You’re already on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Do you really need another social media property?

If you’re a restaurant or a retail shop with great visuals, then, yes, it makes sense to go ahead and add one more. In this case, you’ll want to get on Instagram.

Why Instagram? This social media network, in case you don’t already know, is all about photography and great design. It can help you sell more of your wares — or food — because the graphic nature of the site puts it into the best light. Provide, that is, you can take decent photographs.

But, good photos won’t be enough. There are a few more things you can do to optimize your Instagram profile. Here are some tips:

1. Monitor the messaging. This is part of the hassle of social media — dealing with random requests from strangers and having to feel like you need to answer messages right away. That said, the messages from social networks can turn into sales and you should treat them the same as any other customers in your store or restaurant who ask a question. These fans do expect a prompt response to their inquiries so try to respond within 24 hours when possible.

2. Concentrate on the Quality Not Quantity of Followers. It’s no secret that finding followers can be difficult and there are some Instagramers who will take shortcuts and purchase followers. Don’t fall for this idea. First of all, Instagram will punish you and your account if they find out you purchased followers. Also, those followers are not the ones you want anyway. You will want to connect with potential customers who are genuinely interested in your business and what you have to sell. With any luck, they will express their enthusiasm by pressing the heart symbol (love?) and leaving a comment. That’s the kind of love you can’t buy!

3. Build a Content Calendar In Advance. This will come in handy on days when you’re not feeling too creative. The idea is to plan in advance what to post on what day and then use that to prepare for the week or month ahead. If you know you’ll need something for an upcoming holiday, then try to get a photo ready before hand. Similarly, if you plan on running a special of a dish on the weekend, see if it’s possible to photograph the dish before that day comes. Then, put everything into a spreadsheet with the location of the photo on your computer, the hashtags to use on Instagram and the sentence you’ll use to go alongside the photo in your Instagram post.

Want to know more about how technology can improve your restaurant or retail shop? Contact us today to discuss your options.

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