The purpose of this guide is to educate & inspire you to start using Instagram for your business. If you haven't seen our Instagram, you can check it out here.
Why should you bother with Instagram?
Lockdowns & restrictions are preventing people from walking around and therefore you can no longer rely on foot traffic to fill your cafe. Despite the fact that customers can't window shop, they can and are still going out for multiple takeaway coffees every day. This means that you need to be top of mind when they are deciding where to go for their daily caffeine hit. Instagram is a free, easy to use app your customers use everyday, it's time to start taking advantage of that.
Follow these steps and download the Content Calendar PDF to get started today. We'll also supply a print out of this guide and content calendar in your next order.
Let's get started!
Post, story, reel or live?
To put it simply..
Posts are for stylised videos & photos that are a good reflection of your brand, product & services. They stick around and people may view your account to get a feel for your brand.
Stories are for behind the scenes, everyday fun. Don’t take them too seriously, no one else does.
Reels require a bit more creativity, but you’ll be rewarded with reaching more people than posts & stories combined.
Live videos are the best way to connect with your community and they get loads of priority in the app.
Post regularly & work the system.
Posting at least once a day will not only keep you top of mind for your potential customer, but the Instagram algorithm will get your posts in front of more people, more often. If you can’t post every day, just post as regularly as you can.
So what am I supposed to post every day?
Imagine no one knows anything about your business (because as awesome as you are, most people don’t). Mix it up between the huge range of things you do. If you did a post on each meal or drink on your menu, every staff member, your location, your customers, your new special, your new flower arrangement, your chefs birthday, your opening hours, when you're closed, when your hours are changing, your new signage, your awesome coffee roaster ;) every supplier that you use, why you chose your packaging, how to order online, how to get to your location, what other activities you can do in your local area, what your favourite part of your home town is, what milk you use, what alternative milks you use, latte art and everything about coffee you can think of, you would never run out of things to post!
Use our 30 days of Instagram posts content planner to save you having to think about what to post everyday.
Use a scheduling app.
It’s hard to post when you're busy, so take the pressure off by scheduling your posts. We use, and suggest you start using later.com
Post at the right time.
If you have a business Instagram account, you can go to Insights > Your Audience > scroll down to see Most Active Times your followers are on Instagram. This will show you when is a good time to post. For us, that is around 5-6pm.
Share, don’t sell.
No one likes to get spam in their emails, nor do they want their Instagram feed to be full of sales presentations. Make sure you post 90% content that educated & inspires them and only 10% is you asking for their business. Eg. Post photos of coffee and food, then when you’ve got their attention, let them know you’ve got a special on this weekend.
Take better photos.
It seems simple, but the truth is, good photos take time, skill & know-how. If you’re really that bad, get a professional photoshoot that will give you content for months.
Here are some helpful tips to improve your photography skills.
1. Don’t forget to clean your camera lens.
2. Get a good camera or upgrade your phone to one with a high-quality camera.
3. Never post without editing a photo. Even the basic filters on Instagram are worth using, we’d suggest using the filters Lark or Aden for a start.
Use your talented staff.
If you’ve got young staff, it’s likely that they already know how to take great photos and are already posting to their own accounts. See if someone wants to manage your Instagram account for you, they may want to (and may do a way better job than you anyway). If you’re not confident for them to post for you, at least get them to take photos of the food & coffee throughout the working day to send to you so you can post it later. Getting great photos can be all about timing, not timing of posting, but timing to get the shot when they nail a rosetta.
Be consistent with your style.
Along with regularly posting, having a consistent look, feel & voice will help make your posts recognisable in the feed. It also makes it easier for you when your posting, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel every time.
If you post about coffee, make sure you tag us so we can share it to our stories. We might also repost it to our feed, but if you don’t tag us, we may miss it.
It’s also good practice to encourage your customers to tag you in anything they post about your business. It creates extra content which you can then share on your feed or stories.
Use Hashtags #
Not only can you follow specific accounts on Instagram but you can also follow hashtags. This means that when you post something on Instagram and use hashtags it gives you the ability to reach a wider audience than that of just your loyal followers. An example is, say you post an image of a person drinking a takeaway coffee out the front of your café with a cute French Bulldog sitting beside them. When you post you could add a few of the usual coffee tags but you could also tag things like #doglovers or #frenchbulldogowners Anyone following those tags is likely to see your post.
You can post up to 30 hashtags in each post and it’s worth using every one of them and try to vary them each time. Also, be sure to use area specific tags to like #coffscoast #midnorthcoastnsw for example to make sure you're connecting locally.
Even if your hashtags aren’t necessarily targeted at the customers you want walking in your door, they will help you get more impressions and clicks which will help keep your post active on Instagram for longer and give it more reach, potentially getting in front of people that don’t follow your account.
Connect with your audience.
Be sure to read and reply to your comments. This will show your audience your active and they’re more likely to like your posts, comment, direct message you and even walk into your café to see it for themselves. If you can connect with them online, they’re more likely to connect with you when it’s time to sell something to them.
Link Your Accounts
It’s worth linking your Instagram and Facebook accounts to help cut down some of the work. By doing this when you post on Instagram you can also have it post to Facebook. It works for your stories too.
Don’t be disappointed if your following doesn’t grow quickly. The best time to start is right now so you can start to build your audience.
Go forth and conquer!