Instagram is not only a fast-growing social media site, but it’s also a great way for businesses to engage with customers and increase sales. To do this, however, you need a solid strategy that’s tailored to your audience. Let’s look at some of the best ways to use your Instagram account to get more leads and sales for your business.
Optimize Your Profile
One of the limitations of organic content on Instagram is that you can’t insert clickable links. That’s why it’s so crucial to make your profile as informative and appealing as possible. Summarize the theme of your store and include a link to it. Remember that your Instagram profile can be changed whenever you want. This is useful when you’re running special promotions, such as for the holidays. Your profile might say, for example, “Holiday Sale, 15% off on all jewelry!” Of course, you have to remember to change it when the promotion ends. It’s often helpful to promote a specific, timely product in your profile URL rather than using the same general link to your store all the time.
Use Interesting and High-Quality Images
Since Instagram is a visual social media site, it makes sense that your success starts with the quality of your images. Many brands, however, don’t pay sufficient attention to this. If you simply post generic images
- Photos of scenic locations always attract attention. You might also showcase people using your products in interesting or humorous ways. You can use tools such as Canva to make your images more professional and noteworthy.
- Use catchy, witty, or interesting text. The words you add to images also makes a difference. Don’t just list product features. Say something to connect with your audience. Quotes are always popular as well.
- Experiment with different fonts and color schemes. It’s also helpful to use consistent branding so that your followers can easily recognize your content.
- Filters are another way to brand your images and make them more distinctive. Get creative and identify the Instagram filters that bring out the best in your images
- Use original photos. While you can get quality
images frommany online sites, it’s always better to use original photography. You can actually hire photographers for a surprisingly reasonable sum on sites such as GigSalad, PhotoSesh, and others. As a last resort, it’s better for you or your staff to take your own pictures than to use generic ones. While you naturally want to get the best picturesyou can, originality is more appealing than perfection.
Create Instagram Stories
Although Snapchat invented the Stories feature, Instagram has overtaken its competitor, both in terms of overall users and for Stories. Instagram Stories now has 400 million daily users. Stories are featured at the top of users’ timelines, making them more visible than regular posts. These are some compelling reasons to use Stories in your marketing.
Keep in mind that the name of this feature isn’t Ads but Stories. While you can promote your Stories, the general idea is to present interesting and entertaining content that your followers will enjoy. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate your uniqueness and authenticity. Even though your goal is to sell products, you need to do so in a way that’s engaging. If you’re showcasing a piece of clothing or jewelry, for example, do so in a distinctive environment or while doing something funny or eye-catching. Since this is ephemeral
As with Twitter, hashtags are very powerful on Instagram. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post. In practice, you probably don’t want to use that many as it can appear spammy, especially if you start using popular terms that have no relevance to your products. However, don’t be afraid to sprinkle in hashtags that are related to your products and business.
You can use hashtags related to current happenings as long as you tie them to your business in some way. For example, hashtags related to holidays or major sporting events are always popular. If you’re already leveraging trends and current events for your marketing in general (which is always a good idea), you may as well amplify it with hashtags.
Partner With Influencers
Influencers who are popular with your audience can enhance the status of your brand. Identify people who your customers admire and look for ways to partner with them. You can search for influencers on YouTube, Twitter, or on Instagram itself. It’s often best to target micro influencers who aren’t super famous (and who will charge a hefty fee to work with) but who are known to your niche audience.
You can use various influencer platforms to find and connect with people who are open to partnerships. You can also do your own research and reach out to people yourself. One effective technique is to let an influencer take over your Instagram channel for a day or a few hours. This gives you exposure to their audience and helps you gain more followers and can lead to sales as well.
Get Your Followers Involved
At its best, social media is two-way communication between channel owners and followers. When your followers contribute their own content and reply to your posts, you have an engaged audience and one that’s more likely to spend money with you. The value of user-generated content is quite tangible. More interaction leads to familiarity and trust. Here are a few ways to get your followers more active.
- Ask people to engage. Simply inviting your followers to post their own photos and comments will encourage more participation. Don’t just ask for content in general. Come Lip with specific requests related to holidays, particular promotions, or themes (e.g. pets, vacations, kids, sports, etc.). Ask for opinions on topics related to your products. It’s also fine to ask about their weekend plans or anything that’s topical.
- Always reply. When people post content or comment on your photos, always reply. Even if you only say “Thanks!” it makes people feel appreciated. It’s even better to say something a little more involved.
- Hold contests. Instagram contests are a fun and powerful tool to build your following. Giving away your products is also an indirect way to promote them (TV game shows have long used this trick). Contests where your followers submit photos gives your page more shareable content. Make sure you instruct contest entrants to use hashtags, which will help you reach a wider audience.
These are some ways to build your brand on Instagram and get more sales. It’s important to always test your results. When you run an influencer campaign, contest, or feature a certain type of Instagram Story, you always need to track the metrics and make sure you’re getting a decent ROI. Instagram is a powerful visual platform that can help you build your e-commerce business. You only need to discover how to engage your followers with content that makes your brand and products stand out in a memorable way.