More and more local companies such as pubs, restaurants, hotels and bars, have decided to position themselves on Instagram to increase awareness in the locality where they live and attract potential customers.
According to the data provided by the Instagram platform, there are 200 million company profiles, over 60% of people discover new products and services within the platform, and 1/3 of the views of the stories are of company profiles.
Every year, Instagram releases new business tools to allow local businesses, influencers, freelancers and corporates to do business on the platform.
How to maximise your pub's presence on Instagram in 2024?
A key factor in Instagram marketing is maximizing your reach. You need to establish your presence on the platform, attracting followers who will engage with your content and share your posts. Here are some ways to do this.
Instagram Stories let you highlight specific posts to attract more attention. Stories last 24 hours and are a great way to highlight important moments or key features of your pub. They're also ideal for showcasing limited-time discounts or giving viewers a behind-the-scenes peek at your pub.
If you want more longevity, you can preserve an Instagram story as an Instagram story highlight. They offer a way to showcase your best stories and ensure new followers see them. Your Highlights can showcase promotions, services and special events and allow you to link to content outside of Instagram.
Instagram Reels allows you to record and post short snippets of video, 15-30 seconds long. You can edit your video and use a set of creative tools to add backgrounds, audio and other special effects. Reels are very engaging and can be a real asset in Instagram marketing. These short video clips capture the audience's attention and encourage them to follow for more. You can add captions, logos and product labels to put your stamp on each reel.
Instagram Explore uses an algorithm to select a collection of content, hashtags and accounts that will be of interest to users. If many users interact with one of your posts, for example, it could be shown to other Instagrammers. If a user searches for a tag that you use regularly, they can see your content on Instagram's Explore page.
Getting your content to appear on the Instagram Explore page can be difficult to achieve. If you can manage it, however, it can make a big difference in your reach. The key to inclusion on the Explore page is posting high-quality content with thoughtful and specific tags.
Like Facebook, Instagram gives users the ability to set up a live video stream. This is great for showcasing events, taking virtual tours, or setting up interviews with guests and staff to talk about your pub. Audiences tend to respond well to live video. It is seen as more authentic and trustworthy than other forms of content. Consider creating live content around your team. One idea might be a live interview that highlights a particular staff member each week, explaining what they do and how their role helps make each customer experience special.
Engage with your audience
Social networks are a two-way street. Engagement with your followers is important for Instagram marketing. If your account looks inauthentic - just a series of posts, no interaction - you'll quickly lose your audience's interest. Interaction lets your followers know a warm welcome and friendly staff are waiting at your pub. Giving them a sense of the people behind the images and videos in your feed can really help.
There are many ways to generate interaction. Ask questions, get feedback and encourage visitors to leave comments. A simple image with a related question (like a photo of a special drink, with a question like“what is your favourite cocktail?”) can generate a lot of engagement.
User-generated content (UGC) helps your brand in many ways. First and foremost, it makes your feed feel more authentic – people can see what your real customers loved about your pub. UGC also encourages more people to follow you, as users' friends will see your photos and videos and be interested in your bar. You can get user-generated content by offering rewards and prizes to people who post their snaps and video clips with your hashtag.
If you repost content from other users to your pub’s feed, make sure you get their permission first. This avoids potential intellectual property issues. Most people are flattered that you like their photos enough to repost.
Engage with influencers
High-profile users with a lot of followers, known as influencers, have found a ready-made source of income through Instagram. You can work with Instagram influencers to drive even more engagement by offering rewards in exchange for being featured on your channels. Influencers are Instagrammers with massive followings – sometimes in the tens of thousands – so the right business can generate a huge increase in sales for you. As today's influencers have pretty high expectations, you'll need to offer something very special if you want to ensure their collaboration. A few free drinks will probably not be enough.
Instagram has become an essential platform for local businesses, including pubs, to promote their services and attract potential customers. With the help of Instagram's various business tools, such as Stories, Reels, Explore and Live, businesses can maximize their reach and engage with their followers. Creating high-quality content with thoughtful and specific tags is the key to appearing on the Explore page, which can make a significant difference in a business's reach. Additionally, engaging with the audience, generating user-generated content, and working with influencers are some of the effective strategies to boost a business's presence on Instagram.
It is important to note that Instagram marketing is not a one-time effort. Consistency and regularity are essential to keep the audience engaged and interested in the business. Therefore, businesses need to develop a social media strategy and plan their posts accordingly. Also, they should keep track of the engagement metrics, such as likes, comments, and shares, to understand what works and what does not work for their audience.
In summary, Instagram is a powerful tool for local businesses, including pubs, to increase their awareness and attract potential customers. With the help of Instagram's business tools, businesses can create engaging content, maximize their reach, and interact with their audience effectively. By using these strategies consistently, businesses can build a strong presence on Instagram and establish themselves as a prominent player in their locality.