Hello all! It's Rachel here. I handle all of CakeSafe's social media and have learned A LOT through reading articles, blog posts, and attending social media conferences. I thought I'd share some of the most helpful Instagram Do's and Don'ts I've learned. If you have any questions about social media and what works best for gaining engagement and clients feel free to reach out to me at CakeSafeRachel@gmail.com. We want to help our customers and fans in any way we can, and that includes everything from recipe advice to business tips.
Let's jump right in! I'm going to save the best for last and start with what not to do:
- REPETITION IS NO FUN When looking at an Instagram profile, if I see the same photo repeated, I most likely won't follow. People want fresh content, not repeated photos. If you don't have time to take new photos it's better to wait until you have time, and not post a photo you've posted recently.
- USE TEXT OVERLAY SPARINGLY My biggest pet peeve is people who overlay "salesy" text over the majority of photos. When I stumble upon an Instagram profile like this I run away as fast as I can. Sporadic posts with text overlay is fine, but pleeeease don't do it often. Organized "text posts" is a different animal however. Take a look at @ahimsabakery's profile to see how she uses organized text posts in a funny and clever way for her vegan bakery.
- KEEP REPOSTS TO A MINIMUM If you're not a strictly "repost" account, stick to sharing your own photos and videos. Let's face it, people don't read much on Instagram. It's a visual platform. When you repost someone else's photos you may confuse potential clients who might think it's your work.
- SAVE TIME WITH QUICK REPLIES Do you get asked the same questions over and over again in your direct messages? Create generic responses about your pricing, schedule, or flavors using Quick Replies on Instagram. Each Quick Reply is editable so you can add in personalization before sending. Learn how to do it by clicking HERE.
- MAKE IT PRETTY Take a look at your favorite Instagrammer's profile. I'm guessing it looks beautiful as a collection of photos. Think of the overall look of your profile when posting, not just the individual photos or videos. Some of my favorite bakers and designers to follow are @earthandsugar, @northcountrycakes, @okcsweets, @venuskwancake, and @cakestudiowpg. If you want to see what your profile will look like before you commit to posting, use the free app Preview.
- GET PERSONAL Your followers are potential clients or admirers of your work. Believe it or not, they want to see YOU! Sprinkling in photos of you or your employees with your baked goods amps up the love for your business. If you're camera shy, believe it or not, even your hands in the shot working on final touches raises the interest level in your photos. @sweetrhi_ does a great job adding photos of herself and personal tidbits throughout her feed.
- BEHIND THE SCENES Utilizing Instagram's Story & Highlight features are important. A story is added by touching the camera icon in the upper left of the Instagram homepage. You can either film a video, take a photo, or swipe up to add photos or videos that are already on your phone. To make a Story into a Highlight that will live on your Instagram Profile forever (or until you take it down), watch your own story by clicking your profile photo and touch the "Highlight" icon on the bottom right to create a Highlight. If you have something you want to share that maybe isn't "pretty" enough for your profile, add it into your story! Also be sure to add in behind the scenes footage. Maybe you're icing a cake, talking about an exciting new flavor offering, or sharing something personal. We love watching @maggieaustincake's Instagram Stories showing the cute things her dog is doing. And @bakingwithblondie does a great job keeping lots of content in her Highlights.
- VIDEO IS MESMERIZING To make taking vidoes easier, buy an inexpensive tripod like this one. Then film away. Things you might thing are repetitive or monotonous are thrilling to your potential customers. Hyperlapsed (sped up videos) are all well and good, but try mixing it up with real time videos showing just one detail of icing or decorating. Hyperlapsed videos tend to make things look easier. Show potential clients the real amount of time it takes to pipe one rosette or smooth one part of your cake. My favorite videos to watch are from @nadiyascupcakes.