Author | Chatmeter TeamDate Posted | May 18, 2020

Social Media 101: Your 5-Star Content Strategy for Instagram

Over 200 million Instagram users visit businesses’ profiles each day. By perfecting your Instagram content strategy, your multi-location business can harness the power of Instagram’s purchase-ready audience. This guide will teach you how to create the right content strategy to scale your online presence on Instagram.

Before we dive into the steps for building a content strategy for Instagram, let’s discuss some best practices that your brand should employ before perfecting your Instagram social media strategy.

Social Media Best Practices:

  • Create a Content Calendar – This is an organizational strategy that will help you save time, achieve consistency, and view which content is working for your brand. Trello and Google Sheets are great tools that can help you manage a robust calendar as a team.
  • Engage with Followers – Your work doesn’t end when you publish your content. It’s important for you to respond to all comments and encourage discussion. Otherwise, you can quickly lose your fan base once they notice you haven’t taken the time to respond back.
  • Always be Authentic – With the rise of sponsored content on social media, consumers have learned how to quickly identify inauthentic content. Always maintain an authentic tone that’s in line with your brand voice and personality.

Step 1: Tell the Local Story

The first step is to create an Instagram business account for each store location. Your physical locations should reflect the local community there are many different factors between your brand’s locations. Localized social accounts will help cater to your regional audiences and drive local consumers to your store-front business. This also drives authentic connections with customers and as a location-based platform by nature, Instagram is the perfect fit for your brand’s localized content. Instagram’s location-based features such as location-tagged content and geo-targeted stories give brands the ability to easily find local content to reshare as well. This will help you deliver your brand’s local story to regional consumers, maximizing brand visibility.

Step 2: Visual Style 

The secret to success on Instagram revolves around utilizing engaging visual content to connect with your audience. This means you should carefully establish your brand’s visual style. What are your brand colors? Do you plan on using the same filter for each post? Is your tone going to be lighthearted? Are you going to use emojis? Keeping these factors in mind will give your brand a consistent voice that shines through your content. Creating brand guidelines for your Instagram will ensure that everyone on your team adheres to the visual standards you’ve chosen.

Creating visually appealing social content can get time-consuming, especially when your brand is posting different content for numerous locations. Tools like Canva and Typorama can help you effortlessly design content that aligns with your brand. Additional benefits to these tools include templates and layouts you can reuse for consistency. When it comes to social media, it’s all about leveraging resources that make creating consistent content easier.

No matter what industry you’re in, you should identify the visually appealing elements of your brand to draw in consumers. If you’re in the restaurant industry, experiment with posting your most popular dishes or the aesthetic side of your restaurant space. If you’re in the banking industry, feature pictures of your hard-working employees or valued customers. It’s important to take it a step further by using your visual content to tell a story. Why is this dish you’re posting important? How is featuring an employee going to appeal to your audience? As a creative platform, you’re going to draw in more customers by showing your brand’s story through visual content.

Step 3: Brand Voice

Don’t forget that your captions are just as important as your visual content. Your captions will let your brand’s personality shine through and give your social media content a voice. Whether your brand’s tone is humorous, witty, or clever, Instagram is a great platform to tie in your brand’s personality to tell a story. This will help you develop a brand-loyal audience and drive the story back to your business.

To help your staff create social media content that is in line with your brand’s personality, we recommend creating templates that can answer any questions or concerns your team may have. Help them create on-brand content by outlining your brand’s voice, purpose, message, audience, and tone. Clearly define what language is and isn’t appropriate, as well as what kinds of images and topics are off-limits.

Utilize mixed-use content to keep your audience interested and coming back for more. For example, let’s say your brand is a restaurant trying to promote a new evening dining special. Through Instagram posts, you can highlight the new special with pictures of the dish. With Instagram stories, you can utilize polls and stickers to ask your audience questions about the special. On Instagram Live, your brand can do a behind the scenes tour with employees to discuss why this dish was created. Mixed-use content will give your audience new ways to interact with your content, even if the content is all related to the same concept.

We also recommend doing some research on your top competitors to see what kind of content is resulting in high engagement with their audience. Your brand should also identify the most relevant hashtags to your industry, which you can incorporate into Instagram stories and posts. Instagram has many features including Instagram Live, Instagram stories, carousels, and more. Take advantage of these various features to keep your audience engaged with fresh content.

Step 4: Scaling your Instagram Content

Growing your brand’s Instagram presence means that each account will need great content – specific to that store location. Chatmeter’s Social Suite makes it easy for brands to create and distribute content on Instagram, whether you have 10 or 100 locations, through our centralized dashboard. With the click of a button, your brand can easily monitor, comment, schedule, and approve every social media post.

Social Suite can also help your brand elevate your Instagram presence with additional insight, including the ability to track trending hashtags, keywords, and competitor activity. Our social media management system easily distinguishes customer needs and wants with our analytics tool. This makes it simple for your brand to leverage data and offer customers the content they’re interested in. Manually creating and sharing content across all of your business locations can take up hours, especially when you take into consideration the planning and strategy that goes into content creation. Streamlining your content through Chatmeter’s Social Suite can help you deliver great content continuously and scale your brand presence.

Growing your brand’s Instagram presence takes the right strategy and some time, but the payoff is worthwhile. A strong Instagram strategy will help your business acquire new customers, boost brand awareness, and drive more traffic.