Hey frozen treat aficionados! Vincent here with some inside info on how you can market your dessert shop on Instagram.
Before I dive in, here is a little background info on why you should try these tactics out. I have been working in the digital marketing space for the past 12 years, and have personally helped many brands grow their social followings and their paid traffic from social sources.
Large brands ranging from Fitness, Dermatology and even Breweries, to small brands in the pet niche, dessert, and treat supplies. I have gone through what works, what does not, and tested thousands of pieces of content so that you don't have to.
People often struggle with what type of content to post and how often to post, so let's break that down.
1. You want to try and post around 3 times per day. I know this seems like a lot, and can be hard to manage, but it is very important for direct to consumer brands like yourself. Why you ask? Instagram limits the amount of users that views your posts. They do this with everyone.
Typically they show your posts to the people that follow you, and who are most likely to engage with your posts. If you only post once per day, Instagram will only show your image to a small group of people that regularly engage with you. And they will very rarely show your images outside of this circle. Often times this is a small group of mutual followers, friends and family.
The way to break through that is to post more frequently. Now... When you first start doing this you will notice that your posts actually get less engagement. Less likes, less views, less saves etc... But after 3 posts per day for two-ish weeks, you will notice all of your content getting more traction, and this will continue to grow.
Before we continue let me explain what an " engagement" is on your posts. Instagram counts the following as engagements:
1. Likes ( when a user clicks the heart icon)
2. Saves (when a user clicks the save icon) - This one is extra valuable
3. Comments & Tagged comments (when someone writes something in the comments)
4. Views (when someone watches a video for over 3 seconds)
5. Zooms (when someone pinches and drags your image or video)
Each one of these gives your posts more traction, and tells the algorithm to show your posts to more people.
Now that that's out of the way... What type of content should you post? The million dollar question!
Images are quick and easy for the most part. But they need to be high quality and lit fairly well. If you can do this, Instagrams algorithm will consider them decent enough to show to more users.
The issue with image posts is that they get the LEAST traction and are the least favored by the algorithm. This is due to video content becoming so prevalent from apps like TikTok and YouTube, that users tend to scroll past images more frequently and engage less.
When posting images you want to make sure that they are at-least square in aspect ratio. You don't want landscape style images as they do not take up enough real estate on the screen, and users scroll past them 50% more frequently.
But... keep posting images because they are important, just remember, to truly grow your following, you need the other types of content discussed below.
Next up is video. Plain video, I am NOT talking about Instagram Reels. Video posts are favored over images and they don't have to be high quality. In fact, video shot on an iPhone is what is currently performing the best on Instagram AND Facebook.
This is because people enjoy looking at videos of their friends and family, TikToks and content that is real and engaging. If your videos look too professional, the human brain associates it with an ad, and users tend to scroll past it very quickly.
Instagram will almost always show your video posts to more people than your images. So make sure to add some into your instagram feed when you can.
Videos showing you making ice cream, or creating colorful boba concoctions, scooping gelato and basic things that are colorful but interesting are a surefire way to increase your following and engagement.
You can edit the videos in an app like VideoLeap on a phone and quickly add free music and cut between scenes with ease.
Let's get down to business shall we? What is the king of engagement on Instagram?
As of right now, it is Reels. Similar to videos but they show up in the Reels feed for everyone across the world to view easily. You can edit, add captions, effects and more directly in the app with Reels. And you can post them to your feed as well, just like an image or video.
Right now, Reels are getting 2-200+x the engagement of basic image posts. Depending on the amount of basic engagements you get, instagram will show your Reel to more people and open the doors to a viral post.
So if you aren't using them, it is time to start doing so!
Live videos are also a very great engagement booster. Arguably better than anything else because they notify your followers that you are live. Just don't overdo them or people will get used to ignoring them. They are great for accounts with larger followers, launching sales, or explaining something in detail.
When posting an image, video or reel to your account, don't forget to hashtag them. Several years ago, packing your posts with as many hashtags as possible was beneficial. As of right now the statistical data shows that posts with no more than 3-4 hashtags are working the best. So don't overdo it.
Try and keep at least two of your hashtags as something regularly searched for, but that aren't too common. Here are some examples of what I mean:
If one of your hashtags is the name of your store, and one is the name of your new ice cream flavor. Let's call it #lexisfirebutterscotch, no one will know about these hashtags, so no one will search for them, so they will not provide you with any actual benefit as far as growing your account goes.
On the flip side if you use a basic hashtag that is searched by millions of people per week such as #icecream. Your post will be lost among the millions of other posts and it's highly unlikely that you will benefit from the hashtag at all.
With that being said, you want to find something in the middle. For example names of popular and semi popular ice creams work well. Your city or state with icecream at the end. Example: #californiaicecream etc.. You can type your hashtag into Instagram and see how many posts are under it. If it's in the millions it's probably a no-go. If its in the hundreds or less, also a no-go. You can and should still use them here and there, but don't rely on too little used, or too frequently used as they provide the least amount of engagement boost.
Try different ones out and see which ones are causing your engagement to spike, and keep note of it.
I always recommend that businesses with a physical location place their city as a hashtag in every post. This will help the Insta algorithm show your posts to more people that live in, or are visiting that city. Having a follower from Bangladesh probably won't help you much....
After all, the point of this is to get people into your shop and purchasing.
You should still hashtag your brand name here and there so customers can find your posts and if you blow up so to speak, the hashtag can as well.
One last tidbit before you go... Likes are actually the least important engagement metric on both Instagram and Facebook. They are considered a vanity metric and as of last year carry little weight. So don't get too discouraged if your likes count is not as high as you'd like. You're trying to get people in the door! Not click a digital heart.
Let's stop here before your head starts spinning shall we?
Stay tuned for advertising on TikTok, coming soon!