Now that you’ve gotten your business Instagram account into tip-top-shape, it’s time to shift gears and talk about content.
The way that users interact with Instagram is constantly transforming, so it’s important to keep a pulse on any current best practices that Instagram puts out about its platform. I highly recommend subscribing to a few marketing blogs like HubSpot, Duct Tape Marketing, Neil Patel, and others to stay in-the-know with modern marketing tips. I also recommend that you tune into Instagram and Facebook news specifically, as changes are continuously being made to these platforms.
Being proactive about your business Instagram account will ensure that it stays up-to-date, that you don’t lose massive amounts of followers, and will keep you at the forefront of the industry.
What & When to Post On Your Business Instagram Account
We’ve been focused on your Instagram account as a storytelling tool, so let’s continue.
The pictures and videos that you share are all opportunities to tell and shape that story. If you’ve already been posting on Instagram, take a scroll down memory lane. What story does the page tell?
If you’ve already been sharing Stories and have saved Highlights, do the same. Click through your saved Highlights. What story is each Highlight telling? Does every single saved Story “fit” the narrative of that Highlight?
What to Post On Your Instagram Wall (or Grid)
Figuring out what to post on your Instagram wall might seem daunting, but planning ahead makes this process easy and fun!
I highly recommend planning as your first step, before anything else. Instagram isn’t like other social platforms where images and videos have a way of disappearing over time. Instagram is visual. It’s all about the look and feel that it presents to the world. It’s an art!
Allow your creativity to flow by creating some structure. I know it might sound strange, but I promise, this strategy works! One of the most frustrating things about Instagram is figuring out what to post and planning every detail perfectly. An Instagram calendar and plan will help you know what to create, and when to post it.
Social Media Content Calendar
CoSchedule.com is a marketing tool that’s all about planning. They offer a free Social Media Content Calendar that is fantastic for planning ahead with your Instagram posts.
Create a List of Post Types & Topics
If you use the CoSchedule Excel template titled “2020 Content Calendar Template from CoSchedule,” use the “General Notes” area on the bottom to build out a list of post types or topics.
Post & Topic Ideas for Family Entertainment Centers:
- Birthday Parties
- The Birthday Party Room
- Kids having fun at a birthday party
- Adults having fun at a birthday party
- Attractions featured
- Holiday Greetings
- New Years
- Valentine’s Day
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Independence Day
- Attraction Focused
- Someone jumping
- Someone doing tricks
- People having fun
- Games being played
- Close-up shots of the trampoline
- Fun facts about trampolines
- Fun facts about your facility
- Why your company loves trampolines so much
- Slow motion jump
- Sped up jump
- Different age groups jumping or playing games
- Trampoline birthday party
- A person bowling
- A group having fun at the lane
- Close-up shots of the lane/bowling balls
- People having fun while eating
- A shot of a scorecard
- Highlight of anyone who bowls over 200+ points
- Fun facts about bowling
- Why your team is passionate about bowling
- History of your facility
- Customer highlights
- Kids bowling
- Adults bowling
- A league bowling (if applicable)
- A person playing a game
- People playing games together (like Skee-Ball)
- Close up of each arcade game (this can give you TONS of posts!)
- People having fun in the arcade area
- A shot of a win
- A video of a dancing game or guitar/music game
- Each team member's favorite game (this will give you quite a few posts too while also featuring your staff!)
- Food, Beverage, & Menu
- Individually & artistically staged photos of each of your food menu items
- Kids enjoying your food
- Adults enjoying your food
- Specialities on your menu
- Cakes, cupcakes, and desserts (if applicable)
- Food on a party table or included in a party package
As you can see, there are LOTS of opportunities for what to post on Instagram!
Begin by creating a list of your options. This will make it easy when it comes time to lay your plans out on a calendar.
Creating Your Instagram Post Calendar
Once you have a list of post options, it’s time to start putting your planning calendar together for your Instagram business account.
If you use the CoSchedule Content Calendar template, it has a calendar right there for you to use to plan! Start with the easiest dates first--any days that are holidays, special events, birthdays or anniversaries you’d like to announce, etc. For example, during the Holiday season, there are quite a few opportunities for posts. Not only do you have the holidays and the eve of those holidays (like Christmas and Christmas Eve and New Years and New Years’ Eve), but you also have opportunities to promote holiday events, holiday tickets, holiday specials, holiday decor, holiday hours, and even holiday birthdays!
Speaking of birthdays - keep this piece of your business in mind when you plan your Instagram calendar. You don’t want to get so busy posting about various topics that you forget to pepper in the right amount of birthday party promotion! You might choose to have every 6th image as a birthday post, or mix and up and go with every 4th, then 6th. The frequency is up to you, just be sure to keep the appearance of your page in mind when you get to the Instagram post creation part of this discussion.
When to Post to Instagram
As you plan your Instagram content calendar, you’ll want to also determine a cadence for posting. Marketers have been testing out the best timing, with some businesses posting once per day and others posting up to 10 times daily.
So how many times per day should you post? CoSchedule compiled data from many sources and they suggest that at a minimum you should post once per day, with 1-2 posts per day preferred. They also state that many have seen success posting up to 3 times per day.
Whether you post once per day, or 3 times daily, one of the most important things you can do is be consistent. Start by planning just one post per day for the next 90 days. When you get 30 days in, start planning for your next batch of posts and aim for 2 posts per day. Repeat this process of 2 posts per day for 90 days, then begin to plan for 3 posts per day. Track and monitor at each phase, using Instagram’s Insights tab.
How to Create Instagram Images
The last piece to posting on your Instagram page is creating or preparing beautiful images and videos to share. Content cluster planning is a strategy that many successful social media influencers and businesses use to plan ahead.
A friend of mine who runs a successful YouTube page and blog site follows this advice. After she determines her topics and plans out when they’ll go live and where, she takes things one step further and plans when she’ll need to take the photos or videos for a particular day. This way she isn’t rushing to take a photo or video in order to prepare it for a future post.
As you begin to create your posts, start with images and videos that you already have. Again, start with the easy stuff! Then, figure out what images you’ll need in the future so you can schedule time to get all the shots at one time. I highly recommend hiring a professional photographer if at all possible.
If you absolutely cannot afford to hire a photographer, watch a few YouTube videos on how to take professional photos using your smartphone! There are so many amazing video tutorials out there-and it can save you some big bucks!
When it comes to video, consider the same options. If you can hire a videographer to come give you lots and lots of shots of your facility that you can use in various posts, awesome. If you can’t afford to hire a professional, seek to become one! Our team will be heading to an FEC soon to create a video for you on how to take your own FEC footage. Until then, there are lots of great videos on YouTube that will teach you how to take great video footage and how to edit videos as well.
Using PCS Marketing Automations to Create Beautiful Instagram Posts
PCS Marketing Automations incredible tool used to create (and schedule) visual images. From social media posts to YouTube videos, you can do it all in one place!
It's sort of like an easy version of Photoshop, but combined with many more options - such as instant resizing of images, a library of photos, elements, and templates, and options to save files and folders conveniently.
As you’re planning your business Instagram account, make PCS Marketing Automations your best friend!
Keep Your Vision & Branding Top of Mind
It’s important to always keep vision and branding in mind. Before you or a team member dives into creating Instagram posts using PCS Marketing Automations, be sure that you’ve determined branding standards for your business.
Brand Standard Examples
- Logo options
- Color palette
- Font options
- Filters or photo editing standards
Establishing brand standards will ensure that your Instagram business account looks professional and matches your website and brand. Once you’ve established brand standards, try your best not to diverge from that standard. If you do decide you’d like to make a change, consider performing an entire rebrand all at once. This will again ensure that your customers don’t miss a beat as you make changes.
Don’t Forget About Your Story
As you create Instagram visuals using Canva, don’t forget about the story that you’re trying to tell on your Instagram account. If your goal is to book more birthday parties and events, use visuals that will get your visitors excited about what you have to offer. Smiling faces, beautiful spaces, relatable decor, food, and fun, are all images that will never get old. Consider mixing your content with photos, videos, and text in a way that feels balanced but not overwhelming in any direction.
If you want to see what your post might look like before it’s posted, there are a few free apps on the Apple App Store that do just this. Preview: Planner for Instagram is one of those apps, however you could also use Canva for this task too! Pre-plan 9 posts at a time to ensure that those posts will all mesh and work well together and that the order of your posts also makes sense.
How to Schedule Your Instagram Posts
We’ve covered a lot and given you all the tools you need to create your posts. Now it’s time to talk about scheduling.
Historically, marketers weren’t able to pre-schedule Instagram posts. But when Instagram was acquired by Facebook, that changed. You can now pre-schedule Instagram posts using a variety of third-party scheduling tools like PCS Marketing Automations!
Click here to learn more.
How to Use Instagram to Grow Your FEC Party & Event Revenue
We’re thrilled to announce our newest resource written to help you to optimize your facility's presence on Instagram. In this guide, we highlight the three steps you need to take in order to get started:
- Set up your Instagram account
- Understand what to post & when
- Engage with your audience
We want to connect with you on social media so we can serve you best. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and we'll follow you back!
What would you like to learn more about? Comment below and let us know what you’d like to learn and what you thought about the resources in this article.