Posts on Jan 1970

Instagram Stories for your business

instagram stories for business
You’ll more than likely have seen Instagram Stories whilst scrolling through your feed, and may well have got stuck into posting a few, tagging people and locations and using the ever-changing (and ever-entertaining) menu of gifs. But have you got a system for using them for your business?

Similar to Snapchat, Instagram Stories allow users to post temporary images and videos, that are displayed for 24 hours before disappearing (unless saved in ‘Highlights’ on your profile page). They work particularly well for restaurant and food businesses, because of the visual nature of the product, and the popularity of food porn on social media in general.

So while you may or may not have a solid social media strategy (if not, have a read about why it might be beneficial to get some help), it’s worth mastering Stories as it’s an engaging, fun way of getting seen – not to mention that Instagram has now surpassed 1 billion monthly unique users, so get a piece of the pie!

Stories are discoverable

…meaning people who aren’t following you can find them, so it’s a great way to get exposure to an audience who for whatever reason, may not come across your content in the feed. It all helps to expose your content to new potential customers.

Just add a hashtag to your story or tag a location, and experiment – you can see how many of your viewers have come via the hashtag/location.

If you have 10,000+ followers you can make use of the ‘swipe up’ feature, meaning viewers can go directly to your website, menu, event page, ticket page or wherever you want to send them, without extra steps in between.

Highlights add depth

Whilst Stories only last for 24 hours, you can extend their shelf-life by adding them to your profile. This means your beautiful creations remain there for all to see, and it also adds more opportunity for your visitors to engage with your content.

If you have a restaurant for example where you launch new menus, create a highlight for each new launch – it acts like an album, allowing visitors to see exactly what’s what.

Features provide opportunities

Features that can be used in Stories include countdowns (for openings, launches or events), music, polls and questions – all great for encouraging engagement, which is what we’re looking for on Instagram after all.

Tie it into your wider marketing strategy

If you’re working with influencers (if not, here are some tips), tie some stories into the agreed plan – you can then share, demonstrating social proof and increasing their reach.

If you’re hosting chef residencies, ask them to do a takeover for a day for a different perspective. There are lots of ways to utilise this fun, useful aspect of Instagram, flag it to your social media manager and they’ll do the rest!

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5 reasons to get a social media manager

social media for restaurants

We all know that an active and engaged social media presence is a must for pretty much any business these days. The question is, should you pay someone to manage your social media platforms? It’s great if you have a GM who’s good at taking photos at the pass, or someone in the office who can snap your new packaging, but there are quite a few benefits to having someone who’s dedicated to the task, particularly when things are busy and there aren’t enough hours in the day.

To scratch the surface a little:

Planning

A pro will create a strategic plan that ties into your other marketing activity. Rather than posting sporadically or randomly, they’ll have the time to make sure your images, menus, profile information and links are always up to date, and that you’re making the most of seasonal and local hooks – things so easily missed if you’re doing 1000 things at once, but could cost you opportunities/customers if they’re wrong. The businesses that get good results on social are the ones who have a solid content strategy and dedicated people to put it in place.

Knowledge

They’ll know the quirks of each platform, for example whether or not to use hashtags on Facebook (no) or how to direct people to a link on Instagram (bio), and how often to post on each (varies). They’ll know how to best use your assets for each channel, and get the best results.

Investment

If you’re looking to invest some of your budget into social campaigns then even more reason to get someone to help – I’ve seen clients waste their budget through targeting the wrong location, or not having the right call to action. The former is a total waste of time, the latter not necessarily a disaster, but if you’re putting hard-earned cash into it, make it work hard! You need to be researching, planning, creating beautiful content, scheduling it and following it up

Time

Doing a good job on social media is time consuming! (Despite what a lot of people think…) The actual posting is the tip of the iceberg, you need to be researching, planning, creating beautiful content, scheduling it and following it up – replying to comments and engaging with followers. This is how you grow your following, and become known as a brand that has conversations with its followers, as opposed to just broadcasting.

Analysing

If you’re using a marketing channel you should be monitoring its effectiveness, whether you pay for sponsored posts or not. If you do it, measure it. Analytics within platforms are extensive, and it’s not always obvious what to look for. Measuring the right variables and monitoring progress allows for tweaks and adjustments based on what’s performing well, and means you get the most you can out of each platform.

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