Instagram has quickly become one of the most influential social networks, especially when it comes to restaurants, cafés and coffee shops. While Facebook has long been the gold standard for social media marketing, Instagram should not be taking a backseat and, if you own a coffee shop or café, it probably now belongs upfront. Where Instagram excels, Facebook and Twitter tend to falter. Instagram is completely visual based and doesn’t include all the noise and text you will find on Facebook. Because of its visual nature, Instagram greatly helps businesses such as restaurants and coffee shops and with over 400 million active users, it isn’t going anywhere anytime time soon.
Additionally, trends are also showing users are beginning to leave Facebook exclusively for Instagram, increasing the everyday importance the photo sharing site has for your business. As Wayne Gretzky once said, your coffee shop should be skating to where the puck is going, not where it is currently.
Instagram is becoming crucial for small businesses, so here’s how you can maximize its potential:
Pick the right username: Do not, under any circumstances, pick a username or handle that does not include your business name. Business owners often make the mistake of using their personal names or other titles for the social media accounts, but it should reflect your business name as closely as possible. That way, when users go to search your business they’ll have an easier time finding you.
Post pictures of your products: Ever hear the term “Food porn”? Food porn is when a user posts a picture of a meal or beverage and shares it over social media. While it has been known to polarize the social media landscape, food and beverage images can be effective marketing tactics for coffee shops. Consider: you provide beverages such as coffee and espresso and baked goods such as muffins, cookies and bagels. By posting images of your beautiful cups of espresso and tasty baked treats, it gives customers an idea of what you have to offer and will entice them to visit your shop.
Link your Instagram to Facebook and Twitter: Just because we’re persuading you to use Instagram more doesn’t mean we want you to abandon other social media platforms all together. One of the great thing about Instagram is that your account can be linked to your Facebook and Twitter, so anytime you post a photo on Instagram, it will also post on these platforms as well. This will help you attract more followers to your Instagram account and will make sure your other platforms don’t go stale.
How-to’s: Celebrity chefs have been using social media sites such as YouTube to teach others how to make easy and simple dishes, and this is certainly something you could do with your coffee shop. Millennials are becoming a DIY generation, including making their own lattes and cups of espresso, and you can provide them with a guide on making these types of coffee.
Coffee shops and restaurants have a lot to gain by optimizing their Instagram accounts, and with summer almost here, customers are going to be looking for some iced coffees and cold brews. Remember, your Instagram account is what you put into it, so start posting photos today!