draw attention to the location of your business, reposting social media content from customers, promoting new products via the shop sticker, using polls, the question sticker, and other stickers to learn more about the content your audience likes. In your stories, you can link your website and your products. You can also view your analytics section to see how many people click on your links! We recommend using aesthetic images for your gram and even sharing them in stories to get more people to notice your 'gram and business.
8. Caption creation and hashtags
We recommend establishing a caption style so that every caption is consistent with the rest; this will make it easier for people visiting your social media accounts anytime. Captions should be short, snappy, friendly, and inviting. You can also use 1-3 hashtags that fit your brand to increase engagement and reach more users!
9. Consistent posting
To engage your audience, you must stay active on Instagram and consistent in your posting, use trends, and invest in high-quality creative assets. Keep a consistent brand voice and image through your posts, but don't be afraid to slightly change up your content to attract interest!
10. Social media calendar
A social media calendar can be vital to your social media strategy. For example, you can plan your content pillar posts, such as planning an educational reel on the coffee beans your coffee place uses. Another benefit is planning your content, like when you want to post or reminders. You can also use scheduling services such as later.
11. Instagram shop
You need to use the Instagram shopping section to elevate your Instagram. Have a short caption and link to your website. According to Instagram's 2022 Trend Report, Gen Z users expect to shop through social media feeds. Gen Z audiences are more likely to share and start conversations about your brand, so you need to connect with them and make it easier for your audience to access your products! Also, create a Link. Tree account to attract more views for your business website. You can also track your analytics as well on the website!
12. Engage with other businesses and industry accounts
Engage and draw attention to other users in your industry, too: Building successful social media is imperative, as is helping your competitors to make theirs. Being featured on an account such as @melbournecafesociety (which captures images of the best Melbourne cafes) will help you build your brand's recognition.
Now that you've looked at our Instagram elevation tips, we can't wait to see your business thrive and notice your 'Gram engagement soar.
This article was written by Erin Visagie. Erin is a content creator, freelance journalist and coffee-holic who loves talking about all things: coffee, creative communications, education, culture, fashion and social media. You can find her on IG @ezzavee8749 and on linkedIn.