Search for:

How to Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel?

The common notion is that social media is all about generating brand awareness and engaging your prospects. It is generally believed that users who frequent these platforms are unlikely to follow a link to your website or convert. However, a smart marketer knows that you can use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel. It can influence decision making from brand awareness to advocacy.

If we study consumer behavior from the time they are exposed to a brand to the point at which they become brand advocates we find that the journey is not linear.

Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel

As per McKinsey:

“People form impressions of brands from various touch points, including advertisements, news reports, conversations with family and friends and product experiences. “Those accumulated impressions then become crucial, because they shape the initial-consideration set.”

Optimizing the customer experience at each of these touchpoints, therefore, becomes crucial and contributes to turning a cold lead into a profit-generating customer. Developing a social media funnel mindset can help you to fine-tune your strategy, build engagement with your audience, and most importantly, increase conversions at each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Here’s how you can use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel.

1. Awareness

Social media has proven to be one of the most powerful channels to generate awareness. On an average 2.3 Billion, people spend 1.4 hrs. daily on social media platforms sharing their thoughts and opinions and talking to others.

This is the time to create a strong first impression and establish yourself as an authority in your segment or industry. Your actions at this stage determine the quantity and quality of leads. The strategy at this stage is to introduce your brand to the customer by posting content, which grabs the attention of your audience. The great thing about including social in your marketing arsenal is that it can help you reach a much wider audience without a large marketing budget.

Awareness stage- Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
  • Know your Target audience- Invest some time in figuring out what kind of customers are likely to be interested in your products; their age, education interests, and online behavior.
  • Determine which social media platforms would be suitable for your business- Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Pinterest.
  • Figure out the best time and frequency to post.
  • Have a content plan- Inform, answer questions, and solve problems. All your posts should not be promotional
  • Explore a different kind of content forms for your promotions- images, videos, live stories, long-form videos, infographics.
  • Advertise on all relevant social networks.
  • The frequency of your posts and ads is relevant; top of sight remains top of mind.
  • Tying up with prominent influencers and micro-influencers in your industry is a great way to create a buzz around your brand’s products and services.

2. Engagement

The customer is now aware that you exist as a choice among all the other brands offering similar products or services. It is time to nurture and even validate leads. Engaged customers are more likely to remember your brand and buy from it.

Engagement stage- Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
  • You can use the metrics collected in the previous stage to build your social media messages at this stage. Determine the nature of posts that generated maximum interest and create content that engages your customers and differentiates your product while answering the question of why should they buy from you.
  • Invest some time in replying to reviews, comments, and brand mentions
  • You could also host contests or giveaways and organize events including live Q&A’s, webinars, competitions, or live events.
  • Use data collected at this stage to create targeted offers for people who have regularly engaged with your posts and send them via direct messaging available on most social media platforms.
  • Installing the Facebook Pixel on your website will allow you to track the behavior of users on your website and show targeted message to the visitors that visit your website or took a specific action on any page
  • On Facebook and Instagram, you can create a custom audience that includes everyone who ever liked or commented on your updates so you can market to them again.
using Facebook for engagement- Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
  • You can even create a lookalike audience which is derived from a source say your custom audience – to target a new set of audience that is likely to be interested in your products.

3. Acquisition stage

This is the most crucial stage of the marketing funnel. As a marketer, it falls on you to nudge your prospective customers to finally take an action. This can take the form of signing up for a newsletter or free trial, downloading a brochure or making a purchase.

Acquisition Stage- Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
  • Facebook and Instagram ads with limited time offer or coupons.
  • Facebook re-marketing ads with offers.
  • Facebook Messenger ads.
  • Instagram direct message
  • Cross-sell and up-sell to already existing customers with relevant offers
  • Integrate your ordering platform into social media channels.
  • Encourage social buying by having “friends & family” discount

4. Loyalty

Depending on the industry you are in, retaining current customer costs you 3-10 times less than acquiring a new one. So, once a customer has made a purchase from you is the time you should step up your marketing efforts to make him/her a regular.  Social media can be a great tool at this stage.

Loyalty Stage- Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
  • Collect feedback on your products and services.
  • Offer assistance or after-sales services through Fb chatbots
  • Solicit and Generate reviews.
  • Showcase and build on your positive reviews.
  • Encourage your loyal customers to follow you on social media
  • Launch frequent buyer programs or loyalty program which can provide your loyal customer base with special deals and discounts.
  • Promote your loyalty programs via social media posts and ads.
  • Involving social actions in your rewards program will increase the likelihood that your brand is shared across your customers’ social media networks.
  • Gamify social loyalty programs
Gift Cards -Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
  • link rewards and points to an action you want your customers to take- it could be anything from sharing your posts to posting pics with your products.
  • Referring Friends
  • awarding points for geolocation
  • Sharing Your Brand or Products with Friends
  • Mentioning Your Brand on Social Media with Hashtags or @tag
Posts -Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel

5. Advocacy 

Turning loyal customers into proactive advocates for your business should be the ultimate goal of your marketing funnel. People are more likely to trust a brand recommended by their friends than any other form of advertising. Referral programs are excellent ways to turn loyal customers into brand ambassadors for your business. Having a referral program is much like running targeted promotions as your customers are most likely to refer friends who would be interested in your products.

Advocacy Stage-Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
  • Launch a Social referral program
  • Make it easy for customers to share your brand’s products and/or services with their friends. Include relevant sharing options (email, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.).
  • Promote your referral program through post and ads on social media.
  • Offer incentives to customers talking about your products on social media channels.
  • Incentives for getting people to sign- up for your loyalty program.
Referral Stage-Use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel

Wrap Up

You can use Social Media at Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel to engage and interact with your existing customers and acquire new customers.

How to set up Shoppable posts on Instagram?

In June 2018, Instagram introduced shoppable Instagram Stories to select brands providing marketers with yet another opportunity to reach their audience directly on the Instagram page. With this new feature, Instagram users can complete their buying journey without ever leaving the Instagram app.

Instagram shoppable posts are marked by a shopping bag icon in the top-right corner. 

Shoppable posts on Instagram

 Getting Started With Shoppable posts on Instagram

Before you can start setting up Instagram shoppable posts you need to fulfil certain requirements;

1. You must be located in one of these countries:

Shoppable posts on Instagram available in select countries

2. You need an Instagram business account

3. You must be on the latest version of the Instagram app on either iOS or Android.

4. Your business must sell physical goods that comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies.

5. Your business profile must be connected to a Facebook catalog. This can be created and managed on directly on your  Facebook Business Page, or your Business Manager account,  or through Shopify or BigCommerce.

If you meet all of these requirements, you can start setting up your shop on Instagram.

Prepping your Account for Shoppable Tags

Prepping your Account for Shoppable Tags- Shoppable posts on Instagram

Step 1: Creating an Instagram Business Profile

You can easily convert to an Instagram business profile by navigating to setting and selecting Switch to business accounts. Instagram will guide you through the process. 

Creating an Instagram Business Profile- Shoppable posts on Instagram

Step 2: Connect your Instagram account with your Facebook Business Page

Your Instagram account should be connected to your Facebook business page. You can do it at the time of the switchover by providing access to your Business Page. Or, you can do it from your Facebook Business page. Navigate to the setting tabs, click on the Instagram tab in the left sidebar and enter the details of your Instagram account and click on confirm.

Connect your Instagram account with your Facebook Business Page-Shoppable posts on Instagram

Once you have converted your Instagram handle to a business page and connected it to your Facebook Business Page the next step is to set up your product catalog.

Step 3: Setting up a Product Catalog On Facebook

There are a few ways to connect your Business profile to a Facebook  product catalog:

Option 1: Setting up a Product Catalog on Facebook (available in U.S. only)

If your Instagram Business profile is connected to your Facebook Business page, you can easily create a product catalog on Facebook itself.

Step 1

Make sure you’re using the right template on your Facebook Page.

Click Settings → Edit Page → Template → Shopping Template → Apply Template.

Setting up a Product Catalog on Facebook (available in U.S. only)-Shoppable posts on Instagram

Once you’ve applied the Shopping template, a “Shop” tab will automatically appear on your main Page.

Step 2

Before you start adding products, you’ll need to set up a payment process. If you’ve never set up a payment process before, a pop-up window will appear automatically prompting you to do so. Enter the required fields.

adding products to Facebook catalog
Setting up your Shop Section
Finishing Your Shop
  • Remember to set up the check out page.
  • Indicate which currency your customers should pay in.
  • Now you are ready to add products to your shop.
Step 3

You can start adding products to your shop.

Adding Products to your Shop
  • Add a products image, a short description and price
  • Insert a link to a page where people can checkout.
  • You can edit or remove any product at any time.
  • If you are offering a discount or if a product is on sale, click on the slider and enter the new price here. You must remember to come back and change the price once the sale is over.
Adding Products to your Shop on Facebook

When you add the new product to the shop, it should automatically appear on your Facebook Business Manager as well.  However, the items don’t appear in your shop immediately, as they need to undergo an approval process first.

Option 2: Create a Facebook Catalog with Facebook Business Manager

To create a catalog on the Facebook Business manager, you need to have a Business manager account that is linked to your Facebook business page and Instagram Business account.

Use your business name and business email address to create an account to keep it separate from your personal profiles. For a more detailed guide to setting up your Bussiness Manger Account, you can check this article:

In your Business Manager and navigate to Business manager settings follow these steps:

  • Go to Catalog Manager
  • Click Create Catalog
  • Select the catalogue type and click Next. You can create catalogues for: E-commerceTravel (including hotels, flights and destinations), Property and Automotive.
  • Select the ad account for the catalogue and enter a name for your catalogue.
  • Click Create.

    Note: If you need to support multiple languages, create a separate catalogue for each language

Create a Facebook Catalog with Facebook Business Manager

 If you are already using the Business manager you can also use an existing catalog.

There are a few ways in which you can add products to your catalog;  manually, use a data feed, use a merchant platform, or use the Facebook pixel.

a. Manually adding items

This is recommended only if you have less than 50 items in your shop.

  • Once you have finished creating a catalog, click on “Add Products and select ADD MANUALLY.
  • For each item, you’ll need to input a name (up to 26 characters), a description and an image.
  • Add a price. The default currency is US dollars although there’s an option to change it.
  • If you want to run dynamic ads, you’ll also need to add a Content ID.
  • Save each product by clicking “Add Product”
  • Click on add another product to add the next product.
b. Adding with a data feed

Adding items using a data feed gives you the chance to promote your inventory through retargeting, such as with dynamic ads.

Create a Facebook Catalog with Facebook Business Manager- data feed
  • Use a supported file format (CSV, TSV, and XML) to create a data feed file with all the necessary information. After saving the file, head to Catalog Manager, choose the catalog you want, and click “Data Sources.”
  • Click “Add Data Source,” then select “Use Data Feeds,” and click “Next.”
  •  You can upload your product feed in two ways. You can upload the file manually in a single go. Bear in mind that if you choose to upload once then in order to update any changes in the inventory, you will need to upload the feed again manually.
  • You can auto-upload the feed with a URL or you can send it via FTP (file transfer protocol) by providing the host URL, and Credentials to access that feed. By setting a schedule, Facebook automatically checks for updates to your feed as per your selection( hourly, daily, or weekly).
  • The next step is to Name the product feed and select the default currency.

It’s very important to keep your product catalog synced with your Facebook Page so that your product descriptions and prices are accurate. If you’re running a sale or promotion, make sure your product catalog reflects it.

c. Using a Merchant Platform or Facebook Pixel

If you already have inventory on a merchant platform such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, Google, and WooCommerce, you can upload the data feed from there. You can also choose to upload a data feed through Facebook pixel if you have it installed on your website.

Option 3: Create a Shop on Facebook with Shopify or BigCommerce

Step 4: Connecting your Shop to your Business’ Instagram Account

The next step is to connect your product catalog to your Instagram account. Head back to the Shopping section in your Instagram settings and tap on Products. Here, you’ll be able to select a product catalog to connect to your business profile. Once you’re finished, tap Done.

After you have completed setting up your product catalog in Facebook business manager, it may take Instagram a few hours to a few days to review your account before activating shoppable posts feature. You will receive a notification letting you know you’re ready to start selling on Instagram.

You must create at least nine shoppable posts to activate the “Shop” tab on your Instagram profile! This will group all your shoppable posts under one tab.

Step 5: Tagging Products with Instagram Shoppable Posts

You can tag products in both new and existing posts from your Instagram business profile.  

Start creating an Instagram post as you normally would-by uploading a photo to Instagram or selecting a photo from your gallery. Add the desired filters and effects. Add the caption and click on tag products option.

Enter the names of the products you want to tag and select the ones you want to tag. Once you’re finished, tap “Done” and share your post!

Tagging Products with Instagram Shoppable Posts-Shoppable posts on Instagram
Tagging Products with Instagram Shoppable Posts-example-Shoppable posts on Instagram

You can tag up to 5 products per single image post or 20 products on “carousel” post. You can’t tag other accounts AND your own products at the same time, in the same post. You can’t promote or boost shoppable Instagram posts.

Adding Shopping Tags to Instagram Stories

Businesses that are approved to use Instagram shopping can add one product sticker to any story. When a customer taps on the product sticker, they’ll be taken to the product details page. You can add a shopping tag to a story in the following steps

Step 1: Add your Story (video or picture).

Step 2: Tap the sticker icon in the upper-left corner and select the product option.

Step 3: Add your item (only one per Story). As with a post, you can find any item in your product catalog by typing its name. You can also change the color of the sticker at this step.

Step 4: When you are done click on share.

Measuring the Results of your Shoppable Posts

Now that you have set up your shop on Instagram, you can use Instagram analytics for shoppable posts to check how many people viewed product information or clicked-through to check your product page. You can use this information to determine what type of products are popular with your Instagram followers. Experiment with different types of posts to see what works best for you.

Advertising On Instagram- Everything You Need to Know!

With 800 million monthly active users, Instagram is a great platform for connecting with audiences and building your brand. More than two million companies are already using Instagram ads to reach audiences, engage followers, and promote their products. According to a survey, 70% of Instagram users take an action after watching an Ad on Instagram, while 60% of Instagram users claim they have discovered new products on Instagram.

If you are still not leveraging this platform to advertise your products, you are definitely missing on a big opportunity. Here’s a step by step guide that will help you with advertising on Instagram.

How to Advertise on Instagram?

For those of you who are familiar with advertising on Facebook, creating ads for Instagram is going to be a walkover!

Advertising On Instagram

If you have a Facebook Business Page and have been using Facebook Ad Manager:

Method 1: Go to your Facebook Business page and click on settings. On the next screen navigate to Instagram Ad accounts in the left sidebar. Enter the details of your Instagram account and click on confirm.  Next time you create an Ad on Ads manager, your  Instagram account will be automatically available.

Connecting Instagram to your Facebook Business page
Connecting Instagram to your Facebook Business page-2

Method 2: If you have been using Facebook’s Ads manager, begin by creating an Ad, just as you would for Facebook. When you get to the Ad level, you will be prompted to add your businesses Instagram account. Click on Ad account and enter the username and password for your Instagram account and click on confirm and continue creating the Ad.

Ad placement on Facebook

In case you have not used Facebook for advertising, here’s a step by step guide.

You can create ads on Facebook through the Facebook Ads Manager. The first step is connecting your Instagram account to a Facebook Business Page.  If you do not have a Facebook business page, you will need to create one and connect it to the Facebook Business manager and link your Instagram account to it.

Step 1: Creating a Facebook Business page

Log in to your Facebook profile- You can use your personal Facebook profile as Facebook keeps business pages separate from your profiles. (You can interact with your fans as a business from a business page linked to your personal account. Only when you navigate to the homepage of your personal profile will you be able to take actions as yourself. Only administrators and the owner of the page can see other page admins. ) However, it is usually better to create a separate profile that you use strictly for business for creating or adding business pages.

Once you have logged in to Facebook, the next step is to click on Pages Tab in the left-side bar. You will be led to the next window, where you will find a create page button on the right-hand corner. Click the Create a Page button and select the type of page–Local Business or Place, you want to create. Enter details such as your business category, name, and address in the appropriate fields and click on the get started button.

Creating a Facebook Business page

Facebook will guide you through the rest of the setup process, step by step. Once you have completed the necessary step, hit publish and viola your business page is good to go.

Once your Facebook business page is published, your first option is to connect your Facebook Business page to you Instagram Business handle and start creating ads from Facebook Ads Manager. ( as described above) If you want to exercise this option- you can skip the next part and jump to- How to advertise on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager? 

The other option is to create Ads through Facebook Business Manager- This is the recommended option, if you multiple business pages and would like to manage them centrally. In case, you choose this option – you need to follow the steps below.

Step 2: Setting up Facebook Business Manager

Setting up Facebook Business Manager

#1. Create an Account

Go to business.Facebook.com and click the Create Account button at the top left of the screen. Enter your business name and click continue. On the following screen, enter your name and the business email address you want to use to manage your Facebook Business Manager account before clicking on Finish.

Creating Facebook Business Manager Account
Creating Business Profile on Facebook Business manager

#2. Add your Facebook Business Page(s)

You can add an existing Facebook business page or create a new one.

On the Business Manager dashboard, click on Add Page. Enter the name of your Business page in the pop box that appears and click Add Page. If you have administrator access to the page you’re trying to add, your request will be approved automatically. You can follow the same steps to add all your business pages to the business manager.

Add your Facebook Business Page(s) to Business manager
Add your Facebook Business Page(s) to Business manager-2

If you manage Facebook pages for clients or other businesses, it is not a good idea to add these pages and ad accounts to your Business Manager as this would make you the owner of those ad accounts. Your client will have limited access to these business accounts, which may not be appreciated by them. The best way to proceed in such a scenario is to request access to these pages from the owners.

#3. Add your Facebook ad account

If you don’t have a Facebook ads account, here’s how to set one up.

From the Business Manager dashboard, click on Add Ad Account, then Create Account. Enter your account details, then click Create Ad Account. Each business can create one ad account initially. Once you have started running ads from your first ad account, you can add up to four more. You cannot add more than five ad accounts in the Business Manager.

Creating Ad accounts on Facebook Business manager

If you’re already using Facebook ads, you can link your existing ad account as follows:

From the Business Manager dashboard, click Add Ad Account and then enter the ad account ID. You can find your ad account id by clicking on the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of your Facebook business page and selecting manage ads from the available options. When you click on manage ads you will be led to the next screen where you will be able to see your business pages and the connected ad account Id.

Completing Setting on Facebook Business manager

#4. Adding Team Members and Assigning Roles

Facebook Business Manager allows you to add team members who may be helping you to manage your Facebook business page and ad campaigns. Here’s how to set up your team.

For doing this, head over to the settings icon at the top of your Business Manager dashboard.

  • Click on People and Assets tab, then select People in the left-hand column.
  • Click on Add to start adding team members.
  • Enter the business email addresses of team members, you want to add.
  • You can decide whether to give these individuals limited account access or full access. Once you have added your team members, you can choose to assign each person as a Page admin, Page moderator, Page analyst, Page editor, or Page advertiser. The various roles have different degrees of control over your Facebook page and the Instagram account linked to your Facebook page.
Adding Team Members and Assigning Roles on Facebook Business Manager

In the next step, you can assign ad accounts to your team members along with roles they’ll have for each account (account analyst, ad account admin, or ad account advertiser). As with pages, you have several choices based on the degree of control you want to assign.

Each of your team members will receive an e-mail to accept your invitation to the assigned roles, only after they have accepted would they be included in your Facebook Business Manager team.

Once you have completed setting up the Facebook Business Manager the next step is to link it to your Instagram account.

Step 3: To add an Instagram account to your Business Manager:

  1. Go to your Business Manager.
  2. Click Business Settings on the left side of the page and navigate to  Instagram Accounts
  3. Click on ‘Add’. and enter your username and password, then click Confirm.
  4. To authorize one or more of your ad accounts to use the Instagram Account, check the box next to each ad account and click Save Changes.
add an Instagram account to your Business Manager

When you go to Instagram Accounts from your Settings, you should be able to see all the Instagram accounts you’ve added as well as any ad accounts that are authorized to use the Instagram accounts.

Once you are done with this, you can start setting up your ads.

How to advertise on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager?

There are two ways to create Instagram ads in Facebook Ads Manager: Guided Creation and Quick Creation.

Guided Creation walks you through each step of creating an ad. If you’re just getting started with Instagram ads, you may want to follow this route.

Step 1: Choose Your Objective

Facebook Ads Manager offers a list of ad campaign objectives.

  • Brand awareness is more targeted to users who are more likely to recall your ad or brand.
  • Reach is different from Brand Awareness in that it allows you to reach a larger audience,
  • Traffic (for clicks to your website or to the app store for your app)
  • App installs
  • Engagement (this relates to engagement in ad post  only)
  • Video views
  • Conversions (for conversions on your website or app)
Choose Your Objective- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager
Choose Your Objective- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager
Brand awareness objective

Once you’ve selected your objective, you’ll be prompted to name your campaign. The default name will just be the objective you’ve selected but you would want to give it a detailed name to help you keep track of your campaigns.

Step 2: Identify Your Audience

The next step is to decide your target audience or the customers you are looking to reach with your ads. Facebook offers advertisers a ton of options when it comes to identifying your audience.

Identify Your Audience- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager
  • Locations– you can target people based on a location (e.g. a country, county, state, province, city, ZIP code or postcode). For instance, those in the vicinity of your store.
  • Age.
  • Gender.
  • Languages.
  • Detailed targeting: You can include or exclude people from an audience based on demographics, interests and/or behaviours,  for instance, if you are promoting a kids meal, you would want to exclude people without children.
Detailed Targeting- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager
  • Connections: You can include or exclude people from your audience based on connections to your Pages, apps or events.
  • Custom Audiences: Custom Audiences are target audiences of people you have created either from your own resources such as customer files or from information generated on Facebook’s products like  Facebook pixel, the Facebook SDK and engagement on Facebook.
Custom Audience- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager
  • Look-Alike Audience: A Lookalike Audience is a target audience that you create from a “root”. For example, You can choose to create a lookalike audience derived from your custom audience. In this instance, Facebook will find other people on Facebook who are similar to your custom audience.
Audience size parameter- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager

 While you are defining your audience, you must keep an eye on the Audience size gauge chart as it determines the effectiveness of your ads. This meter in the right-hand column lets you know if you target audience is too wide or too narrow.  Once you have defined your audience, click on Save Audience to retain this audience profile for future ads.

Step 3: Select Your Ad Placements

You can decide where your ads will appear on Facebook and Instagram. If you select Automatic Placements, your ads will be shown to your audience wherever they’re likely to perform best. It’s generally recommended to run your ads on both Facebook and Instagram. However, if you want to limit your ads to Instagram Stories, Instagram Feed, you may select the appropriate settings in this section.

Ad Placement- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager
image source: Hubspot

Step 4: Choose Your Budget & Schedule

Next, you need to decide how much you want to spend on your promotion, and how long would you like to run your ad.

Daily budget – if you set a daily budget Facebook will spend this amount on delivering your ads each day you choose to run your campaign. Depending on its discretion, Facebook  may spend 25% more or less than your daily budget

Lifetime budget – This determines the maximum amount that you are willing to spend over the life of your ad. Facebook will try to divide the total campaign budget evenly across the dates you have chosen to run your Ad on.

You can’t change an ad set’s budget type after the ad set has been created.

Facebook allows you to choose which goals are you most interested in. You can do this in “Optimize for Ad Delivery” section. You can optimize your ad delivery for

  • Link Clicks.
  • Conversions  to website
  • App installs

Facebook also allows advertisers to set up custom ad delivery schedules. This means you can choose the days and the time at which you want your ads to run. If you running an ad for the first time, it is best to go for “Run ads all the time” option. When you have data from 2 or 3 campaigns, you can use it to determine the best time to run your ads.

You would also have to make a selection between

  • Standard ad delivery – Facebook will deliver your ads at an optimal speed.
  • Accelerated ad delivery – Facebook will deliver your ads as quickly as possible. This may result in higher ad costs.
Budget and schedule- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager

Step 5: Create Your Ads

  • Select the images and videos for your ads. The Ads Manager prompts you about image size requirements. You can also refer to Facebook ’s guide to Instagram ad formats for more details.
Creating Your Ads- advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager
source: Social Media Examiner
  • Add a headline and description. Ensure that you remain within the designated character limit. You can also choose a call-to-action button, and the destination URL to lead people to your website or landing page.
  • Check the preview to ensure everything is in place before you publish the Ad.

Types of Instagram ads

Instagram offers five Ad formats:

Types of Instagram ads- advertising on Instagram

Photo Ads

Photo ads allow businesses to tell their story and showcase their products through compelling images.

Photo ads- advertising on Instagram

    Supported Call-to-Action Buttons

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Call Now
  • Contact Us
  • Get Directions
  • Learn More
  • Get Showtimes
  • Download

Video Ads

In the recent past, we have seen most platforms shift their focus towards videos, this may be Video is by far the most popular kind of content on the internet. It consumed 2.5 times more than simple photos.

Instagram provides you 60 seconds of video time for showcasing your products through video ads. However, it is always a good idea to keep your videos shorter and make an impact within the first few seconds.

      Supported Call-to-Action Buttons

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Call Now
  • Download
Photo ads- advertising on Instagram

Carousel ads

Carousel ads allow you to feature a series of images or videos, with a call-to-action button leading them directly to your website. You can use carousel ads to highlight multiple products or provide detailed information about a single product or service in up to 10 images or videos.

Supported Call-to-Action Buttons

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Call Now
  • Download
Carousel ads- advertising on Instagram

Stories Ads

300 million Instagram users view Stories every day, so it is a great medium to reach your target audience! Instagram Stories Ads are full-screen ads that appear while users are watching Stories. Advertisers can take advantage of all the features of Instagram Stories to create interesting ads, however, your story ad will only be available for 24 hours. You can use the swipe-up feature to take audiences directly to your website from your Stories ad.

Earlier you could create Instagram stories ads in a static photo or video format, however with the new updates you can create stories ads in carousel and canvas formats also.

Supported Call-to-Action Buttons

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Call Now (video only)
  • Download
Stories ads- advertising on Instagram
Stories

Canvas Story Ads

Canvas story ads were launched by Facebook to provide a more engaging experience for customers accessing sites and viewing ads from mobile platforms. According to Facebook-“Canvas helps advertisers achieve any objective by giving businesses a fully customizable digital space on which to build multimedia stories. Canvases open from Facebook ads in News Feed to reveal a full-screen experience where advertisers can use a mix of video, still images, text and call-to-action buttons to build beautiful and effective brand and product experiences on mobile.”

Canvas Stories ads- advertising on Instagram

       Supported Call-to-Action Buttons

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us

How to Create Promotions within the App

You can also create simple promotions within Instagram. If you have a post that’s performing well and getting lots of engagement, you can choose to promote it from the app itself.  You can do this by clicking the Promote button beneath the post you’d like to boost.

You will be prompted to log in to your Facebook account for authentication. Here, you can select a goal and choose to add a call-to-action button, like Shop Now or Sign Up, which will appear below the image or video in your post.

Create Promotions within the App- advertising on Instagram
  • You can choose a default audience for your ad or create a target audience on basis of interests, location, and demographics.
  •  Choose your budget and ad duration.
  • Once you have boosted a post,  you can monitor the results in your Facebook Ads Manager.

Analyze and Optimize:

Measuring the performance of your ads is as important as writing a good copy and creating stellar images. It helps you to understand what kind of ads generate more interest and optimize your future campaigns accordingly. You can view the performance of your Instagram ads in Facebook Ads Manager.

Analyze and Optimize- Advertising on instagram
Source: adespresso.com

6 Restaurants that are Killing it on Instagram

Being able to create a distinct identity in the overcrowded restaurant industry is not always an easy task. You have to be on a constant lookout for ideas and strategies to stand out among the crowd. Instagram offers a great opportunity for restaurants to build their brand image. If you have decided to include Instagram in your marketing arsenal to showcase your brand’s voice and reach out to a potential audience, here are some restaurants that are killing it on Instagram and you will find truly inspiring.

Sweet Green

Founded in 2007 as a fast-casual restaurant chain that serves salads, Sweet Green had 77 stores in operation across the United States as of 2017. Right in the bio,  Sweet Green proclaims its commitment to connecting people to real food.  The brand has clearly figured out how to use Instagram to call attention to its brand story and core values. 

Sweet Green- Restaurants that are Killing it on Instagram

Their Instagram page lives up to their credo as a destination for simple, seasonal, healthy food; showcasing fresh ingredients and seasonal menu items. The brand is making good use of Instagram stories to highlight their devoir to organic farm produce.

SweetGreen Stories- Restaurants that are Killing it on Instagram

Sweet Green has perfected the art of story-telling by regularly sharing entertaining Instagram stories, which bring value to its audience and keeps them coming back for more.

Sweetgreen Instagram stories -Restaurants that are Killing it on Instagram

Chobani

Americas popular Greek yoghurt, Chobani, is another brand broadcasting its allegiance to healthy food through its Instagram page.  

Chobani- Restaurants that are Killing it on Instagram

Chobani ensures that you never run out of innovative ideas using their products by regularly sharing recipes and uses for their products on their Instagram Page.

Chobani Instagram Post- Restaurants that are Killing it on Instagram

Denny Diner

Denny’s diner is an American table service diner-style restaurant chain which operates over 1,600 restaurants spread all over the globe. Denny’s Instagram page is ridiculously fun. The brand shows us how to stand out among in a world full of beautiful food pics.  You can easily kill hours checking out their quirky posts. 

Denny Diner-  Restaurants that are Killing it on Instagram

If you are ever having a dull day at work, just head over to Denny’s diner Instagram Handle for guaranteed laughs.

Denny Diner Posts- Restaurants that are Killing it on Instagram

The images are accompanied by equally whacky captions which would force you to engage with their posts. As if their Instagrams posts were not enough to keep us glued, they have completely won us over with their equally offbeat Instagram stories.

Denny Diner Instagram Sotories- Restaurants that are Killing it on Instagram

Piada Italian Street Food

Piada Italian Street food is a fast-casual Italian cuisine restaurant chain with 41 locations in seven American states. Piada has its branding strategy figured out as evident from their Instagram feed.

Piada Italian Street Food- Restaurants that are Killing it on Instagram

Piada takes their talents to Instagram with spectacular images of their food or their fans enjoying their food.  It is also one of the brands that have successfully leveraged IGTV to provide value to its customers.

Piada Italian Street Food stories-Restaurants that are Killing it on Instagram

They have certainly mastered the art of making you hungry through entertaining videos and engaging Instagram stories. So if you’re looking for an Instagram account to follow, Piada’s future on Instagram shines bright.

Piada Italian Street Food stories-Restaurants that are Killing it on Instagram

Sweatshop

Sweatshop is a Brooklyn-based coffeeshop and cafe.  They have done an amazing job of highlighting their undeniably Newyork Identity which appeals to their local clientele.

Sweatshop- Restaurants that are Killing it on Instagram

With more than 17,000 followers, each of their photos earns hundreds of likes. Not only that, Sweatshop engages regularly with its followers with some great captions on their posts.

Sweatshop posts- Restaurants that are Killing it on Instagram

Millie’s

Millie’s restaurant opened in June 2010 to take its fans back to the laid-back beachside Nantucket Island culture. Each of their photographs highlights their scrumptious food and the vibrant colors of Nantucket island.  Brands looking for some creative inspiration can easily learn a few things from Millie’s.

Millies- Restaurants that are Killing it on Instagram

The simple feed uses bright and beachy colors to match its brand. Not only does Millie’s showcase great photography, but they’ve obviously created a consistent theme that works.

Millies Posts- Restaurants that are Killing it on Instagram

What Brands are you following on Instagram? Do let us know.

How to Conduct a Successful Instagram Takeover?

What is an Instagram takeover?

An Instagram takeover is the process of requesting someone to take over your Instagram account temporarily and share content with your audience. Takeovers are a great example of a 50/50 value exchange. It allows brands, individuals and influencers to collaborate and cross-promote content. They can help you to boost awareness, engagement, or conversion for your brand.

With a takeover, the host gets to offer a fresh perspective which can bring value to its followers while the guest gets to reach a new audience.

How to Conduct a Successful Instagram Takeover?

Here are five key steps to a successful Instagram takeover:

Originally, Instagram takeovers required the guest to take over your Instagram feed and make posts on your behalf for a specified period of time. However, this does not work well with most brands aspiring to create a certain look for their Instagram handles, as it is difficult to ensure that the guest adheres to your style book. The better option, in this case, is to host an Instagram story or Instagram live videos takeover. Videos are definitely more engaging and since stories are not a part of your feed, they do not interfere with the overall appearance of your Instagram page.

1. Set Clear goals

The first question you should ask yourself is what do you expect from the takeover? Setting out clear goals and expectations from the Instagram Takeover helps you to build a strategy and enables you to measure the success of the takeover. The relevant and goals you could consider:

  • Increasing brand awareness – Followers growth, reach and a number of views.
  • Engaging the community – Number of interactions- likes or comments. Direct Messages, Mentions or Tags.
  • Promoting a product or an event – Traffic to your website, number of conversions, etc.

How to Conduct a Successful Instagram Takeover?

2. Choose your Guest

The next thing to consider is who could you invite for the takeover. Here, the goals that you have set out in the first step may serve as a useful guideline. As a restaurant owner, you could look at the following options.

Company or brand- For instance, if you own a bakery, you could tie up with a local coffee house. Or, if you own a drink and dine place which hosts live events, you could ask the band or the artist who is scheduled to perform at your restaurant to host a takeover.

Industry Influencer or food bloggers – They can provide great value to your brand and help in raising brand awareness and engagement.

Team members or your colleagues can introduce your followers to the company culture or their perspective about your brand.

Employees can give your followers an insider’s view of the company and help you connect with your followers on a personal level.

Inviting a Customer or community member to share his/her experience with your brand is a great way to develop a bond with your audience.

3. Lay down guidelines

Once you have zeroed in on the guest, you should work out the details of the arrangement. One of the important questions to consider here is whether you will be hosting a complete takeover or a partial one. In a complete takeover, the guest posts directly to your account using your login information, while in a partial takeover, the guest sends you content to post on their behalf.

You may feel a bit insecure sharing your account information with another person and losing control over the nature of posts that go out on your feed in a full takeover, however, there are several advantages to it. Firstly, a full account takeover is simpler to execute and feels more authentic. Your guest can respond to messages or comments in real-time. Finally, It’s the only way for your guest to go live with your Instagram account.

How to Conduct a Successful Instagram Takeover?

A partial takeover keeps your account information secure and you have full control over the posts on your feed. However, a partial account takeover has its own shortcomings like your guest is not able to reply to comments or messages on Instagram stories and even on posts. They can only reply from their own handle. Further, there is no way for your guest to go live.

Other things to consider:

  • Length of the takeover – Instagram stories takeover usually last for a day, while a live video takeover could last for anywhere between a few minutes to an hour. If you are requesting your guest to post to your feed, then the duration of the takeover could last for a few days.
  • Type of content-  tips, opinions, product review.
  • Frequency of posts
  • Hashtag Use– You could decide on branded hashtags that you would want your guest to use for each of their posts or even for promotions.
  • Any topics or content that you consider impermissible

Instagram launched paid partnership tags to make the takeover process simpler and to provide full transparency on post data. You can use this facility by approving a contributor to tag your business.

3. Generate buzz

How to Conduct a Successful Instagram Takeover?

You should introduce your guest to your followers, so there’s no confusion about the content on your Instagram feed. Ideally, you would want to announce the takeover through an Instagram post or a story a day or a week before the takeover. You can also promote it on your other social media channels to draw more attention to the takeover. You should also be requesting your guest to promote the takeover on his Instagram handle. This provides your brand with additional exposure to the audience of your guest.

4. Launch and Monitor

One on your team should constantly monitor your Instagram handle for the duration of the Takeover to manage comments and feedback. Even if your guest is responding to comments, it’s always a good idea for a team member to monitor the flow of conversations. Once the takeover is complete, you should announce it by a post and encourage your guest to do the same.

How to Conduct a Successful Instagram Takeover?

5. Wrap it Up and Analyze

It is time to analyze your performance in terms of the goals that you had set out in the first step. You would also want to review what kind of content worked best for the takeover. This will help you to tweak your strategy for better results from any future takeovers.

Instagram takeovers are an excellent marketing opportunity giving you a chance to develop a bond with your audience. Have you done Instagram takeovers as either the host or guest before? Do you have any tips for a great Instagram takeover?

Everything you need to know about Instagram Stories for your Business

With 300 million active users, Instagram stories have fast evolved into an effective marketing channel for businesses. Almost 50% of the brands on the platform are adding stories to their handles on a regular basis and interestingly 33% of the most popular stories on Instagram are from brands. Clearly, Instagram stories are here to stay.

Here is a step -by step guide to creating killer Instagram stories.

Instagram Stories appear in a bar at the top of your feed. When you add an Instagram story, a colored ring appears around your profile photo.

To view someone’s story, you simply need to tap on their profile photo, showing you all of the content they’ve posted in the last 24hrs from oldest to newest. You can tap to go back and forward or swipe to jump to another person’s story.

How to make Instagram Stories?

To create a story on Instagram, you have to tap a new “+” icon at the top left-hand corner of the screen, or you can navigate to the camera by simply swiping left. Once the camera is open you can take a photo or record a video. Instagram offers several video styles to choose from. You can experiment with these to select what works best for you:

  1. Normal
  2. Boomerang
  3. Superzoom
  4. Rewind
  5. Hand free
  6. Stop motion

If you are in no mood for recording a live video or clicking a photo, you can use pics from your camera roll for your stories. All you need to do is tap on the gallery icon above the camera on the left sidebar of your screen. If you want to select multiple photos, you can do so by clicking on the stack of photos icon on the top right-hand corner of your screen.  And voila you are ready to share your story. But hold on there are a whole lot of fun features that you must explore before sharing your story.

Make your Instagram Stories Stand Out

 1. Keep up with the latest on Instagram:

Instagram keeps adding tonnes of features to the app each year. make sure you are using the trending features on the app. We will show you how to do it. Once you have clicked your photo or video or selected the photos, navigate to the next screen, here you can add filters to your pics and text or drawings.

a. Geotagging: 

Add a location to your story to increase the reach and visibility of your stories.

b. Mentions:

Type the @ symbol followed by the name of the user or account you want to tag. Mention tags work like clickable links, if a user clicks on the mention tag within your story, he will be lead directly to the Instagram account of the brand or person you have mentioned.

c. Poll:  

Want to know what users think about your products, add polls to your stories. You can use the simple A/B   Poll,  by replacing the yes or no with the content you want your audience to choose from. Emoji sliders are another fun way to create a poll, choose an emoji and type in your question.

Instagram Polls

d. Gifs 

Gifs allow you to add personality and fun into a story. You can check out the trending emojis or search for one according to your requirement.

Instagram Gifs

e. Music Stickers:

Instagram released music stickers for Stories on June 28. They allow users to play their favorite songs in the background of their Story. You can select from the right music for your story by browsing through different genres, moods, or top charts. If you want to add only a particular clip of the song scroll through the song and select that portion of the song to add. Listen to a preview by tapping the play button to make sure, you have made the right selection.

Instagram Music Stickers

2. Repost Instagram Stories mentioning your brand 

Has someone recently @ mentioned you in their story? You can repost their story to your own! You receive a direct message when you’re mentioned in a story there is also an option to repost it.  Simply tap the ‘add this to your story’ button to repost!

Repost Instagram stories

3. Share Instagram Posts to Your Story:

You can now share any post on your feed or someone else’s to your Instagram story.  Navigate to the post you want to share. Tap the paper airplane icon at the bottom-left of the post. The post will appear as a sticker on a customizable background which you can edit according to your preferences. Now your story is ready to be shared. When your audience clicks on the post in your story, they will be taken directly to the shared post!

Share your own posts in your Stories is a good way to cross-promote your content. You can go ahead and share posts by your followers showcasing how they are using your products. Another interesting way to use this feature is to share content from prominent influencers in your segment.

Instagram stories for you restaurant

4. Shoppable Tags

Instagram finally brought shoppable tags to Stories in June this year. Shoppable tags in Instagram Stories are basically a sticker that appears with a shopping bag icon next to it. Users can then tap on the sticker to see details about the product and even buy it from within Instagram.

5. Add Links

Add links to your Instagram stories

If your Instagram account has more than 10,000 followers, you can add Link to your stories to lead your audience directly to your website, latest blog post, or a specific product.

6. Add Story Highlights

Instagram Story Highlights

An Instagram Story expires after 24 hours, however, you can use Story highlights to pinned your most popular content to your Instagram profile indefinitely. You must keep your story live for a full 24 hours to add it to highlights. If you delete your story before the 24 hours, those sections of your Instagram highlights will also be deleted.

Highlights can be used to showcase your most important information, product categories, updates or offers

Tap on a live story to open it. Navigate to the pic you want to save to highlights. Tap on the dots that appear at the bottom right-hand corner of the image, select add to highlights. The picture will automatically appear on your profile. Give a name to your highlight.

You can even create a highlight from the archive section of your stories∙  Click on the clock icon at the top right hand of your Instagram page to go to your archives.  Select create Highlight after tapping on the menu in the top right-hand corner. Select the pictures you want to add to your highlight. Once you are done you will be prompted to name your highlight and edit its cover.  Your story highlight will play in the order that the stories were uploaded.

You can create stories cover and them to your highlights to create your own signature identity.

Analyze

After all the hard work, it’s time to see whether your efforts are bearing fruit. Navigate to the insight section of the app click on content and scroll down to see the numbers. Check what is working and build your future strategy from there.

5 Ways to Leverage Instagram Marketing for your Restaurant

With its growing popularity and the gamut of features available to business profiles, Instagram has become an indispensable marketing channel for small businesses.

Instagram offers an opportunity for restaurant owners to connect with their customers on a personal level, build their brand, and drive customers to their store.

 Leverage Instagram Marketing for your Restaurant
           Benefits of Instagram Marketing

While content is undoubtedly the king, these hacks will help you to Leverage Instagram Marketing for your Restaurant.

1. Court Food Bloggers

Some of the most popular accounts on Instagram are those of food bloggers and it would come as no surprise that an average person spends close to an hour each day scrolling through food pics on Instagram. In 2017, more than 87% of marketers resorted to influencer marketing to boost their brands. Food bloggers have excellent brand value. They have to build a bond of trust with their audience, which treats their opinions as personal recommendations. Roping in food bloggers to write about your restaurant is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness and expand your customer base.

Courting a food blogger can be a bit tricky. You would want to ensure that the food blogger you are planning to approach is genuine and popular in your locality, has a formidable following and is relevant to your restaurant type. Once you have zeroed in on a suitable food blogger, the next step is developing a relationship with them by following their accounts and engaging on their posts. Most of them are easily reachable on Instagram and will not want to miss an opportunity to review a good place on their blogs and Instagram handles.

2. Run contests

Contests are a great way to increase brand awareness, generate massive engagement, and drive a serious return on investment from social media.

Posts related to Instagram contests tend to earn roughly 64x more comments and 3.5x more likes when compared to ‘normal’ content.  

They also help you in increasing the number of your followers within a short span of time. On our own pages, we have seen the level engagement on all other posts increases during the weeks that we are running a contest.  Due to the resultant increase in the number of followers, you would usually see a rise in the engagement level from the pre-contest levels.

There are a variety of contests you can turn to from something as simple as liking or sharing to win to more integrated approaches. Some popular types of contests that you could try are:

  • Selfie contests
  • Hashtag contests
  • Instore contests
  • Hyperlapse video contest

5 Ways to Leverage Instagram Marketing for your Restaurant

3. Hashtags

Building an effective hashtag strategy is one of the best ways to increase the reach and visibility of your posts on Instagram.

On average, Instagram posts with at least one hashtag get 12.6% more engagement than those without.

hashtags to Leverage Instagram Marketing for your Restaurant

Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags to your posts. The best way to find the most appropriate hashtags for your business is to look and see what hashtags your audience, competitors, and industry leaders are already using. Track the performance of your hashtags by looking at post insights and build your strategy accordingly.

Pro-tips: 

  1. You can even add clickable hashtags to your bio.
  2. Post all of your hashtags in the first comment, after five vertical periods, this keeps your post clean while making your post discoverable for all the hashtags.

4. Stories

300 million people use Stories every day making it one of the fastest-growing networks.  Instagram Stories are a fun and casual way to engage with your followers. Even people who don’t follow your Instagram account can see your stories, giving you a much wider audience. With the latest updates, you can add hashtags and locations to your stories to make them more discoverable.

Stories to Leverage Instagram Marketing for your Restaurant

Use stories to show-off your best recipes or the interiors of your restaurant. Add Call to action to your stories to nudge your audience into action.

Instagram Stories to Leverage Instagram Marketing for your Restaurant

Instagram has come up with plenty of cool features such as poll sliders and emoji stickers to catch the attention of your followers.

5 Ways to Leverage Instagram Marketing for your Restautant

If you have more than 10,000+* followers, there’s a ‘swipe up’ option inside your Instagram Stories to include a link. You can use this to direct your fans to your website or your online ordering platform or even to your current push.

Instagram Stories to Leverage Instagram Marketing for your Restaurant

Keep your audience glued to your page through the Instagram story highlights.

Instagram Stories Highlights to Leverage Instagram Marketing for your Restaurant
Instagram Story Highlights

5. Re-gramming

Even if you have a portfolio full of professional food pics of your restaurant, you can always use pics of your food or restaurant posted by your customers. Apart from providing you with fresh content to share with your audience, it encourages engagement from the followers of the original contributor and inspires other customers to post pictures of your food or restaurant.

Search Instagram for tagged pictures of your restaurant or food. But before you lift these off, it is a good idea to reach out to the customer, thank them for their visit and take their permission to repost with photo credits. You can use a professional app for re-gramming or just take a screenshot and use it on your page with photo credits,

Regramming to Leverage Instagram Marketing for your Restaurant

These are some of the tips that we are using on our pages. We would love to know how you are using Instagram for your restaurant.

6 Popular Instagram Trends in 2018

The millennial customer spends close to an hour on Instagram each day and most of this time is spent browsing through food pictures. According to a recent survey, around 30% of the customers would avoid a restaurant if their Instagram game was weak. In the 6 years since its acquisition by Facebook, Instagram has rapidly evolved into an indispensable tool for restaurants to attract customers.  They are constantly coming with up integrations and new features that make it easier for business to reach out to their customers.

In this article, we have broken down the popular Instagram trends in 2018 that you need to know to be on the top of your game.

1. Stay on Top of Popular Trends

Social media is constantly evolving and Instagram has been the front-runner these past few years when it comes to popularizing trends. If you want your business page to remain on the top, you have to learn to keep your content fresh and stay in the loop with the latest trends whether it is geotagging on your posts or the now ubiquitous vintage filters.  

Keeping an eye on your competitors and following the top food bloggers in your segment is only a small part of your strategy. To become a trend-setter, you should also be an early adopter of the latest additions to the platform.

In May this year, Instagram introduced the emoji slider stickers, which are an uber cool way to interact with your fans. According to Instagram, By choosing an emoji for your question, you add a layer of emotional context that helps your fans to understand the tone of your question. For more on this check out the Instagram blog.

Gifs stickers on Instagram stories are another feature that has caught the imagination of Instagrammers. Early this year, Instagram teamed up with GIPHY to provide a high-quality, transparent collection of GIFs to all Instagram users. There a million ways you could use GIFs to add a fun element to your stories. Learn more about them here.

Instagram Gifs-  Popular Instagram Trends in 2018

2. Introduce Your Brand through Instagram Stories Highlights

Instagram stories may disappear from your profile after 24 hours but with the stories archive feature you don’t have to worry about losing them forever and what’s even better you can now use the Instagram stories highlights feature to showcase the best of your Instagram stories. It is the perfect way to tell your followers about the highlights of your restaurant or new menu additions.

Check out how PIADA Italian street food is showcasing their content with Instagram stories highlights.

Instagram stories-  popular Instagram Trends in 2018
Instagram Stories Highlights

In fact, you create a separate Instagram stories highlight to showcase different aspects of your business and lead your followers directly to your website by using the swipe up option at the end. The Shake Shack is using story highlights for their team, events, upcoming locations and almost everything else.

Instagram Story Highlights- Popular Instagram Trends in 2018
Instagram Story Highlights

3. Cross-Promoting Content

In the past, we have seen user’s cross-promoting regular posts by using screenshots of regular posts for their stories. But now, you can easily share the regular post with the new re-share feature. Posts shared to Instagram Stories allow users to check out the original post. You can use this feature to drive attention to a new campaign or offer. Instagram stories are also a great way to drive engagement on your regular content.

Cross-promoting Content- Popular Instagram Trends in 2018

 

 4. Instagram Shoppable Posts

Instagram Shoppable Posts- Popular Instagram Trends in 2018

Instagram has become a full-fledged e-commerce platform with Instagram’s Shoppable Posts now available to users in 9 different countries. Earlier, we had only two options for sending direct traffic from Instagram: the link in your bio & clickable Instagram Stories. But, with the new features like product tags and a ‘Shop’ tab on the profile, discovering and buying products on Instagram is much easier.

5. Shoutouts to Increase your Exposure

Instagrammers are constantly coming up with fun ways to increase their reach and visibility. In the absence of huge ad budgets, small businesses can make good use of shoutouts to fellow Instagrammers.  The principle is simple, partner up with a fellow business page and agree to promote each other for a specified amount of time. Shoutouts are fast becoming a popular way to grow an Instagram following.

 6. Use Instagram Direct 

Instagram Direct is a great way to privately share a photo or video post privately with individuals or groups. Every business page has many categories of followers; While some of your followers may be very active on the platform, there may be others who you only surface once in a while, in addition, some may be interested only in a particular category of your products. Instagram Direct is the preferred way to share content relevant to such small groups of followers.

That was all from us, but, we would love to know how you are using Instagram in 2018 to reach out to your customers.

6 Ways to Use Instagram for Restaurant Marketing

Are you using Instagram for Restaurant Marketing? While we are writing this article there are over 100 million #food posts on Instagram, over 3 million self-confessed people claiming to be #foodie, over 8 million #foodporn posts, and over a million unabashed declarations of #foodgasms. These are just a few examples of the myriad interesting ways in which Instagramers express their love of food on the 6-year-old social media platform.

As a restaurant owner, we hope you can smell the fragrance of opportunity that these numbers are bringing to you. An opportunity for cost-effective advertising, to connect and engage with your current and potential customers in a language they speak. So it is clear as a restaurant business you have to be on Instagram!

Let us help you understand how to use Instagram for Resturant marketing efforts and eventually profits. 

Flaunt your chef:

Chefs are cool. They artists, they bawse! Your customers and followers love to see a real person who works up the magic to create those foodgasmic dishes that your restaurant serves. Share behind the scenes pictures of your restaurant’s kitchen on your Instagram account. Your Instagram community will gobble down your staff pics as readily as they take to your food.

Plan and Project an Authentic Journey of your Restaurant:

Instagrammers love authenticity, so, stays true to your brand identity. Try to maintain consistency with your restaurant’s theme, food category, and customer preferences. A healthy food restaurant has no business posting a pic which gives a beer and pizza lover kind of vibe. They also love a brand that values their opinions.

We suggest creating a weekly Instagram marketing plan in advance. Mondays can be a quirky question day, “Which is your favorite dish on our menu?”, you can devote posts to Throwback Thursdays or Fun Fridays, Saturdays can be for contests.

Special of the Day Pics Never Fail:

We can’t overstate this recommendation. Put up a pic of the specials. It seems so simple, right? You will be surprised at how many customers come and order the special that same evening. This also allows you to measure if your social media efforts are paying up. You can put a call to action like a coupon code along with your specials picture, and observe how many customers use it.  Don’t forget to use an intriguing caption and relevant hashtags though.

Todays Special

Add a sprinkle of Influencer Marketing

There is a famous saying by chef Julia Child “People who love to eat are always the best people”. If that is the case Food bloggers are rockstars indeed. You can invite a food blogger for a free meal for your restaurant, or pay them per post for some authentic publicity.

Food lovers trust this source of information and a good review or even a mere mention of your restaurant by a famous food blogger can give your marketing efforts a tremendous boost. Search for social media influencers that are relevant to your restaurant business, check if their posts are engaging. Connecting with them is easy, they are usually just an instant message away.

User-generated content is Instagram gold

There are a million ways you can do this. Put up a pic of a new dish that has just been added to your restaurant’s menu, now ask your followers to ‘Name the dish’. Ask Instagrammers to post pictures of meals taken at the restaurant along with your branded hashtag.

You can also hold a contest around it and award the winner with a free meal. Add your Instagram account name and hashtags on the restaurant menu, this will act as a simple nudge, a gentle reminder to share their photos online. Integrate user reviews and ratings in the menu itself, customers love social proof when ordering food.

User Generated Content

Be #hashtagwise and Time it Right:

Hashtags can be tricky but if used strategically they can bear real rewards for your business’s bottom line. You might have to do a lot of A/B testing before getting the #hashtag game right. We suggest you try to create a perfect mixture of hashtags, the time tested classic ones like #foodie, #foodgasm, #foodporn, #foodaddict, #instafood, #yummy along with newer unique hashtags centered around your restaurant or a current event like #glutenfreeweek or #vegandesserts.

Always add your restaurant’s name as a consistent hashtag in all your posts, it helps enhance brand recall. Another important factor to remember is the time to post on Instagram. For example, the best time to reach dinner crowds would be to post around 5-6 pm when most people leave their offices and are making dinner plans.

Word of caution though this is not an overnight success kind of social media platform, in our opinion no platform is.  Using Instagram for Restaurant Marketing reaps benefits slowly, but it is worth the wait. Most restaurant businesses are using Instagram for unabashed, in your face kind of advertising. Remember the golden rule of Instagram is not to advertise but ENGAGE.  

Instagram for restaurant marketing

*Statistics source: Websta.me

Effective Social Media Marketing plan: Strategy & Tools

So, you have to work on a Social Media Marketing plan for a new client and you are confused! We all agree it’s not an easy task! Every client is different – their product is different, their marketing goals are different, their target audience is different. Then, there are new tools and templates on the internet every day that offer to create a solid Social Media Marketing plan in just one click. It gets confusing to say the least!

Don’t you sometimes wonder if someone could just outline one structured way of creating an effective plan and identify a few good tools that helped you with this task? So, we have done that exercise for you! We have divided the process to create an effective Social Media Marketing plan into 5 stages, listed the point of the key activities for each stage, and identified some tools that will help you with the key tasks during each stage. Let’s look at each stage one by one.

Strategize:

The only foolproof way of creating a successful Social Media Marketing plan is to have everything charted out in advance. That means every action you take on social media platforms should be a part of a larger social media marketing strategy. Every contest, comment, tweet, photo, the response should all be driven by a solid strategy and towards pre-determined goals.

Plan:

Planning is like putting the to-do list together. You can take stock of the available resources, check what can be re-purposed, what needs to be created and allocate the tasks to your team members.

Execute:

So now that you know what to do, life becomes easier, right? You now need to reinforce your strategy through your key messages on every platform. You need to create, curate, share content that talks positively about your brand; speak to your target audience and monitor how the audience is reacting to your plan.

Measure:

With the realms of data that the internet throws up every day, it’s very easy to get confused. However, as you have defined your success metrics at the strategy stage itself – you know what data to look at.  You need to measure your performance only against the defined success metrics.

Refine:

So, by the time you reach this stage, you know how your plan fared against your defined success metrics. You also know what was appreciated by your audience and what was rejected. You also have insights as to your consumers emerging social media trends. So, it’s time to re-evaluate your goals and align your plan to your new goals.

Let’s now look at a video to identify the key actions required to put together  an effective plan and recognize some tools that will assist you during the process:

Download the sample Social Media Marketing Plan Template created by MKonnekt and FoodKonnekt: Template_Social Media Marketing Plan

Request a Demo
close slider