Much like all human beings, I am multifaceted and can be characterized by numerous things. I’m a writer, a vegan, and a millennial, to name a few. Combining these three things means I’m on social media, particularly Instagram, a lot. I follow other vegans and vegan businesses (publications, restaurants, etc.) and, for the most part, love seeing their content.
Some veg-friendly businesses, however…well, their social media presence tends to pain me!
I want all vegan businesses to thrive, but unfortunately, they don’t all know how to harness their social media as a tool for success. So here are some simple but effective tips for social media.
Use the Right Hashtags
Say you just opened up a vegan restaurant. Are you using the correct hashtags? Are you using hashtags at all? This is especially important on Instagram (you are on Instagram, right?), as hashtags are how you expose yourself to new customers.
There are, of course, the obvious hashtags: #vegan, #veganfoodshare (if you’re product involves food), and #vegansofig are some big ones. Unfortunately, those are often over-saturated. But have you considered honing down to find your local community? Chances are there is a #vegansoflocation or #locationvegan for your state or city. For example, #vegansofny contains posts from – you guessed it! – vegans of New York.
By using these hashtags, you’re targeting a specific community that is most likely to come to you, whether you own a vegan restaurant or a salon that exclusively uses vegan products. These tags allow others to learn about and connect with your business – and possibly turn them into clients/customers!
Follow Local “Influencers”
While using the aforementioned hashtags, find out who has a following in your community. Follow them. Vegans are always on the hunt for new vegan food spots, new vegan products, new vegan everything, and what better place for them to find them than in their own backyard?
Unfortunately, they may not know you exist unless you follow them! Choose who you follow wisely. Are they likely to come to your business for their needs? Will they tell their followers about the experience? If the answer is “yes,” they’re probably worth a follow!
And another tip: don’t unfollow them shortly after they follow you back! It’s a bit tacky – and they just might notice it, which will leave a bad taste in their mouth when they think of your business. But also don’t unfollow them if they don’t return the follow right away: follow the next social media tip to stay on the radar!
Engage With Your Followers
After you’ve started using the right tags and following the right people (and hopefully getting followers in the process!), don’t forget to engage! Did someone tag your business in a photo? Like it, comment on it, share it with your audience. Did someone respond to your post? Reply to them!
Communicate with them: answer their questions, thank them, speak to them on a personal level. Respond directly to what they say instead of using a copied and pasted reply you want to use for everyone. By engaging meaningfully with them, you make yourself stand out.
Social media is just that: a form of media used to socialize. And socializing can be a great form of marketing. The more you “socialize” and engage, the more likely they are to come back to you for what you provide. People like being recognized by brands, especially if it’s a brand they like. So don’t be afraid to engage – just don’t be spammy about it.
Post High Quality Photos of Your Product
This one should go without saying, but it’s important. Whether you’re a restaurant, clothing company, or makeup brand, people want to see what you have to offer.
It’s easy to describe the vegan dishes your restaurant makes, but sight is just as important as smell and taste! Your website might indicate the style of shirt you sell, but won’t we want to see how it looks on someone? You can say you make the brightest red vegan lipstick around, but if we don’t see how it looks first, will anyone want to risk it?
Don’t be afraid to get personal with your followers! Customers like brands with a personal touch, so introduce yourself. Your bio is a great place to start, but there’s not enough characters. Tell the story of your brand via your posts. How did your business start? What was the inspiration? What are your hopes, your goals?
Take us behind the scenes: what goes into creating your product(s)? Where does it happen? Who are the brains and brauns behind the operation? Why did you start your business in the first place? Your followers want to know these things – it makes them feel more connected to you, especially if you are a new and growing business.
Some Quick Bonus Tips
The following are quick tips to optimize your social media game:
- Be active: you don’t have to create and post new content multiple times a day (or even every day), but you do want to post regularly. Otherwise, people will wonder if you’re still in business!
- Proofread, proofread, proofread: maybe writing isn’t your forte, but bad grammar and/or spelling can make you look unprofessional. Don’t post anything without reading it again to make sure there are no errors. If you’re worried about your content, hire a professional!
- Let your followers know where to find and contact you: if you have a physical location you want people to visit, make it easy for people to find you! Instagram lets you post your location, which can be opened in Google Maps from your profile. You should also make your hours easy-to-find, whether it’s right in your bio, in a pinned tweet, or in an Instagram story.
- Switch to a business profile: having a business profile makes contacting you simple: it gives them the options to call you or email you (or both!) without having to open up a new tab or copy and paste.
Social media can seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be! It’s one of the best ways to bring awareness to your brand.
How are you using social media to gain new customers or clients?
Psst…are you a vegan brand/business? Are you in need of a writer who can capture your brand’s voice and create content sure to resonate with your audience? If you answered “yes,” let’s talk! I’ll help you reach your ideal audience through the power of words.