Earlier on our previous blog post, we talked about the importance of branding for F&B businesses and the basics of how to go about using branding to your advantage in your businesses, we also talked about on creating a digital presence for your businesses in social media platforms (ie: Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and etc.)
In this post we are gonna cover the 5 steps to master instagram marketing specifically for Food-service/Food & Beverages Businesses (especially the small & medium businesses). Before we get into the details, we would like to provide you with some basic insights on Instagram as a social media platform:
#1 Instagram has reach a Billion monthly active users worldwide as at June 2018.
#2 Businesses that are on Instagram get up to 37% of their total impressions from Instagram Stories, the ethereal content that users can publish separate from their feed and disappears after 24 hours.
#3 Approximately 80% of all Instagram users follow a business on Instagram.
For more statistical insights, you can visit CLICK HERE
We hope that the statistics mention above regarding instagram will make you realise how important it is in growing your business presence and branding.
Before we start, we would like to get this myth out of the way first:
IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO GET STARTED ON INSTAGRAM
1) Tune-up your Instagram Profile
Spoiler alert: You can’t do much on instagram without setting up your profile first anyway. 😉
Well there is no “right” way in setting up your instagram business profile. However, as a business profile, you would need to display relevant information about your business, in doing so users will be able to visit your business and so forth. So we would like to share with some solid principles on what information to show and display on your instagram profile.
- Profile picture: As a business profile, we highly recommend that you use your company logo as a profile picture, so people can identify your business easily.
- Account name: Make this as your business name and make sure it’s the same with other social media platforms to ensure consistency.
- Username: This should be your business name and also the username for users to search for you in instagram. Take note that you can’t leave any space between words, however, you could use punctuation marks as spacers.
- Website: You can only enter a single website address/link in your profile. You can enter your own business’s website(if any). However, we recommend that you use Linktree(https://linktr.ee/) to multiply the amount of links you would like to display.
- Bio: This is where you display description about your business and also a good way to capture users attention. Generally, you could describe what your business is about and also your brands slogan. It is also a great to display your business’s hashtag on your Bio as well, a way to gather user generated content.
2) Post Content Frequently And Consistently
Firstly, we would like to clarify, Instagram is NOT a “If you build it, they will come” platform. Like any platform or business, building your own community and followers takes time and alot of commitment(no different from running your own business).
The only way to get your business noticed and gain followers is to post relevant content frequently and consistently. Many businesses will be concern of what type of content to post on their instagram. Hence, we have compiled a list of content ideas as follows(it is non-exhaustive):
- Your product/service
- Customers consuming your product/service
- Behind the scenes of how you prepare your product/service
- Ad-hoc snapshot of your business premise at any given moment
- Demonstration on how to consume your product/service
Another thing we would like to note or a false belief we would like to crush is that, the pictures/videos doesn’t need to be PERFECT(like it’s done by a professional), as long as the composition and the narrative is good then it’s good to go.
As a matter of fact, it is even better if you could keep your contents as native as possible as it gives a sense of authenticity, especially when you run ads against your posts, native contents does better than posts that looked like an “AD”.
When we talk about posting frequently and consistently, on a general rule of thumb it is ideal to post anywhere from 2 to 4 posts per day on a staggered period, usually it’s 8AM, 12PM, 4PM & 8PM. By doing so, you can increase the chances of your posts get discovered by users.
3) Taking Advantage of Niche Hashtags & Location Tags
After you have figured out the types of content to post on instagram for your business, now is time to supercharge your posts with the power of #hashtags. Essentially, hashtags acts as a discovery keyword and a form of compilation of content base on the specific keyword/hashtag in Instagram platform.
As an example, if you are running a hipster cafe in petaling jaya, you can use hashtags like #cafepj; #cafehoppingpj; and so forth. The idea of tagging your post with a relevant #hashtag is to increase the chances of getting discovered by users that is interested in that particular interest.
To maximise the potential organic reach of each posts, it is recommended up to 6-8 #hashtags per posts. Anything more than 8 #hashtags, the platform might deem the post as a spam, hence they will penalise your post by reducing it’s organic reach.
Another thing that will boost your chances of discovery by users is the inclusion of location tags in your posts. Example, if your business is located in Setia Alam, Shah Alam, you can add a location tag to your posts. The logic behind it is when a particular person is looking for a place to hangout, if he/she searches through instagram via the search function and selecting the location based such as Setia Alam, if your cafe posts has a location tag to it, there will be a chance that the user might saw your post and business and so forth (this is based on the assumption that you have recently post something during that day or time, hence the importance of Step No.2).
4) Engage With Influencers
The next step to up your instagram marketing will be engaging with influencers in your local space/area. Influencers are essentially individuals with followers ranging from 1,000+ onwards, you can find these influencers in instagram.
I believed that some of you will start to say that this will cost a lot when we advise to engage influencers to promote your business. Worry not! It might not be as what you would think.
When engaging with social media influencers, it doesn’t require you to work with influencers with a million followers, as it might not be as cost effective to you and the results might not turn up well.
Generally, you can first do a research of influencers that are interested in your industry/business. You can search based on location or hashtags that are related to your field. When you come across posts of such individuals/influencers, we would recommend to engage influencers with a base followers of between 1,000+ to 5,000+, once you have identified the influencers that you would want to work with, drop them a Direct Message(DM) or send them an email if they state on their profile and see if they would like to promote your business.
The first tactical play you can employ is that you could offer free meal at your restaurant/cafe at a time/date that you provide, and it’s good to note that not all will take the offer, so make sure to reach out to as much as you can, and of those that visited your business for the free meal, if 2 out of 5 posts a content and tag your business, you potentially get reach into their followers and in turn they might visit your cafe/restaurant.
The second tactical play you can employ is directly paying the influencers to have them to post content relating to your business for a certain number of posts per week. Generally, the costs of such influencer marketing campaign dependent on the number of followers and the average engagement rate of their posts.
5) Supercharge Your Business With The Power of Instagram Ads
In the digital marketing world there is only 2 ways to get traffic/reach which is either organic reach(free traffic); or paid traffic(paid ads). Since this post relating to instagram, we are just going to touch on instagram ads. Instagram ads generally provides a lower costs of advertising per Cost Per 1,000 Impressions(CPM) as compared to it’s bigger brother Facebook.
You can run ads directly from your smartphone right in the app itself. However, we would advise to create your ad campaigns on your computer browser via facebook where you can access it HERE.
Running instagram ads is a great way to get your business discovered by users in your local area as instagram ads are so powerful that you can choose/target the audiences that are generally interested with your business such as age, gender, location, interest and so forth.
However, it is advisable to test it out and experiment with it where to keep your expenses at a minimum, you can run ad campaigns as little as RM10 per day, and see how it goes.
Finally to recap the above are the 5 steps in mastering instagram marketing for your businesses especially in the Food-service Industry & Food and Beverages Industry.
If you haven’t started your business on Instagram, don’t panic.
With an ever growing of active users on this platform, Instagram has proven itself as a staple of social marketing. For brands with a visual story to tell and a desire to grow an army of dedicated followers and customers, there’s still a place waiting for you on the platform.
We want to hear from you, how you would start on Instagram or how are you going to kill it with Instagram. If you are having trouble getting started on the platform, what’s your biggest problem? Let us know in the comments below!