Building on our Roadmap to Recovery, we’re looking at how messaging comes to life across all platforms. We understand there’s always endless levers to pull, which is why our team of strategists and hospitality experts recommend that if you choose just one social media platform to invest your time in right now, make it Instagram.
With almost 1 billion active users worldwide, Instagram has become a mainstay for creating dialogue with customers and garnering brand affinity in our increasingly digital world. In the wake of COVID-19, the platform has also released new tools that make it easier than ever for businesses to optimize for our new realities.
We’ve identified some simple ways you can take advantage of the platform to get your information across, generate revenue, and build a meaningful connection with your community, virtually.
If you do nothing else,
Keep your audience informed.
Optimize your bio
First and foremost, ensure your Instagram bio is up to date and reflects any COVID implications. Your bio should house the essential information your customers will be searching for, such as your operating hours, telephone number, and website URL.
Utilize your Stories for FAQ
As the business continues to shift in line with the latest developments, utilize Instagram’s Stories feature to communicate information that may be changing on a regular basis. Upon posting, pin the most important Stories to a Highlight section within your profile so customers can effortlessly find the information they need. Highlights might house information such as:
- Special offerings
- Delivery methods and partners
- Ways to support (e.g. fundraisers, gift cards)
- Information about gift cards and/or merchandise
- What you’re doing to keep your employees and guests safe
Showcase your unique offerings
If you’re one of the many businesses who have had to quickly shift and innovate your offerings, Instagram is a great way to make sure your audience is kept apprised on the latest. Publish Instagram posts or use Stories to consistently highlight what’s on offer—we suggest pinning signature items to your Highlights.
If you want to do more,
Maximize engagement with your community by telling your brand story.
During this uncertain time, we’re all seeking connection and a sense of community. Take this opportunity to humanize your brand and create deeper engagement with your customers, by tapping into what makes your business unique.
Showcase customer engagement by re-posting customer photos in either a carousel post or within your Stories—if tagged photos happen often within your account, consider creating a section in your Highlights for them to live.
Engage for feedback
More than ever, your digital customer engagement should feel like a call-and-response. If you have a dedicated audience, elicit feedback using Instagram Stories’ Polling and Questions stickers to get a temperature read on what kind of items or content they’d find most valuable.
From Instagram Live series, to static posts and Stories, showcasing your offerings is an immersive way to create an ongoing dialogue with your customers. Providing the means for at-home recreations and interactions not only crafts a hospitable experience, but it keeps your brand offerings at the forefront of every conversation.
Consider putting your team in front of the camera—from Q&A’s, showcasing their hard work, or curating activities, your team can share tips and tricks and help customers have the best experience in the comfort of one’s own home.
Simplify ways for guests to shop with you, while generating revenue through the platform.
If your business has gift cards and/or is on a major delivery platform, you can now implement Gift Card and Order Food buttons on your Instagram profile—bringing your audience even more ways to support with a simple click. Click here for guides to set up your Gift Cards and Food Orders. (Note that active Book, Get Tickets, Reserve and Schedule buttons on your profile will be automatically removed if you add a Gift Cards button.)
Stickers in stories
You can also encourage your customers to engage with countdowns, gift cards, or ordering through stickers in your Instagram Stories. Just create your Stories content as normal, and swipe up to open your stickers tray. Click the stickers and it’ll prompt you to select your gift card or food delivery partner. Link it up and you’re ready to share. Click here for guides to set up your Gift Card and Food Order stickers.
If you have brand merchandise or items for sale on your website, Instagram offers seamless Shopping so that users can shop directly from your posts. Click here for a guide to set up your Instagram Shopping.