Improving your Instagram Performance : Part 1

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You are booking orders and taking pictures of your cakes…

A real boss at this cake business thing, I see you over there killin it! Your mojo is flowing so you head on over to the gram to post your most recent creation. With the flavors listed or maybe just a brief synopsis for context, your cake is ready to b e set free into social media land. ENTER. And wait.. some more…

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Your likes trickle in, and your confidence slowly trickles away. You’ve been there, right? I sure have!
Turns out I was looking at Instagram completely wrong. If you are struggling to grow your account or to convert followers to clients, you may be in the same boat I was in. As it turns out, there is actually something to Instagram and it’s more than a picture sharing platform.


Improving your Instagram performance

4 part series


Life is quickly going mobile, almost everything is at the at our fingertips. Shopping is now done online, podcasts are the new radio, YouTube and streaming is the new traditional television, Facebook is the new sitcom and news source and Instagram is the new way to connect with brands.

Social media is an investment if you will. As business owners, we spend a lot of time on it getting our product and name out there. However, Instagram is just a bit different than the others and is a long term investment for brand building. People shop, a lot. As time goes on and we move more and more into doing everything mobile, people are looking to shop with businesses and brands that they know and trust. Because Instagram is a visual brand building platform, it is the perfect way for you to familiarize your potential client with your brand.

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Did you know?

  • Instagram has the highest engagement of all social media platforms

  • >1,000,000,000 Active users on a monthly basis

  • 80% of users follow brands

Even if you only reached 1% of those users on a monthly basis, you would’ve reached 10,000,000 users. Imagine if you could convert even 1% of the 10,000,000 users to purchase from you, that would be 100,000!

I’ll admit, I don’t even have a K next to my follower count, however, after researching and implementing these practices, I have had an increase in engagement and am growing my following every day. Best thing is, the people who engage are authentic. They like what I have to offer, I’m building my email list, I’m developing relationships and trust, booking jobs locally and I am not posting multiple times a day!

It’s easy to get caught up in the vanity of Instagram, you know, having 120k followers and such, but what does it really mean if you aren’t providing your followers with something meaningful or converting to grow your business?

Settinggoals

Instagram is much more than a portfolio for your business, but not less. You make your impression 1 square at a time, how are you going to use it? Set goals, like really write them down and use them as a template for how you will leverage Instagram as a tool for your business. If you are currently using it as a photo gallery to show off your work from time to time, you will have a hard time seeing how it actually works for your business.

Are you wanting to book wedding cakes? Do you teach classes, write recipes or are you a vendor? Your goals should be clearly defined to what it is that you offer so that you can build off of that. At the Big Laugh Kitchen, the crux of what I do is actually community. I like to create an experience rather than sell cakes. Selling cakes is actually quite deflating to me. I also am very particular when it comes to branding. To express both of those things, I provide recipes so others can experience what I do when I bake and decorate as well as create stock photos so bakers can build a more polished brand. I do both of these things for free. What is my goal in all of this? It’s to build a community that gives back. I really, really like to give back. Why? Because it builds trust and relationships. What are your goals? How do you hope Instagram will help you to improve your business?


Setting up your profile so you show up in searches to serve your overall goal

Before you really start digging into and revamping your account, make sure that your account is set to business. In doing this, you will have access to analytics to help you better understand your current and target users. There are better times throughout the week and day that are more beneficial to post within. As you start trying out different things, using analytics will help you understand when your peak performance with the platform will be.

Images are important, I can’t stress this enough. Make sure that when you are setting your profile picture that it looks clean and bright. I’ve used my logo, mostly because my color palettes are pulled from it. To me it seems to completes the cosmetic details that I feel are important as a cake stylist. Personally, I don’t think my face would appropriate for a community building blog, but that is just my thought. Head shots are great for profile pictures, especially if you are a one person bakery, just make sure it is clean and bright.

Add your title in your name, this way if your profile isn’t generated by your name, your title may be picked up. This field only allows for a certain letter count so you may have to get creative. Although I’ve done most things, the one talent that I have that captures them all is my styling. Because of that, I chose for my title to be stylist with a cake emoji.

Don’t forget to tell users what you offer! Are you an instructor? Do you offer gluten free, vegan, or even supplies? Put this in your title but don’t forget that you have limited space so you will have to get creative!

You are well on your way, can I tell you something? I made these few changes a couple of weeks ago, that’s it, and got 75 new followers and 18 new subscribers to my email list. Yeah it’s just a little bit, but it was honest. No gimmicks, flash sales or promotions, just a change. Now I can share my passion with a few more people. In just one week, they now have knowledge and access to photos that are free for bakers and recipes that they didn’t have before. Was it worth it to me? Most definitely. You know what, it’ll be worth it to you also. Making those simple changes will make you more able to be found.

Next steps

You didn’t think that was it did you? I’m sure you didn’t but understanding Instagram is quite a bit to chew on at one time. Over the course of the next few weeks I will be discussing :

  • Pictures —creating an inviting and retaining feed through consistent branding and hashtags

  • Stories and DM’s

  • Networking and engaging