Instagram is a visual mobile app, allowing its users to post photos and videos to connect with people all over the world.

With over 1 billion monthly users it’s no wonder that businesses are jumping on board and creating pages to connect with new and existing customers.

Creating a page is an awesome first step – but there is a lot that goes into running pages to their full potential!

Keep reading to get our Instagram tips and tricks.

Getting Started

Picking the right username

Selecting the right name for your café’s Instagram is critical. If your café has a relatively short name, using the city of your café can be effective, particularly in small cities. This will provide you with more exposure when people look up the city your business will be much easier to find. For example, Napoli is an Adelaide based Italian restaurant which goes by the handle @napoliadelaidepizza. Short, sweet and descriptive!

If your businesses name is on the longer side, you’ll need to get creative by picking a name that will be easier for customers to type and search for. If your name is too long and difficult to find, you are at risk of losing a potential follower or client!

Content

The content of your Instagram is the most important part of your account. There’s no point of having a huge number of photos if they’re not going to attract and engage customers.

A recent survey revealed that 75% of people purchase things because they saw it on social media. This means that it is absolutely crucial that your content is of high quality, engaging and is consistent with your brand identity.

When you take your own photos, natural lighting is your best friend! Photo backgrounds should also look clean. There are various phone apps, such as Lightroom, and Afterlight which you can use to edit your photos to get them looking extra crisp for your profile.

Another great and easy way to generate content is by reposting client’s photos or inspirational photos found on other similar pages. This can create relationships with clients, making them feel appreciated and increasing their likeliness to return. However, it is important to credit the person who’s photo you repost, which can be done by tagging the account with their username. For example, @realfalafelaustralia regularly reposts clients photos as seen below.

Moving Forward

Story highlights

One of Instagram’s latest features are story highlights. Story highlights are past stories you have made that you can pin on your profile, and can be removed or added whenever you want. For hospitality businesses, this can be particularly good for attaching the menu or any promotions you have going on at the moment, in a less formal manner. Good story highlights can both brighten up your profile and can provide more value for people that stumble upon your profile, thus making them more likely to follow and engage with you.

Consistent posting

Posting regularly and consistently is important, particularly when you’re first starting your account. Generally, at least posting once a day, or at the very least 5 times a week to ensure your followers are receiving maximum engagement with your company. However, once again, low quality content won’t cut it, so make sure your photos are high quality, fun and engaging, even if it means doing that extra bit of work to get that perfect “gram” post. If posting every day is too challenging, try at least posting some story highlights for further engagement.

Engage with your followers

Engaging with people who follow you on Instagram is great for building relationships with clients, and thus encouraging them to visit or re-visit. This can also be good for fostering loyal customers. For example, replying to comments and messages, asking questions such as “would you prefer chocolate milkshakes or caramel milkshakes?” or what kind of specials they’d like to see can make customers feel more connected to the brand.

Hashtags

Hashtags in short are key words, which utilise the symbol “#” in front of the word. Hashtags are both searchable and clickable on social media. Using relevant hashtags are a great way to engage new potential followers and clients.

For example, @fairespresso is a local Adelaide café which has a large selection of vegan options. As a result, because veganism has become a very popular Instagram hashtag, they often attempt to make large variations using the word vegan.

Although Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, too many hashtags can be overwhelming for users. Generally, up to 10 hashtags is a good amount.

Geotagging

Geotagging is the process of sharing the location a photo was taken at. Whether this photo be the food you ate, a selfie or your staff, tagging a location allows for Instagram users to search nearby businesses if they are in the location, and can make a place easier to search and find on Instagram.

Writen by Lola Vancoillie