It’s a short work week so this week’s post is a round-up of stories about Instagram, likely the most important social network for food companies. Whether you’re a restaurateur, chef, commodity board, food company, food blogger or anyone else who likes to be known for your food -- Instagram is a great place to show off.
49,380 photos are uploaded every minute
According to DOMO, the company that produces the annual Internet minute statistics, the numbers are only getting larger. They estimate that by 2020, 1.7 MB of data will be created every second for every person on earth. That’s a lot of data. You need to stand out from the crowd to make sure your posts are seen by the right people. Once you have your account on Instagram, make sure you’re posting compelling and interesting photos that will attract the attention of your customers as they scroll by. Some tips:
Create a strategy rather than randomly post
Be smart about your profile description
Use high-resolution photos and videos
Research relevant hashtags
Incorporate some promotions and advertising, if possible
Turn your fans into raving fans
Use Instagram stories/live features
There’s more information about each of these tips in a post we wrote in May. If you’re specifically looking for ways to make your restaurant photos more Instagram-able by your customers and turn them into raving fans, check out last month’s post.
We could probably write a post about each of these tips, and may do that, but for today’s post we are sharing some tips you can use to enhance your pages and make your Insta-life easier. The one thing that’s constant about social media is change. And Instagram is no different.
First Stories; Now Stickers
First, they introduced stories and now they’ve added stickers to the mix. If you’re still trying to figure out stories, Hubspot’s free e-book is a wisdom-packed free reference. But on to stickers…Instagrammers are adding power to their stories with stickers. You can find stickers when you create a story. That little face in the top that has a flap in the lower corner? Click on that icon to add color and enhancements to your post. It may seem silly to you, but millennials are using these stickers a ton, and the stories that use them are the ones they stop to glance at. Read tips on adding stickers.
Not as Many Views as You Used to Have?
Now owned by Facebook, Instagram’s algorithm has changed recently and many accounts are reporting a decrease in engagement. That’s important since posts with lots of engagement are included in more of your followers’ feeds so seen by more people. There are days this can seem like a vicious circle or a game of whack-a-mole. Instagram shows your posts to a percentage of your followers, and then to the rest of your audience once a post reaches their pre-set engagement percentage. They do this as a way of making sure accounts don’t have fake or inactive profiles.
Also, beware of using spammy hashtags because they could get your account flagged, something difficult to remove. In fact, it’s a good idea to grow your account the old-fashioned way…organically. It’s harder than some of the hucksters may tell you, but following the rules will always win in the end. Buying followers and using spam hashtags can get you instant results but not long-lasting relationships with your customers.
When post engagement goes down, one of the first things to consider (and easiest to change) is when you’re posting. Are your customers online when your post first goes online? The best time will vary by type of business and time zones, but if you’re not sure, play around with some post times and watch your engagement. Also, business accounts can check Instagram Insights to learn which times (and types of content) get better engagement.
Content is Everything
We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again (and again) -- Instagram is about storytelling. It’s about using strong visuals and a short, written message to convince your audience they want to learn more. There are any number of ways you can tell the story. How you do it depends on your business and that strategy we talked about earlier in the post. Some examples of good stories.
Finally, Instagram is more about hashtags and the actual story than it’s about links. That’s why you see people saying “see the link in my profile,” or something similar. And if you want people to get more information about your business, recipe or something similar, you’ll need them to look at that link on your profile. Make it interesting and compelling too. There are several tools out there to help with this; the one we like best is called ContactInBio. It’s versatile, easily tied to your brand, straightforward to build and has great support.
There is so much to learn and know about Instagram. If you’d like to accelerate your success, please reach out so we can help you determine the best strategies and such for your company.