They say every picture tells a story. But let’s face it, some picture-stories are told a heckuva lot better than others—and that’s true across the food value chain, whether it’s sharing the excitement of a successful harvest or featuring that up-and-coming chef as part of that new product launch.

By doing a deeper dive into what makes Instagram such a robust, essential resource, you can better decide how it can work for you and the continued success of your brand.

Step one is knowing your way around the platform itself. Basically, Instagram provides three storytelling venues:

  1. Instagram Feed: This is what typically gets seen first, so you’ll want to treat your followers to high-quality photos and graphics that deliver your story in the best possible light (in other words, make sure they can actually see that delicious recipe or successful harvest). You’ll also want to post consistently for maximum engagement.
  2. Instagram Stories: This corner of the Instagram universe is ideal for showcasing your brand’s personality with some here-today-gone-soon announcements or behind-the-scenes footage. Consider using it to ask a poll question (serious or otherwise) or link to content elsewhere.
  3. IGTV: Think of IGTV as a mini channel for your Instagram account, where you can feature tutorials on how to use your products, hold Q&A sessions where you address pressing topics or share interviews with subject matter experts (including your own).

Advertising on Instagram: What You Get When Putting Your Good Money Down

You may already know this, but Facebook owns Instagram (small virtual world, right?). For advertisers, this means you’ll be running your alluring ads through the Facebook Ads platform and promoting your impossible-to-resist posts using Facebook’s targeting options.

Both can pay big dividends, helping you get content in front of the right audiences a lot faster than trying to do it organically (which can work eventually, too). You also have a dizzying range of promotion options—everything from video to static posts to things like carousel and using the “explore” page. (Another pro tip: You might want to un-dizzy things by working with a partner who traffics in this world regularly—someone like, well, us.)

The Three Most Important Words in Social Media: Targeting, Targeting and Targeting

If you’re hoping to reach specific audience groups within the food value chain, it’s important to know how each of them tends to behave on Instagram. Here’s an ever-so-brief glimpse at the sort of things we put front-and-center when incorporating Instagram into an overall social media strategy.

FARMERS

  • TYPICAL INSTA-BEHAVIORS: Farmers love to share seasonal content and in-the-field photos on Instagram. They also use it to connect with other farmers.
  • PRO CONTENT TIP: Testimonials can work here, especially if they’re coupled with smart graphics, farming insights and other relatable content.

CHEFS

  • TYPICAL INSTA-BEHAVIORS: Instagram is the number one platform used by chefs. Because 2020 has been the year of the pivot, chefs have been posting at-home recipes on their feeds, in their stories and on IGTV. Like farmers, it’s an important tool for connecting with customers while spreading inspiration.
  • PRO CONTENT TIP: Consider inspirational recipe trends and chef spotlights—the audience here will eat them up (sorry, couldn’t resist).

RESTAURANT OWNERS AND OPERATORS

  • TYPICAL INSTA-BEHAVIORS: Restaurant owners and operators are on this platform because their customers are. They want to promote themselves while also gaining insight into how those customers are thinking (and what they’re loving). They view it as a great way to showcase their restaurant, introduce new menu items or make important announcements.
  • PRO CONTENT TIP: The best content for this audience includes promotions, workable solutions that address their pain points, new operating ideas, industry insights and customer testimonials.

SOCIAL AUDIT ANYONE?

Our team of subject matter experts focuses on food and agriculture—farm field to processing to entrée on a plate. We can help you build a new brand, protect an old one or target customers to foster sales. A social media audit—complete with custom recommendations—is a great place to start. Let’s talk about how we can help you tackle this or other strategic marketing and communications challenges: Mark Gale, mark.g@co-nxt.com.