Barista Magazine

JUN-JUL 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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thentically itself. Even if it's sometimes a little off-topic, as long as the posts mesh with who you are and how you're known as a company, it usually works. For example, Birch Coffee's Instagram is rife with crisp images from their cafés, coffee, and dogs, but just before the Oscars in February, they posted spoofed movie posters from "all the Oscar-nominated fi lm posters and made them all about coffee," Benjamin says. "It was a gamble. Some people might view it as off-brand." Since Birch's founders Jeremy Lyman and Paul Schlader are proud fi lm buffs, and to those who know them and the company, it made sense and felt whimsical. While Benjamin says the movie posts didn't get as many likes as others, he still considers it a win: "We got an infl ux of comments. Tons of people commented, started a big conversation about the Oscars, about fi lms and performances, and we got a much higher rate of new followers during that time period." D E LI V E R T H A T C A F É — O U T SI D E O F T H E C A F É In Santa Cruz, Calif., Digital Marketing Specialist Summer Landon makes Verve Coffee Roasters something people can experience even if they've never been in a Verve café. Visually, the roaster's color palate on Instagram matches the coffee. "Very bright, very vibrant, and very clean is something that we aim to create in our product, so we thought it was nec- essary to mimic that in our Instagram," Summer says. With more than 155,000 followers, Verve's Instagram features iconic Cali- fornia surf and skate pictures, as well as scenes from the coffee farms from which company co-owner Colby Barr sources. "Verve loves to get outside. Let's fi nd a fun place. Let's go there. We love mak- ing organic content," Summer continues. "We actually go surfi ng or we actually go on a bike ride, and we actually brew coffee—that's where you can feel the energy come through the picture." C O N SIS T E N C Y IS K E Y Once you've got a grasp on your café's particular angle, get it out there with regular posting, whether it's twice a day or twice a week. Consistency might be the hardest thing to stick to, considering the myriad other jobs a café owner and their staff attend to, but it's what keeps your followers loyal and engaged. Luckily, there's help. With apps like Iconosquare, Planoly, and Later, you can upload as much material as you want and schedule them to post whenever you want. If your Instagram account is run internally, a good fi rst step is identifying how often you can commit to posting. Three to four posts a week is a good start. If you have a designated person or team who manages your profi le, six to seven posts a week is the norm. You can create a content calendar based on events, new products, or coffee launches. "I usually look ahead about a month in advance when I create my content, and I start out by looking at the fi xed dates that I need to post about," Jenna of La Marzocco Café says. This may include the release of a new seasonal drink, or a new art show and opening party. From there, she looks at those fi xed posts and fi lls in the other days with more fl exible material. When you post also matters. The apps Sprout Social and Iconogram give detailed analytics detailing when your followers are engaging the most. Insta- gram provides those stats on its busi- ness profi les, too—just click the menu at the top right of your home screen, and select "Insights." You'll see what days get the most engagement, and what times of day, as well as the locations of your readers by percentage. Even though time of day is critical to expanding your reach, if you ask people when's the best time to post, you'll get a lot of different answers. Taylor Morabito manages Instagram content for Intelli- gentsia Coffee and says, "We typically see the most [engagement] around 9 or 10 a.m., and then we'll also get a little bump around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. I'm always checking our analytics for the best time to post because it does fl uctuate a little bit." Q U A LI T Y C O N T R O L Before you hit that "Post" button, always proofread your material for misspellings, correct hashtags and handles, and clarity. Captions can go a long way in telling the story of a picture, and the voice of the content should refl ect the vibe of your company. "A caption is really putting the stamp of 'What is this?' on it," Summer says. It's best to have only one person H O O H O S T A N I N S T A G R A M G I V E A A Y GIVEAWAYS ARE FUN! Giving away free beans or café swag is a perfect way to show customer appreciation and grow your follower base. Here are the quick-and-dirty basics of an Instagram giveaway: 1. Decide what you want to give away and what your goal is for the giveaway (i.e., gaining followers, engagement, etc.). 2. Create your post. You'll probably want to have a picture of what the prize is, but most importantly, make the rules and the end date of the giveaway clear. Make sure you specify where you will ship to if you want to avoid the expenses of shipping internationally. Some examples of giveaway rules are: • Require that contestants "like" you on Instagram. • Require that they tag 1–3 friends on the post. • Ask a fun question for contestants to answer. It doesn't have to be coffee-re- lated. It can be something like, "What's your favorite weekend getaway spot?" 3. If you select the winner with a random- izer, make sure the account is a real person and not a spam account before you an- nounce them on your platform. 4. You can team up with like-minded brands and do partnered giveaways. It's a great way to collaborate and make new connec- tions. Make sure contestants follow both accounts. Continued on page 93 91

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