Pick the Low Hanging Fruit
I'm kicking off Promoting Local Food with 5 easy ways to grow your social media following. These steps may seem simple, but look around, you’ll see businesses all over social media aren't taking them.
A Like is Not a Thank You
You’re busy, maybe you’re shy as well, however, this first step can have lasting positive impact: Comment on posts that mention you.
If a customer posts a photo of her meal, tags you and mentions that she bought the delicious ingredients from your farm or your market, please take a moment to comment on the post. A simple “thank you, so glad you enjoyed it!” goes a long way. It lets her know that you saw the post and that you appreciate the mention. In this situation, a “like” is not a thank you.
Bonus: Some of her followers will see your comment and click over to your page to find out more about you.
The danger of not saying thank you: the customer may stop tagging and mentioning you. This happens, more than you might think.
Market Vendors: When a farmers market tags you promoting that you will be at market, comment on that post with something like “looking forward to being there!” or even take it a step further “can’t wait to see everyone – especially those who’ve been asking for our breakfast sausage – we just restocked.”
A Tag Helps Them Help You
Farmers – Did you know that your market managers are constantly in need of good content to post? They need good (not blurry) photos to promote the market vendors and would love to share photos of you, your products and your farm. It’s so much easier for them to repost your photos than to create something new out of thin air. Help them, help you. Tag them in posts about what you’re growing and bringing to market. Otherwise they may miss your post buried in their feed.
A Repost Online Saves You Time
Farmers Market Managers: When a vendor tags your market, comment on their post and then repost it. This is relevant content that helps customers find their favorite vendors' accounts and bonus, you did not have to create it yourself! (happy dance)
Use one of the Repost for Instagram style apps. Pro tip ... pay the one time nominal fee to remove the repost logo watermark/symbol. Posts with that symbol tend to get fewer likes. Add a brief note and tag the farm.
A Business Account is the Way to Go
If you’re trying to attract followers, make sure they can see your posts. Don’t use a private Instagram account. Make it public, and better yet, switch to a business account.
A business account gives you access to insights about your audience and about your content. It'll help you know the best times to post and will allow you to run ads.
One Extra Step Makes Reading Easier
Most people don't want to read a wall of text. Yet, Instagram sure doesn't make it easy to break up your caption into paragraphs. You'll see most people use extra punctuation or emojis to create line breaks. This works most of the time but can look awkward and can be frustrating when it doesn't work.
Fortunately, there's a free site that makes spacing your captions very easy: apps4lifehost.com. Copy your text into the space provided and it will create the line breaks you need. You can also bold and italicize words if you want.
The Week Ahead
Valentine’s Day is this Friday, February 14th in the US. Why not share a little love note to your community? Or perhaps you might enjoy sharing some shout outs to the local businesses you love.