How can I use Instagram to promote my coffee shop? The age-old question! Well… maybe not. Jokes aside, Instagram is an incredible platform for promoting anything visual. Luckily for coffee shops and cafes, coffee is beautifully photogenic. Lets see how to effectively use Instagram for coffee shops.
In this post, we are going to cover (click to jump to the relevant section):
- Why your coffee shop should be on Instagram
- What you can do on Instagram
- Make your profile appealing
- Strategies to promote your coffee shop on Instagram
Why your coffee shop should be on Instagram?
The short answer is that a lot of people use Instagram. Over 1 billion people a month to be exact. Why wouldn’t you want your business in front of all those eyes?
In reality, you won’t be seen by all of them. That being said Instagram can help your business.
The majority of Instagram users are actively looking for new accounts to follow. They are searching through hashtags and are looking through the discover tab to find them.
If you can be discovered here you could have some new customers.
Keep your customers loyal
Instagram is a great tool for keeping your customers loyal. If you can get your customers to follow you you’ll get the numerous benefits.
- It keeps your coffee shop in front of mind. When they think about coffee you want them to think of you not that other shop down the road.
- Promote new products. Get your new menu items in front of your previous customers. Maybe they haven’t visited for a while, this new drink could be the thing to get them back through the door.
- Offers and sales. If you have quiet days or periods you now have a new audience to try and increase footfall during those quieter periods.
What you can do on Instagram
Now we know why you should be on Instagram, let’s take a look at what you can do on the platform.
Instagram now has various features and ways to use the platform. This article is focusing on how you can use Instagram to promote your coffee shop so we aren’t going to go into every individual feature in detail. If you want an in-depth breakdown we suggest checking out this article on Hubspot.
- Post images
This is the core of what makes Instagram. You can post images, add filters and post them. These then appear on your profile and your follower’s newsfeeds.
2. Post stories
These are vertical images and short videos that only last for 24 hours. These will appear at the top of your follower’s newsfeed. These are perfect for short on the fly updates. You can also customise your stories with gifs stickers and a whole other bunch of things. When you reach 10,000 followers you can ever add a website link to your posts to help get more traffic to your website or promotions you are running.
3. Create videos for Instagram TV
Instagram TV is essentially the vertical video equivalent of YouTube. These videos are longer than stories and are generally a higher production level. These videos last forever so you can put in more time and effort knowing it’ll be seen.
4. Create Reels
Brand new for 2020 are Reels! Reels allows you to create 15 seconds of videos with a higher production value with very little effort. You can use songs, augmented reality effects, timers & countdowns, slice together & align different clips and adjust video speed. If you are creative Reels are something to get stuck into.
As of 2020, this is everything you can do on the platform. Who knows what 2021 has in store!
Make your profile appealing
Before we dive into the strategies of getting more people to discover your profile we need to make sure it gives them everything they need.
Profile image – if you have a logo, this is the perfect place to put it
Name – the name of your coffee shop. If you have enough characters the is no harm adding “- coffee shop” after your coffee shops name. Make it nice a clear what you offer
Username – this is the @ tag for your profile. Make it something memorable. Ideally, your coffee shops name if it is available.
Website – hopefully you have a website. If not, we recommend getting one. Either link to your homepage or a relevant promotion on your website.
Bio – this is where you can let people know about what makes your coffee shop special and why people should check it out. You can use line breaks and emojis to help your profile stand out. For a more in-depth guide check out this article on Falcon.io.
Public business information – to add public business information you will need to make sure you Instagram is a business profile and is connected to your coffee shops Facebook page. This allows you to show your coffee shops location on your profile.
Email – this is worth adding even though you will get very few emails through. Emails are normally used for business enquiries so you never know, something interesting could come through!
Story highlights – remember above when we said stories only last 24 hours? Well, that was only partially true! If you want them to stick around longer you can add them to your highlights. Highlights are great and they can make your profile look extra special. You can categorise highlights into different folders and then add different stories as and when you post them. The bit that makes your profile stand out is the covers you can add. If you can design some icons that match your brand colours this will bring your profile to life.
Strategies to promote your coffee shop on Instagram
Now we’re into the good stuff. Here are some of our favourite strategies to promote your coffee shop on Instagram.
This is the basics of any social media channel. You need to post consistently to keep your audience engaged and growing. We recommend one image post a day with 3 or more stories. The post can be any time of day, try testing a few different times to see when you get the best engagement. For the stories, try and spread these out evenly across the day.
Tip – one of your story posts can be a share of the post you have done that day. This means that every day you have one story you don’t have to put as much effort into as you have already created the post.
Post good content
This should go without saying but you need to post good content. Luckily, you spend most of your day creating beautiful food and drinks.
For posts – take one of your beautiful creations, find a nice little spot in your shop and get a good image of it. Easy. Try to keep it varied. Mix up the products, and the different spots in the shop you use.
For stories – these are lower quality and on the fly. These can be more spur of the moment catching the day to activities of running a shop. Some good ideas, creating latte art, pictures of your products and don’t forget… you can share posts. If a customer tags your profile in a nice image, share it. It is simple content for you and your customers will appreciate the share.
Write engaging posts
The image/ video is the most important element. That gets people but the post can help keep them around. Try and show your personality. People want to know the person behind the shop. There is no ideal copy length so just post focus on being genuine and you.
Hashtags make it easier for your content to be discovered. On an Instagram post, you can include 30 hashtags. We recommend using 3 popular hashtags, 3 medium and a couple of niche ones. By popular we mean a hashtag that gets a lot of posts. This is how we would class them:
- Popular – 100,000+
- Medium – 10,000 – 99,000
- Niche – under 10,000
The aims are to try and become a popular post under different hashtags. Including a range increases the likeliness of this happening. The plan, become popular under a niche one, this gets the post more coverage increasing the chances of the medium hashtags becoming popular and so on.
Spend some time researching hashtags and which ones you think are best for your shop and the products you offer. When you have found some you are happy with you can use them on most of your posts. You can then switch some around if you want to include product-specific ones.
Bonus tip – don’t add hashtags to the copy that goes along with your post. Add them in the first comment on the post. This gives the post all the same visibility whilst keeping your post tidy.
Interact with people
This sounds obvious but is often overlooked. If someone comments on your post, reply to them. If someone tags you in a post, comment on it. If you engage with someone, they are more likely to comment on your things again going forward.
Engage with new followers
Trying to gain new followers is difficult and takes time. If you have a bit of time here and there, this is a good method to try and grow your following.
- Search hashtags for people you think might like what you offer
- Follow their profile
- Like some of their posts
- Comment on a couple of their posts. Be thoughtful with your comments and interact with what they have posted. Don’t just post “nice image”. If you do, you will likely be ignored and you are wasting your time.
Just try and do 10 or so a day. It is slow work (A marathon not a sprint).
Encourage your customers to follow you
If you can get your customers to follow you, you then have the perfect audience for sharing your content with.
But how do you do this? Here are some ideas.
- Put a sign up in your shop. Either get something printed or write it on a chalkboard. “Follow us on Instagram @mycoffeeshop”.
- When a customer places an order tell them to check out your Instagram page.
To increase the odds of either of the above create a competition of some sort. For example, every week (or month) do a competition post. Something simple like:
- Like this post to be in for a chance of winning a free drink
- Comment on this post for a chance of winning a free drink
You can then add this to your sign or your ask in-person increasing your chance of success.
We are sure you have loads of questions! Hopefully, we have covered some of them below. If not, send us a message and we’ll get back to you.
Should I buy fake followers?
The short answer is no. Buying fake followers won’t get you any more customers and it won’t get you anyone interacting with your posts. It is purely just for vanity.
You are far better off doing the methods mentioned above to gain genuine followers.
That being said… there is the argument that no one wants to be first to the party…
I barely have enough time to do Facebook, should I start an Instagram page?
You are better focusing on one channel and doing it successfully rather than two or more accounts. As to which one you choose, that is up to you.
Something free from BrewRound to you
At BrewRound, we specialise in helping coffee shops grow their revenue. We provide coffee shops with mobile ordering technology so you can take orders from customers who are on the go. The best thing is there is no joining fee and no monthly fixed cost. Just pay a small commission on orders that come in via BrewRound. Find out more about how BrewRound can help your coffee shop.
In this post we have covered everything needed to use Instagram for coffee shops. It is an incredible platform for promoting your coffee shop. We hope these tips have given you some inspiration for getting started.