Kansas City is known for a few things… bar-b-que, football, baseball, more bar-b-que, soccer, some more bar-b-que, and maybe bar-b-que.

While bar-b-que may be the first thing that comes to mind, the Kansas City business scene is also a happening place! With more than 50K businesses in the KC Metro (according to a 2011 Kansas City Business Journal article), we have our fair share of startups, mom-and-pops, up-and-comers, and well-established businesses.

Some of our businesses have hit the social scene, some are dragging their feet to the party, and some are rocking it!

Let’s look at 4 local Kansas City businesses that are really hitting it out of the park on Instagram and find out how they’re doing it.

Ready for some bar-b-que? Wait. We mean, ready to find out how to rock your company’s Instagram account? Let’s get started!

Posting Tips 101

When you look at brands that use Instagram, they typically post photos and videos that easily fall into four categories:

Instagram Product Pics

Products – With the increase in mobile use, people are doing more of their shopping on their phones or tablets. Brands that display their products in attractive ways allow customers to have a clear picture of their products. Companies also show their products in various settings. These settings are intentionally picked to show off the product and sometimes to give consumers new ideas on how or when to use the product.

Location – Whether your location is brick-and-mortar, or you work from a coffee shop, customers are curious about what your day-to-day scene looks like. Brands that post photos of the inside of their location(s), outside their location(s), and the surrounding area, can connect to their community and help clients feel a sense of identity with the company. These posts help to create a sense of familiarity.

Instagram Location Pics
Instagram People

People who make it happen – Another thing customers are curious about is who makes you (and your brand), you? Who filled their order? Who answers the phone? Who picked and packed their box? Brands will post photos of their people – behind the scenes, making their product, doing the work, enjoying the company and what they do as part of making it all happen. You might see these people when you set foot on-location or maybe they don’t interact with the public at all. Posts like this bring the brand to life and make it more personal.

Instagram Customer Spotlight

Customer spotlights – Businesses that are really successful on Instagram and other social media have loyal fans who post without being prompted. These fans post when they go to your location, when they use your product, when you do something special for your customers. When you have a fan base that begins to advertise for you, you know you’ve truly created something special.

In addition to these four posting tips, some brands have their own unique ways of using Instagram.

Here are a few Kansas City businesses that put a special twist on their Instagram posts:

American Jazz Museum

See Their Instagram

The American Jazz Museum hosts thousands of visitors and dozens of events every year to promote and celebrate the unique American art form of jazz music. While they post their own photos of their location, the art in the museum, and visitors, they’ve also created a natural space for their guests to do the posting for them.

The American Jazz Museum invites people to take pictures onsite by having a Hollywood-style American Jazz Museum backdrop to take pictures against, including instruments as props. Visitors have fun taking their pics then naturally post them on Instagram.

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The American Jazz Museum also promotes events where they partner with the community. Because of the types of events they sponsor, it’s easy for their partners to create and post videos on the museum’s Instagram feed.

In addition to seriously delicious posts that keep Joe’s Kansas City top of mind when it comes to lunch, they also have humorous posts letting you know what they’re not about:

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The Roasterie

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As one would expect, The Roasterie has numerous attractive photos of their products in appealing settings. They also have photos of people working behind the scenes and customers enjoying their products.

However, they take it to the next level by posting images that peg the “awwwwwww!” meter.

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Whether it’s a beautiful dog licking his lips behind a Roasterie iced latte or a cute corgi eating a Roasterie ice cream, who won’t remember that pic the next time they need a cool treat?

The Roasterie also makes hometown connections by creatively using photos of Kansas City and local artwork to promote and advertise.

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A post shared by The Roasterie (@theroasterie) on

These images are attractive to those who don’t live in the area, but for those in Kansas City, this is another way The Roasterie connects to their customers and reminds us they’re a local company.

Kansas City Zoo

See Their Instagram

With cute, baby animals being all the rage on the internet, the Kansas City Zoo has an edge on marketing. Obviously, they’re posting photos of the animals, videos of the animals, and photos of people enjoying the zoo.

A couple of unique angles they take to draw in animal lovers even further include asking people to vote on new baby animal names and showing behind the scenes work:

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These types of posts invite guests (think: your clients!) to participate in something significant to the zoo, keep them interested, and draw them back to the zoo’s Instagram feed, or website, to find out the results of the contest or simply what’s new at the zoo.

The Takeaways

There are 4 basic tips on getting your Instagram game up and running. Post about your:

  1. Products – in attractive ways and a variety of settings.
  2. Location – what does it look like inside, outside, and as part of the surrounding community?
  3. People – post videos showing people packing products, answering the phone, doing the day-to-day, having fun.
  4. Customers – show what they’re doing at your location or with your products. Delight them, and they’ll do the posting for you.

If you want to have a true following on Instagram, take these tips and put your own special twist on them. Use animals, invite people to name something, make your product so enticing they can’t help but want it for themselves.

Bonus Tip: Find What Works for You

The final tip is: find an angle that’s unique to your brand, or that especially appeals to your customers, and use it.

If you find your clients repost any image with a puppy in it, get an office dog and make him or her your mascot! If they devour videos about your recipes, post a new video every week. If they love pictures of your staff at play, have a game break every Friday afternoon at 3:00 and post about it!

Ava Roll Over

These types of posts will keep your thinking fresh and make your Instagram account stand out from all the other brands similar to yours.

Need Help?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or just need a few ideas, Strategy is here to help! Contact us today, and we’ll get Ava (and our marketing team) on it right away!