Using Instagram To Help Build Your Brand

Social media can be both a blessing and a curse for a foodservice enterprise. In this month’s Enterprise Insight, we will discuss the benefits of using Instagram for your business, and how to use it successfully. Instagram is more than just photo sharing; it is a worthwhile tool for your business for three core reasons:

  • It is cost effective
  • It is fast
  • It is dynamic

Instagram helps build brand awareness for you at no cost. Instagram allows you to create a dialogue or a connection or spread a message instantaneously; once you post, the content you uploaded is immediately shared across the dashboards of each of your followers. Instagram can help you get information about your business out in real time, in addition to using it to highlight or promote products or events. The best food-business accounts use the service to give followers an inside look at the business—the inner workings of the kitchen, the company culture, and the staff. Keep the following items in mind as you use Instagram as part of your social media efforts:

  1. Use Good Lighting
    1. The best light for photographing food is natural light, says Nicole Franzen, a food and lifestyle photographer from Brooklyn. Correctly lighting a dish is one of the most important elements of capturing a good photo and conveys the right message. Just ask Martha Stewart; she recently posted some less-than-desirable photos of her lunch that left her followers in dismay. Always remember; guests eat with their eyes first—even on Instagram.
  2. Use A Hash tag
    1. Using a hash tag for your business gives your followers a way to tag you and spread the attention. This way, anyone who searches for #yourbusiness will find photos taken not only by you—the owner/operator—but by your loyal fans as well. This helps extend that reach and build awareness. Also, it helps you maintain our third point: using the service frequently.
  3. Use It Frequently
    1. There are over 160 million active users on Instagram each month. In order to stay relevant and grab the attention of your followers, you need to post frequently—with quality content!
  4. Analyze
    1. This is the most overlooked necessity in ensuring you post quality content; your content needs to be tracked and evaluated for effectiveness. This means monitoring how many likes, regrams, and comments individual posts receive, your hash tag, usage, and offer response rate. Instagram is free to use, but the time you spend using it will become costly if your posts elicit brand engagement.

Instagram is an invaluable tool for helping to build brand awareness and engagement; the platform is cost effective, fast, dynamic, and can connect you with your fans in ways not possible by other methods, given that you are posting quality content, using the platform effectively, and analyzing your efforts!

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