How to Create Instagram Engagement for Your FEC

Curious about how to create Instagram engagement for your FEC? Check out this post for more.

We’ve explored how to set up your company Instagram account as well as what, when, and how to post on the gram. Now it’s time to talk about how to create Instagram engagement for your family entertainment center.

Remember that phrase, “build it and they will come?” Well, I’m sorry to say that this strategy doesn’t work well with Instagram. While you will get some organic growth, true Instagram growth comes from engagement. And I’m not talking about a double tap here or there, I’m talking about true relationship-building engagement.

How to Create Instagram Engagement for Your Family Entertainment Center

This part of the Instagram equation just might be the most challenging, but once you create a process and get the hang of the routine, it’s just one more thing that is exciting about working with social media.

1. Build a Process

Building an engagement process is the first step to success when aiming to grow your Instagram account.

Why would you want to have a process in the first place? Well, to keep you on track of course! Building a fan base on Instagram can be extremely frustrating if you don’t have eyes in the right places--meaning, you don’t have good data, tracking, or metrics.

Start with an Engagement Goal

As you build your process, begin by setting goals for yourself or the team member responsible for building relationships on Instagram.

Goal Examples:

  • # of customers to follow each day/week
  • # of other small businesses to follow each day/week
  • # of other accounts to follow each day/week
  • # of likes to make each day/week
  • # of comments to make each day/week
  • # of followers received

Setting goals like those above will help you to create a repeatable process each day of the week. As you get into a routine, it’ll become easier and easier. Keep a close eye on your insights daily to take note of what’s working and what’s not.

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Whom to Follow & Where to Find Them: Discovery Strategies

You might be wondering whom to follow and how you’ll find them. Fortunately, you have some great places to start already!

Your Customer Database

The first place to look is in your customer database. A simple customer export into Excel will give your marketing leads everything they need to start searching. If applicable or required, including the language of how your customer’s data will be used in your digital waivers so you don’t run into any issues later. 

Let the Customer Lead

If you don’t feel comfortable searching for your customers using the information in your online booking software, you might prefer a softer approach. Allow your customers to raise a hand by having them tag you on Instagram. For this method, you’ll need to be extremely proactive and include all staff members. 

Use Signage to Promote Your Instagram Handle

First, start with signage. You’ll want to make sure your Instagram handle is everywhere and impossible to miss. Stick it on your front door, all over your facility, and in the bathroom! You might even consider giving a small sticker with your Instagram handle on it just to ensure your guests really get it.

Don’t forget to take advantage of Canva as a tool to help with your signage!

Create Incentives to Post & Tag

Posting your handling everywhere will get some folks to follow you and possibly tag you, but nothing motivates guests quite like a good incentive!

Consider including a variety of “Instagrammable” moments throughout your facility. Some of these areas might be tied to competition and other areas are just for fun. 

If you offer a mini golf course, you might consider a “hole-in-one” contest where guests are challenged to catch a hole-in-one on video. This is a good way to get customers to engage with your Instagram profile, tagging you, and allowing you an opportunity to engage in return!

2. Growing Engagement

After you’ve put your Instagram engagement process in place, it’s time to get to work on growing engagement.

If you have great signage in place, you’ll be tagged in photos and Stories by customers. Do not miss these opportunities! Screenshot images or screen record videos immediately so you have them for later use or reuse. In the moment, re-share posts and Stories to your Stories! If it’s a post, be sure to like it and make a comment. If it’s a Story, take a screenshot or use the re-share button (if available).

Follow, Like, Comment, and Share

Following accounts, liking posts, commenting, and sharing posts are all going to be part of your growth strategy.

Who to Follow

We addressed the following customers that have visited your facility, but what about those that don’t know about your facility yet?

There are many strategies to find followers. Here are a few ideas:

  • Follow anyone that follows you (within reason)
  • Follow other businesses in your area
  • Follow mom bloggers, schools, camps, and homeschool moms and groups
    • To find these types of folks, search Instagram’s hashtag database. Hashtags like #homeschoolmom #homeschoolgroup #homeschooler #momblogger #mommyblogger #influencer and location-based hashtags like #austininfluencer will also help you narrow it down by location.

When to Like

Liking posts is an important part of active engagement on Instagram. If you choose to follow someone, immediately choose a few photos to like. This will show the other person that you aren’t just interested in a follow-back, but took the time to support them.

As you spend time on Instagram each day, start your time off by liking photos on your feed. Next, watch some Stories and send reactions that fit. Again, this is about showing users that you are interested in interacting with them. 

When to Comment

Commenting on posts goes even further than liking in the Instagram world. An Instagram comment can literally make a person’s day! So don’t hold back, comment away! A simple thumbs-up or hands-in-the-air emoji can go a long way. 

When to Share

Sharing posts and Stories is another opportunity for quality engagement. You should automatically share any posts or Stories that were taken inside or in front of your facility. 

You might also consider sharing inspirational content or stories, food-related content, attraction-related content, or something else that your audience might find appealing. Just be sure it fits with your messaging and brand. 

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Managing Your Instagram Inbox

It might be tempting to ignore your inbox: but don’t do it! Your inbox is a huge opportunity to create a positive experience for your guests. Potential guests might reach out to you with questions, or they might have suggestions. 

Whatever the messages are, monitor them. Delete any spam, and create a process for how to handle requests made via Instagram with your team. 

Using Apps to Manage Your Instagram Audience

There are a number of apps out there that are specifically designed to manage your Instagram audience. These apps track who follows and unfollows you, tell you who is most engaged and who is least engaged, and more. Some of these apps are free and have tons of ads, and some charge small to medium fees. 

As you work to grow your business Instagram, you’ll want to assess if this is an area that you’d like to place emphasis on. If you’re in the midst of a growth campaign where you’ve decided to follow customers who have visited your facility, you might want to track this information using an app so you can monitor what happens.

Buying Likes & Followers

Considering purchasing likes and followers? I understand the temptation! And while it seems intriguing, purchasing likes and followers might show an initial boost in engagement, but it is likely not the type of engagement that you’re looking for. The likes and followers that you’ll receive from sites like these are from folks all over the world. If you’re a single-location facility or have a small footprint, these followers will likely not turn into visitors for your business.

Save what you’d spend on purchasing followers and use it to create ads for a custom audience instead!

Using Instagram to Capture a Local Audience

Since Instagram is now a product of Facebook, you also have the ability to create location-based ads on Instagram.

A birthday party ad is a perfect way to lead potential customers to your profile. Depending on the image and text, you might get click-throughs to your website, or you might get comments, likes, or shares. 

Consider running ads that are intended to achieve each of these things separately, as it’s often difficult to do all at once. Click-throughs lead to bookings, comments lead to positive engagement, likes lead to interest, and shares lead to others finding out about you!

Get Creative!

There is so much incredible content out there on how to create Instagram engagement. Bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers, and tech companies have already published loads of information that’s right here at our fingertips. But I don’t have to tell you that because you’re reading this right now!

Follow the best practices that others have already tried, and be creative in your approach. Talk to your staff, your kids, and your neighbors about Instagram and the best ways to engage. When we all work together, many good things will come!


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:

  1. Set up your Instagram account
  2. Understand what to post & when
  3. Engage with your audience
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How to Use Instagram
To Grow Your FEC Party & Event Revenue

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