It is true, the happiest people on earth are those who love to eat. And it is as if we need an excuse to look forward to more desserts. Whether you are an accomplished pastry chef, a new baker, or someone who just has a big heart for bread & pastries and binge-watches Cupcake Wars and Sugar Rush, we could all agree that Instagram is a mecca of photos and clips of insanely gorgeous baked creations.
One of the most downloaded social media apps on earth (even Martha Stewart has one), having an Instagram account can not just make you hungry, be inspired, and connect with your favorite star bakers. It can also help you showcase your baked masterpieces, reach out to a dedicated market, and make sales while boosting your brand awareness. Given the robust social media communication and eCommerce, there is no way that you will not include Instagram in your marketing tools.
The appeal of Instagram is in its simplicity. It is free to download, user-friendly, and it displays a real peek at the life of your product and your brand. Is it as simple as that? Well, not if you use it as a marketing tool.
Instagram is a dynamic platform to promote your bakery. It has the highest engagement rate among all other social media platforms and currently has 1 billion active users, and there are no signs of slowing down. 61% of Instagrammers find out about bakeries on social media.
It can go beyond just visuals because, given the right strategies, Instagram can communicate your brand’s goals and earn personally invested customers by showing your products while capturing leads and sales. So, shall we start building your profile?
How Do I Promote my Bakery on Instagram? Here are 8 Marketing Tactics that sells
1. Select a @Username
The key here is to stay recognizable, so come up with a username that is the same or related to your business name on all other platforms.
If your preferred username has already been taken, you may consider adding your business location. Let’s say your bakery’s name is “WildFlourBakery”, you may work around with “WildFlourBakeryGA” to denote that you’re in the state of Georgia.
However you want to develop a username, keep in mind that it should be easy to remember, easy to search, and recognizable.
2. Choose an On-Brand profile photo.
It may be tempting to use your prettiest summer photo in Jamaica for the profile picture, but remember that your marketing is about your followers and customers and not about you. Select an appropriate business photo to get others to recognize your brand.
Your bakery logo should be your first choice, or an official mascot would be charming and attractive. It’s the face of your brand so, choose it carefully. People remember better visually, so when they know it’s your brand, it’s your brand.
3. Compose an informative Bio
Bios are displayed below your photo, and you are limited to 150 characters to make an impression. Keep it simple and informative while introducing who you are and what you do.
Our best recommendations are a one-line description of your business, your business address, contact number, a link to the order form, or a link to your official website.
Remember, before people hit the follow button, they would read your profile first, so compose this carefully to convince them that your feed is of value to them. You can always update your bio to promote your up-coming or on-going campaigns or promos and don’t forget the link.
4. Produce high-quality contents
Now, here’s where the work happens. But this is fun. When developing content for your Instagram page, your goal is to produce photos or video clips that best represent your work quality. Hence, the term Instagrammable. You would want your photos to transcend your baked goods’ beauty, technique, elements, and colors that would make your audience trust your product and your brand.
Photography tips: Smartphones these days are as brilliant as professional cameras. To produce great Instagramable pictures, you have to consider the lighting, angle, backdrop, and other props to accentuate your baked goods’ features.
Good natural light is always ideal, but a bright artificial indoor light can still do the job if unavailable. And if it still doesn’t satisfy, Instagram has a photo-edit feature with various filters and adjustment tools to make the photo vibrant. Play with the saturation, sharpness, contrasts, have fun, and ask yourself before posting it if this is what you want your audience to see and feel.
Other post ideas: Not all the time your posts are just baked goods. It is good to introduce variations from time-to-time as long as you stick to your brand and image.
Create short clips or time-lapse videos of your signature salted-caramel drizzle, a sneak-peek at the production area, a happy client, actual photos of kids enjoying your PBJ cupcake, or a short tutorial or baking hacks. These types of posts personify your brand that will make people relate to what you do and get to know your brand on a more personal level.
Infographics are a great post too. Integrate your photos with campaign posters or promotional materials. The crowd-favorite tool to use is Canva. Canva has beautiful templates that are designed to fit your Instagram post and Instagram stories. You can select from their food-related themes, and drag & drop your chosen photo and customize your design and typeface. Once done, you can directly upload it on your social media pages.
Other apps that are Instagram-friendly are Crello, Animoto, VSCOcam, Aviary, and Foodie. Once you have found your ideal style, stick to a “theme” to create a signature appeal on your page as a whole.
Stories and Highlights
You can be more candid with your Insta-stories. As we said, it humanizes your account and opens up conversations, reactions, and DMS with your audience. Instagram also has interesting stickers, survey features, and fun animated filters to make your post entertaining.
Stories last on your page for only 24 hours, and if you want to keep these stories permanently, you may do so by tapping “highlight”. You can use this to display your menu, contact form, order form, reviews, and other stories that add value to your page.
Talking about the captions, when composing a message that compliments your post, it is always better to think about your “clients” instead of “followers” alone. Instagrammers are shoppers, and you want to turn these shoppers into actual customers. While growing your following is awesome, growing your engagement is much more important as this would equate to actual conversions. Target the right people to follow you. Communicate your caption with them in mind while keeping it fun, engaging, and enterprising.
Choose an appropriate #hashtag.
If used properly, hashtags will help your business be more visible and easier to search. This proves well, especially when attracting local clients in your area. Type a too general or popular hashtag like #bestchocolatechipcookie, and you will find your post swallowed into the oblivion of hundreds of thousands of other photos that used the same hashtag. Here are a few tips:
- Geolocation Hashtags – Let people locate you and connect with your local community. An example would be #sourdoughatlanta or #focacciainaugusta
- Word Variations – Play with words that describe your offering or what you do differently. Let’s say #customcakesinalpharetta or #matchacheesecakesGA.
- Customer perspective – Imagine what your customers would look for that you could deliver. #pumpkinspicecupcakesSavannah #ketobreadGA
5. Be Consistent
The ideal frequency to post on Instagram is at least once to three (maximum) daily. Yes, you read it right. We couldn’t emphasize this more– posting too much can appear to be spammy and inelegant, but posting only once in a while may leave your followers unexcited.
An active Instagram account sends an impression that your bakery business is thriving. Plan your posting schedule and prepare your materials ahead. Keep a content calendar and plot the photoshoot dates, special occasions for special campaign posts, social media invites for a community activity you will join, and others.
We recommend helpful social media calendar tools like Evernote, SproutSocial, Loomly, Trello, and even Google Drive. These should come in handy and are easy to use.
6. Engage with your Audience
Engagement doesn’t end right after you post a photo or a story and just wait for people to notice you. Start interacting with your audience by following other accounts and leave a like or two on their posts too.
You can also boost engagement by running some marketing campaigns like “share a photo of your favorite cupcake flavor from us and use our official hashtag to get a 10% discount on your next visit”. Or “could you guess which cupcake flavors are these? Send us a DM, and we’ll include you in our raffle”.
Your service shall be as awesome as your products. A timely response to your customer’s comments and DMs also boosts your credibility and customer service level. This is also an opportunity to rectify customer concerns before they turn into larger problems.
Understandably, you can’t be online all the time, but schedule a time in the day to answer or acknowledge your audience’s messages or comments. A prompt and friendly response will make your audience feel valued and ultimately, will give you an edge in the competition.
Engagement ideas are unlimited, but keep in mind that these initiatives must drive sales and actionable customer reach to expand your follower-to-customer conversion.
7. Track Your Progress
It is easy to spot the figures of how many followers you already have and the individual post likes, but this does not fully display your engagement and marketing campaigns’ progress and success. Your Instagram business analytics, or officially Instagram Insights, will help you optimize your social media strategy. Tap on Insights, and you will be directed to a page with three main tabs:
- Audience Tab – Here, you’ll see your audience’s top location, demographics, and when they are online most. These insights will be useful in developing a content plan and targeting.
- Activities Tab – displays interactions and discovery metrics for your main feed. The insight translates to how your audience found your page and metrics for your aggregated reach and post impressions. The higher your impression rate is, the more resonating your contents are.
- Content Tab – shows how your individual posts and stories are performing. Engagement initiative results on polls, quizzes, or stickers are also found here, and the number of people who reacted to it.
Content Tab also tracks your Profile Visit and Followers. If your profile visit is always higher and your follower count stays the same or grows slowly, there’s likely a disconnect on what your audience sees on your stories versus what’s on your profile. You can also determine whether your followers hit the follow button right after viewing your story or your post. This means you have done something right.
Exploring these tabs and interpreting your metrics will help you set a benchmark to compare results. Include this on your marketing plan to improve strategies and weed-out, which doesn’t seem to be effective along the way.
Some other tools or apps that are perfect for Instagram marketing to track your progress and provide data for your marketing ROI and strategies are Hootsuite and Iconosquare.
8. Invest in Relationships and Networks
The first ingredient about building relationships and networks is being “genuine”. Bakeries are a force in a community, and finding a community that supports your business will help you stay relevant and profitable.
- Network with people in your niche. This type of audience is your front-row customers. If your bakery’s goal is to be an authority in sourdough-based bread, or your products aim to provide for lifestyle-related niches like keto or vegan, you have to be the first to reach out.It’s good to offer various pastries that will cater to everyone, but your niche will make you known for something you are an expert on. This promotes collaborations and conversations where you and your target audience will be enjoying both sides of a win-win situation
- Network with influencers. We strongly believe that this isn’t overrated unless you find the right influencer to network with. Collaborate through Insta-Stories, ask them to visit your bakery, send them your cookie samplers to review, and even invite them to do a baking tutorial. Just make sure that your brand shines.
- Your community. Your neighbors are your strongest force in the business. The success of your daily operation relies on their trust and the value you provide to them. Be active in participating in community activities. It wouldn’t hurt your social media audience to share a community-related post once in a while. It sends a message that you are an important and influential business in your area.
To jumpstart your Instagram sugar rush, here are some of our most-voted accounts that are just awe-inspiring:
- @brownedbutterblondie – this baker’s peanut butter brownie and vanilla ice-cream photo could harbor up to 10,000+ likes. Get ideas on their strategic hashtags and quirky captions that would make you want to read more.
- @thebakefeed – the official account of Bake From Scratch magazine, exhibits their baked confections in a tres tres elegant flair with captions that links to the recipes.
- @joythebaker – is a great account to follow for their beautiful photos of baked products inspiring for both newbie and seasoned bakers.
- @healthylittlepeach – their feed is a feast for the eyes while focusing on paleo and keto-friendly ingredients.
- @magnoliabakery – most likely the most popular bakery in NYC. Their huge following is close to a million. Their Instagram account curates profoundly relatable and comforting photos of their baked products with simple captions that are just as effective in marketing.
Utilizing Instagram as a marketing tool isn’t just about posting photos of your deliciously baked products. You have to engage your customers, advertise your products strategically, and build awareness for your brand.
Building your Instagram profile and growing your engagement that drives sales sure isn’t a piece of cake, but by following these strategies, we are confident that you will enjoy your big slice of a humble bakery success.
Now that you’re all set to launch into a spiel of “let them eat cake!”, it would help you learn more about social media strategies and website optimization by subscribing to our newsletter—fresh-out-of-the-oven tips and advice from our experts to your inbox.