• Yolanda McAdam

5 Ways To Make Your Bricks And Mortar Business Instagram-worthy

So you’ve heard of Instagram.

You’ve heard it’s the platform for cool photographs and “influencers”.

Heck, you’ve even taken a peek at your seventeen-year old’s feed. And you’re not sure it’s for you because you run a small coffee shop in the 'burbs and you’re not thinking of selling anything online.

If this sounds like you, then know that you’re not alone in thinking that if you own a traditional business, like a boutique, coffee shop, factory or restaurant you shouldn’t bother with Instagram.

Facebook remains the most popular social media platform with over 2 billion monthly users but Instagram’s explosive growth to over 1 billion active monthly users makes it not only the must-have platform but also the superior platform.

Here’s why Instagram is so popular:

  • Almost everyone carries a smartphone.

  • People love visual content. Our brains are hardwired to process visual information. In fact, it takes us 13 milliseconds to process an image and 100 milliseconds to attach meaning to it.

  • Visuals elicit emotion. And emotions play an important role in how we think and behave.

Now let's make your business attractive to Instagrammers in your area. Here are 5 ways to make your bricks and mortar business Instagram-worthy:

1. Create a Selfie Wall

If you own a coffee shop, restaurant, salon or spa you can design an inside area that customers will want to photograph and share.

Like this one

Matcha Cha Cafe

Or this one

Selfie Wall via @alyxhouse

Some quick and affordable options include:

  • A Neon sign

  • Beautiful wallpaper (think flowers, plants, patterns)

or ....

Once your selfie wall is close-up ready, be the first to share it on Instagram and remember to include your business hashtag.

2. Spotlight your customers

Instagram highlights can live permanently on your profile and they’re perfect for helping people learn more about your business.

Show your appreciation to customers who share pics of your business and products on Instagram by creating a Story Highlight just for them, just like Honeymee:

Read this post on how to create Instagram Story Highlight Covers

3. Build a community and share the love

People love testimonials and if your products and/or services are appreciated even loved, then testimonials and feedback are easy to come by on Instagram.

Here’s why:

When customers create content that refers to your business or mentions your products on Instagram, they will “tag” you (example: @honeymee) or include your business hashtag in their post caption or video.

This is known as user-generated content (UGC). “Regram” or repurpose UGC to showcase your products and build your community.

4. Create exciting giveaways

My favourite type of contest is, by far, the Instagram giveaway because it’s super easy to create and run and because people love free stuff!

There are two primary reasons for running contests on Instagram:

  • To encourage shares

  • To grow your following

Consider running giveaways frequently - my recommendation is monthly, to increase the number of potential customers.

Read this post for step by step instructions on how to do an Instagram giveaway.

5. Share Stories

Instagram Stories allow you to share “moments” of your life with your followers and anyone who clicks on your profile.

Here are the top 4 reasons for using Stories:

  • People get to know you and your employees better.

  • You can share your process like bridal wear company, Grace Loves Lace.

  • You can help people make purchasing decisions by showcasing your products.

  • You can organically increase the reach of your Instagram posts by sharing them to Stories.

Now over to you,

Are you using Instagram to promote your business? If not, why not? And if you are, what would be your top tip for conventional business owners?

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