Chocolate Marketing 101: Using Instagram to Grow Your Small Company

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If you haven’t already read Part One of this series on Social Media for Chocolate Companies, I recommend you do so before moving on to Course Two. Part One may be found here.

I’m willing to wait.

I’m a patient person.

Okay! Let’s start with Instagram for chocolate companies.

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Chocolate Adventures (@damecacao) Max Gandy shared this post.

What Are the Benefits of Using Instagram?

If you’ve done any previous study on social media sites, you’ll know that Instagram is one of the most popular, with over 800 million registered members. This vast user base alone is insufficient to warrant the time required to fully use Instagram, but the expectations of its users are. Instagram users, like you, want to view beautiful photographs and learn more about the stories behind them when they check in. It’s really that easy. Thus, if you’re creating a fantastic tale as well as a beautiful product (physical or otherwise), Instagram is the social media platform for you.

What you’re essentially creating on these social networking platforms is a community. But, it is also an online presence and portfolio, as well as, to some degree, an advertising.

If you’re not a visual person but are the sole employee in your firm at the time, try hiring a high school or college student to handle your social media. Millions of kids would leap at the chance to snap lovely photos after school and earn money by spending time on Instagram.

This is particularly true given how much time they’ve spent living online in recent years. However, as important as you are to the firm, your greatest skill as a business owner is recognizing when to outsource key processes. Whether the creative creature in us wants to perceive it that way or not, social media is a system that can be approached systematically.

The First Step Towards Instagram Success

Starting a business account is one of the first steps toward becoming a professional Instagram user. Depending on your function in the chocolate industry, switching your account from personal to business may make sense, which is as simple as adjusting your settings inside the app. To begin, go to the app’s Settings (the three little vertical dots in the upper righthand corner of your screen). Click Switch to Business Account in the Account section and follow the procedures. Go here for additional information on how to create an Instagram business account.

Since Instagram is controlled by Facebook, you must have a Facebook page to connect to in order to transition to a business profile. You may either build one or connect to an existing one, but this is one of those needs that cannot be avoided. Also, you can only link one page (which also needs to be a Facebook Business Page). I guess you can only do this from your phone as well (though you may now be able to do so on a desktop through your Facebook Creator Studio).

Even if you are not wanting to start from scratch, consider establishing an Instagram business account. It’s absolutely free, but you’ll still see the same advertisements as everyone else, and they’ll want you to do a paid boost for high-performing posts (those with lots of likes in a short time). You may also link your Twitter and Instagram accounts and select to share the same photographs on both platforms.

The advantages of making this adjustment much exceed the disadvantages (you can only link to one Facebook account, and some people have noted that fewer people like their posts when they make the switch).

You’ll see analytics right away, which is the facts behind your follows. You may view demographics about your followers, such as gender, age bracket, geography, and when they are online, for any posts shared after the changeover. Instagram also provides information on how your posts are doing, such as how many people have seen it, how many liked it, how they discovered it, how it compares to past posts, and so on. This is also essential for making boosted posts, Instagram’s version of sponsored marketing, which we’ll discuss in future blogs.

Fundamental Instagram Vocabulary

Most of this lingo is easily understood after an hour or two of experimenting with the program. Yet, to save you time and prevent writing anything you don’t want to, here are the fundamentals.

IG, Insta, and the gram are all abbreviations for Instagram, the site that this whole piece is about.

Analytics: information about your app’s users’ demographics and behaviors.

Content: any image you post on Instagram, whether or not it contains a caption.

Stories are images you publish to your profile that vanish after 24 hours, making them ideal for making short-term announcements.

Instagram’s hidden technique for determining who sees your post is known as an algorithm.

Interaction with your material is referred to as engagement.

Comment conversation with another user. Organic engagement is defined as spontaneous contact with your content that is not encouraged by a promotional post or a like.

Bio: the 150-character or less text that appears on your profile below your picture and the Follow button; most individuals utilize this area to inform visitors about their company and its aims.

Hashtag: a phrase, acronym, or number followed by the pound symbol (#), used to define a photograph or to position it inside a certain group or movement.

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Chocolate Adventures (@damecacao) Max Gandy shared this post.

Using Instagram’s Algorithm

Now that you know what I’m talking about, I feel obligated to tell you that the majority of people despise it. They despise sudden changes, many of which seem to reduce organic participation (by showing your content to fewer people). These famed algorithm modifications, in which the network thinks that it may enhance user experience by substantially modifying a platform component without notice, can be vexing.

Something changes one day, just when you think you’ve completely mastered it, and only 10 people have seen your photograph. What’s the deal with that?!

This is not meant to intimidate you, but rather to warn you that not every post you share will be well-received. Social media is an experiment for both the platforms and the companies who use it. I’m here to inform you that you don’t have to despise the changes! Roll with the punches is your best chance for properly using an ever-changing platform. Keep up to speed on major changes by visiting this page. Continually test what your audience enjoys by posting a variety of items at initially. Follow the changes on Instagram because I promise it will bring you closer to your objectives.

Make use of Instagram Stories.

Speaking of algorithm modifications, IG Stories, along with Instagram Live and utilizing hashtags in your bio, is now a well-established option on the network. People expect you to utilize them at least sometimes, and you can now keep your Stories and prior Lives as highlights immediately above your main photo stream. As a chocolate manufacturer, including hashtags in your profile makes a message to buyers. It informs them about the groups in which you engage and value, but Instagram Live enables you to transmit live video to your followers of what you are doing right now.

Nevertheless, Instagram stories may provide a far more powerful message. Stories may be used to inform loyal consumers about daily promotions, demonstrate how a pastry is prepared, or provide a virtual factory tour. I cannot overstate how crucial it is to build a community on social media, and communicating the who, what, why, and how of your company is a big part of that. Instagram is just a tool. An Instagram Story is a photo or video that you upload to your profile picture; when a profile contains tales that others may view, their profile image gets a pink ring around it.

These Stories may include text, gifs, other images, emoticons, polls, and other features in addition to photographs and videos. They’re a terrific method to keep followers up to speed on an ongoing project, inform them of store closings, specials, and freebies, or just to give the photographs a voice. Hashtags are important if people visit your profile, and Live is good if they are already online, but stories allow you to remain at the top of people’s feeds and keep them coming back for more.

If you’ve determined that Instagram is the greatest method to engage with your consumers and you truly want to master the platform, then use Stories. Publish a tale to your feed every day, preferably at the same time.

Create a Powerful Bio

I could easily write a full article on just one topic, but I’ll keep it brief. As I said in my first essay on chocolate social media, your Instagram bio should include three things: your location, your product emphasis, and your website. When I think about the millions of chocolate firms whose naked biographies I’ve seen, it makes me want to smack my own, or someone else’s. At best, they have all three of these characteristics, plus a branded hashtag, clever phrase or joke, and shop hours. Several chocolate companies are using social media effectively.

The issue is that there might be more, but no one knows where to begin. Thus, if you’re unclear how to start completing the laundry list of things required to start or expand your chocolate company, I’m here to relieve you of the weight of social media. Consider your Instagram profile to be the twenty seconds you have in an elevator to impress a stranger.

You’ve probably already memorized your elevator pitch, so why not write it down? Just add your location (country AND city), product emphasis (craft chocolate, bonbons, chocolate pastries, etc.), and a link to your online store. If you incorporate it, you are already ahead of the competition. You’d be surprised how far you can go by just providing them with the knowledge they need. We truly want to acquire your stuff and were surprised when we couldn’t find out how to do so.

Provide Quality Content

Only share anything that you are proud of.

This is the most important guideline on Instagram, and many firms break it. If you are genuinely enthusiastic about your work, you will be doing something exciting every day. Therefore, why not tell a lovely narrative about those fascinating activities a couple times a week? Or maybe once a week? Remember that people follow you because they appreciate what you write, and the more fascinating your posts are, the more likely others are to follow you.

Thus, instead of merely posting a photo of chocolate in the refiner, include a hand holding a completed bar and a comment. A single truffle is lovely, but a photo of the same truffle sliced in half with the rest of the batch in a long row behind it is stunning. There are plenty additional creative methods to display your everyday successes and challenges. Discover and share the beauty in your everyday life.

Nobody benefits from an idle Instagram account, but it doesn’t mean you have to post every morning and every night. Develop a plan and stick to it. If you can capture one nice shot with a narrative behind it once a week, that’s all you need to do. Add 5 hashtags, hit the publish button, and you’re done. But, remember the social aspect of social media and scroll down loving other people’s images after you share your own.

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Chocolate Adventures (@damecacao) Max Gandy shared this post.

Obtain Followers

Even if you’re new to social media, chances are you have friends and family who are already there, eager to follow you and provide comments on your profile. If you already have consumers, this is a terrific way to interact with and follow them to obtain input on what they want from you. Understanding your consumer base is an important part of operating a company, and Instagram is a terrific (free!) method to do it.

Even if you don’t have any interested friends, family, or customers, there is always a community out there with whom you may connect. Look for craft chocolate, bonbons, tempering, or other typical chocolate words in the search box. IG will provide profiles and images associated with the keywords. Therefore, like and comment on the photos you like. Follow the accounts that interest you. Make use of social media!

While searching for methods for people to discover you, check at some of the top chocolate folks and see what hashtags they use. It depends on your industry; chocolatiers will connect with different communities than chocolate producers. Yet, in the end, we’re all simply seeking to connect, and Instagram provides an unrivaled platform for doing so.

Follow me on Instagram at @damecacao now that you have a better sense of what will get you started on Instagram, and don’t forget to share this article if you found it useful! If you have any more questions or concerns, please email me a message or leave a comment below. I eagerly await your response.

Part 3 may be found HERE.

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