Instagram is a great tool to help you market your business! It’s all about visual content and is great for showcasing your production process, your family & employees, and your products. Ultimately, it’s meant to portray authenticity, and allow your customers to understand your lifestyle. If you are a small-scale food producer, Instagram is a great way to create an online brand and drive demand for your products.
It is a hub for literally everything! Over 25 million businesses use the application and 200 million instagrammers visit at least one business profile every day. There’s a ton of opportunity to engage potential customers and showcase your brand. Instagram is a powerful marketing tool!
Here’s a little background on Instagram.
Instagram is a social media platform that is made for sharing photographs and videos from your phone. Each user has a profile where they can upload photos and a news feed that shows content uploaded by those who you follow. When you upload a photo, it will be displayed on your profile and on the newsfeed of the people that follow you. It has an emphasis on fast and easy visual sharing.
But why is it helpful for food producers?
Food is a very visual industry! How many times have you seen pictures of a beautiful dish and thought, “I would eat that!” The goal of using Instagram as a marketing tool is to convince consumers to buy your products. This platform lets you upload photos and videos on your feed or on stories – a 24-hour quick, engaging photo/video format for smartphones – in a way that connects you with customers and keeps them up to date. It’s personal, simple-to-use, and extremely powerful! On top of this, it’s free, so there’s really no reason to not at least try it!
Let’s get started:
Step 1: Setting up your account
The first step is to download the app. Instagram, unlike other social medias, is meant to use on your phone, therefore to sign up and use the program, you must have access to a smartphone or tablet. When you first open the Instagram app, you will get prompted to sign up. Be sure to sign up using a business email address.
The next step is to enter your info:
Full Name: Enter the name of your business. This will allow your business to be recognizable amongst visitors.
Username: This is the name of what people search to find your business. It starts with @ symbol. For example Local Line’s username is @locallineinc. Please note, if the name of your business may already have been taken, you may have to get creative.
Step 2: Building your account
Now that you have an account, it’s time to optimize it to start increasing your followers. Start with choosing your profile picture. This is an image that is associated with your account. We recommend using your logo as it keeps consistency with the branding of your business or a picture that best represents your business. Remember, that Instagram automatically crops your photos into a circle, therefore leave room in the corners for this.
Your Instagram bio is a short (150 character maximum) and concise summary of what you do! In your bio you can also urge followers to take an action by adding a URL such as your online store or business website. If using a URL, be sure to shorten your link using bitly to keep your profile from looking cluttered.
If you want to change anything later, you can always update your profile at a later date by clicking on the “Edit Profile” button.
Here is an example of an Instagram profile by Local Line customer Spray Creek Ranch.
Step 3: Switching to a business profile
At this point you have an account and profile ready to go! The next step is to make your public profile a business profile. To do this, go to the Settings tab. It can be accessed by clicking the three stacked lines located in the upper-right corner of the homepage. Click the settings button located at the bottom of the page.
In Settings, scroll down to Account. Click Switch to Business Profile. Instagram will lead you through how to switch. Note, in order to create a business profile, you must already have a business Facebook page.
This will let your profile appear as a business to your followers. It will also give you access to analytics that will give you insight on posting times, followers, engagement and more. In a business profile, you are able to add location, category, phone number, email and directions. These features can help you increase your sales.
Now you have set up your account properly and are ready to start instagramming!