Social Media for coffee businesses: How to grow your audience on Instagram

Honestly, are you using Instagram for your cafe, coffee shop or roastery because you think you have to be on there...?

Do you actually know if your customer base is active on Instagram?

What kinds of people are following you on the photo and video driven platform?

 Social Media for coffee businesses: How to grow your audience on Instagram

Before diving into my tips on how to grow your audience on Instagram, make the check with the people already following you and see if these match the customer base of your coffee business.

Some Demographics to find your audience on Instagram

To help you identify your audience, here are some insights on who is using Instagram:

Important to know for you is that almost 59% of all the people using Instagram are between 18 and 29 years old. Only about 33% are between 30 and 49 years old.

Also, more women (38%) tend to use this social network compared to men (28%) of all the online women and men.

Think about this, when having a look at your customer base!

If the men and women heading to your cafe every day are in their 30ies or 40ies or even older, maybe another platform, e.g. Facebook, works better for promoting your coffee brand and your products and/or reaching your goals for social media.

Check this and this podcast episode to find out what works for your coffee business.

Find the goals to reach your audience on Instagram

Instagram is a great tool to increase awareness for your coffee brand.

The photos, videos and now stories can help you introduce your coffee business as well as your products to your followers.

That means - after you’ve found out that Instagram is the right social network for your online coffee community -, find 1 or 2 goals (not more, if you’re just starting out) to reach, when wanting to grow your audience.

Let’s say, you’ve just opened your cafe or started selling your products, then Instagram might be a great tool to show your business, what it’s all about, the people behind and everything.

Meaning, raising awareness for your coffee business and getting followers for your Instagram account is the goal to be working on.

Focus on exactly that with your posts, your photos, videos, your stories or even Instagram Live.

Grow your audience based on your goal

What can you do now to work on that goal, raising awareness for your cafe.

Here are my tips:

1. People are buying from people

You might have heard about that before. But still not enough actually know how to implement this within their coffee businesses.

We all tend to have more trust in businesses that are reliable to us. Especially when you’re just starting out, try to show you, the people behind your cafe (owner, staff, barista), as much as possible.

Help them make a connection with your coffee brand through the people behind it.

Here’s how:

Post high quality photos and videos with ‘behind the scenes’ information.

Maybe even stuff that is not on your website. And especially stuff that is not seen or told at your cafe, when entering!

Surprise your followers with some interesting or fun facts about you.

Also, show yourself! Take photos, preferably no Selfies, of you and your staff.

Introduce your baristas to your audience!

What they do within your coffee business as well as some info about their favorite coffee drink and maybe even some little snippets about their personal background if they’re open for this!

Before starting to share images of your Latte Art skills and photos about your products, e.g. your coffee packages, help your followers to make the connection with your brand.

Help your followers build trust to the people behind your cafe!

2. Use captions and hashtags

Make sure to use some fun captions for your photos and videos to engage with your followers as well as hashtags that fit to your coffee business, your audience as well as the photo/video you’re posting.

There’s not THE to go to number of hashtags. It’s a lot of trial and error. Try what works for your cafe here! Start with only a handful, up to 10-15 hashtags.

Make sure to invent one certain hashtag for your own cafe, too!

This makes it easier to being found as well as for later usage when doing re-grams.

Meaning, asking your followers to either re-gram your posts (for a competition maybe) or re-gram photos of your followers (because they were just visiting your cafe) for example.

You want to be seen and found by potential followers, right? So, definitely use hashtags, too!

3. Engage with your followers

You’re not quite convinced how this can grow your follower base on Instagram just, yet?

Well, this is only half of the stuff to do, when wanting to grow your audience on Instagram...

And, I cannot stretch that enough...

If you want to make Instagram work for your coffee business, it’s not just done by posting high quality photos and videos!

It’s some daily effort put into engaging with your followers, too!

That means, don’t just engage with your own followers, but go over to other pages of other cafes, coffee shops or roasting businesses and show yourself (= your cafe) there.

Comment on the posts, but not just some random stuff, but try to actually think about a good reply to the photo/video or caption that coffee business is posting.

Find out about some influencers that fit to your audience.

If you’ve already been able to grow some followers, check your Instagram insights for information about your audience.

Why influencers?

Well, the Instagram algorithm is ranking successful accounts (with a lot of follower engagement) much higher than smaller accounts.

So, look for successful Instagrammers that have a lot of engagement with their followers and start engaging with the account owners and/or other followers there.


As for all the engagement you’re doing on your account or on other people’s accounts, people will recognize your coffee business and will be more likely to follow you, too, if you show up to them.

This only works, though, if you’re providing great content and are posting frequently and consistently.

So, make sure, you’re posting about once a day on Instagram. Set some time aside to do that per day. 

And, most of all, don't get frustrated, when your effort is not working right away. Growing an audience on Instagram takes as while. Be patient! ;-)

What's your strategy to grow your followers on Instagram? What works for you? Share with us in the comments below!