Are you making the most out of your Instagram Stories? Stories have exceeded over 500 million active users and one-third of the most viewed Stories come from businesses. With countless success stories driving boastful results, it’s no wonder why Instagram continually releases impressive new updates on a monthly basis.
Now let’s be real, when you tap that top left camera button and start weighing this Giphy or that Sticker, your “quick” post turns into 5 minutes… 10 minutes, then 25 minutes and so forth. So how do you curate custom food Stories specific to your brand while also trimming down your post flow?
Answer: Know your food brand’s strengths and Stories potential.
Determining which features, approach or capabilities that work best for your brand requires a ton of exploration and time. That’s where we happily step in. ChuckJoe is here to save you the time and research by bringing forth 8 of the best ways to maximize your Stories and the reasons why they’ll make a difference!
#1 GO BEHIND THE SCENES
There are a few places within the app where you can really show off your photos and videos–IGTV, Stories, Live, and Feed. It seems as though Feed has become the place where brands publish their highest quality and polished content. Some profiles follow color patterns, themes, and schedules all while maintaining beautifully constructed professional grids.
However, a perfect-looking profile can only show so much and may lack a personable connection. Stories are the perfect place to let your digital guard down by adding some flavor to your brand’s personality through capturing unscripted moments. Pair the content in your Feed with ‘behind the scenes’ Stories, including daily routines and shareable moments, but be sure to keep it real by being yourself throughout the process. Being personable in your Stories will help you achieve the Branded Content 1,2,3’s: being transparent, relevant and authentic.
#2 SHARE THE INSIDE SCOOP
Tease your audiences with exclusive insights on upcoming announcements, events, time-sensitive promotions, and sneak peeks! This will give your following a feeling of exclusivity and will make them want to check back for more revealing posts.
For example, a restaurant could share the dish of the day, conversations with the chefs while cooking with fresh ingredients or capture the atmosphere on a busy afternoon. On the other hand, D2C brands like Imperfect Produce who manage their business solely online can make the most of their Stories by sharing tips and tricks for cooking, deals on their products, or by giving a glimpse into their company culture.
#3 CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Posting consistently on your Stories will keep your followers interested and engaged with your brand. Consistency is the key to maintaining the followers that you’ve worked so hard to gain and will continuously contribute to your growth potential.
Some of the best scheduling tools such as Later and Sprout Social recommend posting on Stories 1-10 times per day, yet other schedulers suggest 1-3 times per week. So with all of these conflicting suggestions, how do you know what frequency is going to work best for you?
Here’s our two cents: post at a frequency that’s realistic for you and stick to that pace! If you get busy and are unable to post for a week or two, you risk the chance of losing your followers and their business. Posting regularly signals to the Instagram algorithm that you have a quality account which can increase your exposure and brand awareness.
#4 REPOST USER GENERATED CONTENT
Having trouble generating enough creative content for your Stories? We’ve got an easy solution for that. Have your customers do the work for you! Not only will you shine light on your followers, but you’ll also build trust through genuine content.
Adweek reports, 93% of consumers find UGC to be helpful when making a purchase decision. When potential consumers experience ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth), they browse the Internet and social media to research and find social proof through testimonials before buying products and services.
By creating clever branded hashtags for your business, you’ll be able to create a bank of content from your customers. Ask your followers to tag your profile, use a branded hashtag, and tag your location to be able to find UGC associated with your brand. It’s easy for customers to tune out overly branded content so having authentic and voluntary content can really support your branding and sales efforts.
#5 USE FEATURES FOR BRAND AWARENESS
Instagram Stories offers an arenol of tools to create custom content in a way that can emphasize your brand’s personality. Below are some essential tools and necessities that will boost your brand awareness.
Use a Filter – With over 70 face filters to choose from, have some fun and don’t be afraid to be a little quirky. Use camera modes such as Super Zoom, Rewind and Boomerang to help keep your content fresh and up to speed.
Add a Giphy –Grab your follower’s attention with a GIF or two. Whichever GIFs you choose to use, make sure that they align with your branding’s aesthetic goals.
Play Music with Lyrics – It’s no secret that music can set a mood or tone. Select a song to play over your Stories and keep your followers’ eyes on your post by adding Lyrics too!
Mentions – Tag other accounts when appropriate. This notifies those accounts that you’ve mentioned them allowing them the opportunity to repost to their audiences.
Hashtag – As a general rule of thumb, use a relatable and trending Hashtag to increase your reach (unique accounts that have seen your post) and gain potential followers.
Swipe Up – If you have over 10,000 followers on Instagram, congratulations because it’s a pretty big deal! For those who reach the count, they have the option to directly link a website, online store or blog to their Stories. Leverage the “Swipe Up” feature to drive traffic to your website or make your blogs more easily accessible.
Location – When you can, use the Location Sticker! Posts with locations result in 79% higher engagement than posts without a location. When you tag your location, not only do you put your account on Instagram’s map, but your post will also show up in that location’s Feed. Users who browse locations are likely to stumble across your post giving you the opportunity to capture a new follow, like, or comment.
#6 USE STICKERS FOR ENGAGEMENT
One of the coolest advantages that Stories has to offer is that it allows businesses to interact with their audience in a unique way that traditional businesses have never been able to do before! What’s especially ingenious is having the option to build a new food brand by leaning on business advice from your audience and vice versa!
Poll – Debating on serving Crispy Potato and Cabbage Tacos or a Spicy Baba Ganoush Veggie Burger for your restaurant’s lunch special? You don’t have to wonder anymore, take a Poll and count your votes in real-time.
Questions – Whether you’re thinking about making a business move like discontinuing a flavor or just simply want to see how your audience feels about a topic, post a question. You can also tap a response and share the results for more topical engagement.
Quiz – What’s a safe temperature to cook and serve fish? Teach your audience something new by using the Quiz Sticker. (If you’re curious about the answer, the temperature is between 130–135 degrees).
Chat – Build a community for your brand by starting a conversation. The ‘Join Chat’ sticker allows up to 32 users to come together in a group thread. Bring your selected users together where they can meet, converse and collectively provide feedback on product releases, upcoming events, promotions, and more!
According to Instagram, 75% of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by a post, like visiting a website, searching, shopping or telling a friend. If you have the budget, Stories Ads could be an efficient way to increase brand awareness, brand recall, drive purchase lift and sales.
#8 PARTNER UP WITH AN INFLUENCER
Generate some momentum and spice up your Stories with occasional influencers. By collaborating with other people, you can tap into their audiences which can give a surge of exposure to your brand!
Influencers can promote your brand by running exclusive offers with influencer discount codes, hosting contests, giveaways or Stories takeovers. They can also help announce a new product, record an unboxing video, etc. When looking for influencers, try searching for ones in relatable industries like in the food, health, or fitness space. That way you can reach followers most similar to your target audience.
Now that you’re more familiar with ways to maximize your Stories, get out there, start recording, and post with confidence! For Stories that had great results or Stories that you simply just love, use the ‘Highlight’ tool on your profile to showcase and categorize your favorite memories to make them last for more than 24 hours.
Hey, there! I am Erin Harting and I have been managing social communities for half a decade. In that time, I have learned there are some do’s and don’ts that will keep your customers feel heard, appreciated, loyal and will build social currency for your brand.
What is Community Management?
I assume since you’re reading this article, you have a general idea of what community management is but let’s lay it out in clear terms. Community Management brings a voice and personal touch to the faceless world of social media. This community consists of current customers, potential customers, target audiences, and all those directly and indirectly interacting with your brand online.
Why Community Management?
Brands that don’t utilize or manage their community miss out on opportunities to:
Convert customer complaints into positive, trust building experiences
Connect with influencers and prospective customers
Receive product feedback
Network and partner with other brands
Turn customers into super fans
Gain knowledge to improve businesses practices
Maybe you’re thinking community management isn’t important for your company since it’s on such a small scale? Well that’s just not the case. According to a 2015 study, customer complaints on social media have actually increased by 8 times from 2014 – and that was 4 years ago!
One disgruntled customer has the ability to impact your community whether it’s by word of mouth or a trail of comment. 3% of unhappy customers will share their complaint with 15 or more people. Furthermore, only 1 in 25 unhappy customers complain directly to you. Seize the opportunity when it arises, because let’s be honest – people will always complain at one point or another. Community Management will nurture the growth of your brand help keep your finger on the pulse of your community.
1. Take Away the “No”
A large portion of managing a social community will consist of answering questions about the product or service, how to order, or issues with the product or service. We of course always want to answer these with a positive response, but sometimes, we have to be the bearer of bad news. “No, we don’t ship to your country” or “No, your product is no longer under warranty” can cause a negative experience and a disgruntled customer.
Instead of saying “No.” I suggest using a “however,” statement. It’s very likely you can give the customer a positive twist on the bad news. “I’m sorry, your product is no longer covered under the warranty, however, I would be happy to provide you with a discount code for your next purchase!”
2. Thank You Goes a Long Way
You have so many things to be thankful for. Be thankful they contacted you. Be thankful that they showed interest in your product. Be thankful they have already used your product. It feels good to have gratification shown. They didn’t have to choose your product, but they did. Thank them for that! It helps the mood and sets the tone of the entire conversation.
3. Keep it Casual
One of the most amazing things about social community management is that you get to have a casual conversation with the public. You’re not just another advertisement and you’re not a robot. That’s rare in this world and can really make a customer feel special. Here’s your chance to use exclamation points, emojis, and dare I say puns. This is a human conversation – enjoy it!
4. Respond in a Timely Manner
This one is really important. This is a fast paced world we live in, and social media makes it that much faster. Not getting a response within a few hours is bordering on torture and won’t make anyone feel like the company cares about them. Responding to comments or questions quickly will prevent people from spamming your feed with angry comments and will keep everyone happier. Does a quick response feel daunting? That’s practically being on call 24/7! Well lucky for you, there are companies like ChuckJoe who would be able to manage your community for you!
In addition to the less favorable comments, also be sure to respond in a timely manner to positive feedback as well. Build on the happiness and joy that people are pouring onto your social media pages. Get them really excited that a company cares about hearing their positive comments. This engagement encourages them to contribute more in the future.
5. Rise Above and Exceed Expectations
Here’s a scenario. Frustrated the product we purchased has malfunctioned and we are NOT expecting the company to care about us as the consumer – but we’re outraged! So we reach out to customer support demanding retribution. You start the conversation salty and you expect them to brush you off. Then the unthinkable happens. They respond to your message with an apology and a quick solution. Hard to stay mad, right?
Well that’s the goal, after all! It is frustrating when things don’t work correctly but you’re 100% able to calm the situation and keep tempers at bay. Of course, there are those who are determined to be upset at the world and for them you can only hope their day gets better. If you can be the one to make their day better, you know they’ll leave with a lighter heart and a happy association with your company.
6. Direct the Heat to a Private Channel
Many times people feel the urge to put companies “on blast” and leave harsh comments all over their social pages rather than direct messaging. Don’t shy away from addressing the comments. No response only solidifies the aggressors view point to other potential customers. Take this opportunity to acknowledge their pain point in a public setting but then direct the conversation to a private communication.
For example, say someone named Alex leaves the comment, “This product is overpriced and broke within the first week! No one should ever buy this junk!”. A great response would be, “Hi, Alex! We are so bummed to hear that you have had a bad experience with our product. We carry ourselves to a high standard and would love to get to the bottom of this and find a solution that works all around. We have sent you a direct message to coordinate the details of the solution.” The issue has been addressed, the public sees your timely response, trust is built, and solution is found while shifting out of the public focus.
The most important message to take away here is that community management is about building social currency for your brand. Buzz doesn’t last, so focus on cultivating advocates and super-fans by providing real value to your consumers.
In today’s ever-changing digital marketing landscape, there can be a big temptation to put your money, time and energy on the latest technology. However, we can’t forget email. Here are few key points as to why email is a vital part of marketing for your food brand:
You can actually own your audience. What does that mean? When you have an audience that you’ve worked hard to build on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, those platforms can change the rules. When they change the rules, that changes how many people you can reach. Although not 100% of people will open every email you send, you still have the direct ability to reach and engage with them. You can even follow up with them!
It’s a very direct connection with people. Everyone has email, everyone checks their email on a regular basis, so you’re really able to get directly in front of the person that you’re trying to reach and communicate with. As a food brand, you’re at an advantage! Get creative and descriptive with your copy. There’s a good chance that someone’s stomach is growling as they’re checking their email throughout the day.
It’s transferable! If you have an email list for one brand and you launch a new food brand, you can promote that brand to that list, so it’s easily transferable.
Another form of communication. It’s never a great idea to go all in on one platform for various reasons, but one of the things you can do with email is really curate and aggregate content from other platforms to increase your reach. If you have great posts going up on social, you can then highlight that in email. If you have a blog, you can also highlight that in email. It’s a solid way to communicate with your customers and give them multiple options as to how they want to consume your content.
eCommerce. It’s still one of the top ways to convert sales. According to MarketingSherpa, over 72% of customers prefer email as their mode of business communication and 91% of Americans are eager to receive promotional emails–that’s huge! Here are a few types of emails you can use to drive sales:
Welcome email – get new customers for your food brand by sending a coupon code
Abandoned cart email – encourage interested shoppers to pick up where they’ve left off
Upselling – show them add-ons or products with a higher price point
Cross-selling – recommend similar products that they’d be interested in
Post-purchase emails, such as an upsell or cross-sell email, are very successful because the customer is already familiar with the brand and has shown a willingness to buy. If you have it all set up and tied into your eCommerce platform, you can see the average order value, how many things they’ve purchased, which products they purchased, when they purchased, and other information. This allows you to segment and communicate with your audiences in a much smarter and more direct way.
You can get specific with your messaging. This is one of the coolest parts! Unlike social, you can segment out certain customers that have bought specific products, signed up for certain events, or really whatever data you choose to capture. This will increase your engagement, your open rates, and your click-through rates with email. There are even ways to give an email a personalized touch for one specific customer.
Tracking & Analytics. Emails are a great way to see open rates, click-through rates, and engagement with your brand from an individual basis. With social media, you don’t get that one-to-one information. You do get that with email. You can see one subscriber that came from that trade show in Anaheim and they’ve opened every single email, but they haven’t bought anything yet, then you can communicate with them in a very specific way. It’s a great tool for segmentation, which helps you then craft your communication for better results.
Ad Retargeting. You can leverage a dedicated email list to retarget users on other ad platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Google, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. You can also use an email list to build a lookalike audience to find people similar to those who have signed up.
What’s next? Collect emails!
Take the next step by adding a sign-up form on your website, acquiring emails from customer’s purchases on your site, and creating events. Don’t forget that the goal here is not just quantity, but to build a trusted relationship with the customer. Once you do this, you’ll be one step closer to utilizing one of the most powerful tools in digital marketing!
Have Questions? Ask us! We’re happy to dive in and help.
You may be wondering, “How much should I budget for my paid media campaign?” As much as we’d like to give you a magic number, it’s almost impossible to do so. Why? Because every business is different and it depends on a number of factors. Here are a few things to consider when you’re budgeting for your paid media campaigns.
Goals. What are your specific goals? Are you trying to increase video views and drive website traffic? Or maybe you want to get more Facebook page likes, email signups and so on. The key here is to be specific. If you have a specific objective in mind that you know you want to hit, you can then take a step back to determine how much money you need to spend. With estimated cost per results, you’ll be able to get an idea of how much to spend in order to hit that goal.
How much content do you want to promote? Whether it’s an engagement campaign, brand awareness, or video views, knowing how much content you want to push will help you gauge the amount of money to put behind it.
Targeting. Who is your audience? How many different audiences do you want to reach? Do you want to just target existing fans or website visitors? Do you want to test between multiple interest audiences on Facebook, for example? It’s very important to know who you want to target. Some marketers bundle their audiences into one, but we don’t recommend that because you won’t get any insights or analysis on which audience performed best. The size of your audience and the number of different audiences you want to test directly impacts the media budget.
Timeframe. How long will these campaigns run? One day? One week? One month? One year? You want to make sure that you’re not spread too thin with your budget.
In general, you want to budget enough to achieve your goals, promote all the assets that you want to be seen by the right audiences, and get the maximum amount of juice and learnings from your campaign.
It’s super important to focus your efforts. If you have a smaller budget, prioritize the most important metrics you want to test at once. If you have a larger budget, you can reach more people, do more creative testing and achieve more varied marketing objectives all at once. However, even with a small budget, you can also do all of that over time. For example, if you only want to spend $1,000 per month, you can test one audience one month and another audience the next. This way, you can allocate your budget across multiple months and still gather data and insights without spreading it too thin.
Know your goals. Know how much content you want to promote. Know your target audience. Know your timeframe. Once you answer these questions, you will be able to plan your paid media budget and get things moving in no time!
Need more information? Tap into ChuckJoe’s experienced team of media buyers!