It is no secret that Instagram is my favorite social media tool.

It’s fun. It’s rad. It’s the bee's knees. But so many people I’ve talked to are so discouraged by it, which is a real bummer. I hope that this guide helps you improve your 'gram game and makes you like it a little more.

5 tips to a better instagram

5 tips to a better instagram

Give Your Bio Some Love: It takes mere seconds for someone to decide if they are going to follow you and having a lame bio is not doing you or your awesome brand any favors. Seriously, if you are a business, be it a winery, brewery, or you sell dreamcatchers out of the back of your van, make sure your bio does each of these things:

  • Tells your followers who you are, what your product or service is, and what you value. If you have any certifications or affiliate brands, share that info.
  • Has a CTA (Call To Action)
  • Click the link below to join our mailing list!
  • Tag us when you visit for a chance to be featured on our stories!
  • Call us to schedule your appointment
  • A link to your website
  • Example: We are a winery located in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA that specializes in cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We are a Certified Sustainable Winery @sipcertified Visit our website below to learn more about us!

Post for Your Ideal Client: As of June 2018, there were over 1 billion users on Instagram. That was one year ago, so you can bet your sweet bottom there are way more than that now. That is one crowded party if you ask me. So, instead of telling you to cater to everyone (because you can’t), I’m going to tell you to get real specific about who you are posting for.

  • Do this exercise with me right now: think of your ideal client. Think about their job, their hobbies, whether or not they have pets... heck, even give them a name.
  • Example: Tracy is a 37-year-old project manager from Laguna Niguel. She has a corgi named Potato who she takes with her everywhere. Her boyfriend of 3 years just proposed to her on a recent camping trip to big sur.
  • Here are some posts you could create that would appeal to Tracy:
  • She has a dog that she takes with her everywhere: if your business is dog friendly, show a photo of a dog in your tasting room/tap room and say something like, “Fido says, ‘Try the Milkbones, they’re exceptional.’”
  • She just got engaged: maybe she is looking for a wedding venue or the like. You could make a post highlighting your facility as an event space.
  • She likes camping: share some of your favorite hiking and camping areas that are near your business (and don’t forget to include your product in the photo!)
  • The big thing here is to focus on only the content that would provide value to your ideal client.

Post regularly: I get it, posting everyday is really hard. It also isn’t really necessary (queue shock and awe). As long as you are posting regularly, you are fine. If posting everyday lights you up, then you do you boo. But don’t post five days in a row and then disappear for two weeks. Your followers will be like “wtf?”

  • Find a posting schedule that makes sense for you and your life and stick to it! I find that posting every other day and sometimes not posting on weekends works best for me and my own sanity.
  • I would also HIGHLY recommend using a social media planning tool like PlannThat, Planoly, or Later and creating your posts at least a week or two in advance.
  • If you simply MUST post something in the moment, like a video of your dog trying to lick peanut butter off of his nose, then post that to your stories (and tag me in it, I love a good dog video).

Use Instagram Stories: If you aren’t using Instagram Stories yet, you are doing yourself and your brand a huge disservice. Instagram stories is an amazing way to stay in front of your followers and keep them updated on what’s going on in your life and your biz.

  • Here are some of my favorite ways to use Instagram Stories that are easy and fun.
  • Reposts: I personally don’t like reposting other people’s content on my main feed. Mostly because I like to curate my feed in a very specific way. I do, however, LOVE reposting other people’s content into my stories. It is a great way to direct people to content I admire but it can also be a really useful “testimonials” tool.
  • Behind-The-Scenes: I LOVE showing behind-the-scenes posts to my stories. People are craving connection and want to know who you are. Giving them a peek behind the curtain is a really easy and intimate way to share the process behind making their favorite products or showing them what a day in your life looks like.
  • Tutorials: I shared a tutorial on how to create a wine flatlay on my stories. Not only was it one of my most engaged stories, I’ve had clients ask me to create flatlays for them because of it. It was super easy to create because it was something I was doing anyways and all it required was me doing a quick video explaining what I was doing and why.
  • Ask Questions: Asking your followers questions is a really quick, easy, and FREE way to get valuable information about how to market to your ideal client. Not sure how your clients would respond to a new style of wine you want to make? ASK them how they would feel. Want to make a hibiscus beer or a mango beer but only have the capacity to make one? Ask your followers which one they’d be most interested in trying first!

Engagement: Okay, so this is THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP IN HERE. And that is because even if you are doing all of the above, your results will be erratic at best if you aren’t actively engaging with your followers. The whole point of social media is to be social, so if all you are doing is “posting and ghosting” (read: posting and then logging off of the app), you may get a few new followers but they will be highly unlikely to stick around unless they feel a connection with you. Instagram’s main goal is to keep its followers on the app as long as possible. They are going to prioritize the posts it thinks are going to engage users the most and thus keep them on the app the longest. Instagram sees when users are engaging with certain accounts a lot, either by frequently liking or commenting on their posts, sending and responding to DMs, clicking on question and poll stickers in stories, and watching stories all the way through (instead of swiping or closing out of stories). So, the more YOU engage with your followers and with potential followers the better. Here are ways to do that:

  • When someone comments on a post you’ve made or sends you a DM, respond. Yes, even if it is just your mom. If someone comments on your post and you comment back, it can open up a conversation with other potential commenters which will drive your engagement percentage upwards and Instagram will end up pushing your post higher up on your followers’ feeds.
  • Comment on other people’s posts. I’m talking about leaving more than just a couple of heart emojis. Ask that person a question about their post or simply say that you like that thing that they posted about too. The idea is to keep the conversation going. Chances are, these people will start following and interacting with you on your profile. Remember, these are real-life humans you are interacting with. An exercise I like to do when I’m leaving a comment on a post or responding to a comment on my posts is to imagine that the person I’m engaging with is standing right in front of me. I’m not just going to boop them on the nose and say “like!” (as hilarious as that would be), I am going to do my best to keep the conversation going; I’m going to ask them questions and respond to their questions. I’m going to… Be. Social.

Heather Daenitz is the founder and photographer of Craft & Cluster, a wine & beer photography and social media marketing company based in Santa Barbara County, California.

When she isn't photographing and assisting wineries and breweries with their social media, Heather can be found hanging out with her husband, two dogs, and three chickens in their backyard garden.