Instagram, the once simple photo sharing app, has now become a key sales channel for retailers. Did you know that Instagram actually boasts 15 times more engagement than Facebook, Twitter or Google+?
If the idea of using Instagram to promote your products and grow your business appeals to you, then here are a few simple tips to get you started.
First, when getting started with Instagram begin by building and establishing a community. In order to promote your business and products, you first need followers! So how to you go building your Instagram following?
- Promote. Let your customers know that you are on Instagram by placing signs in your store (if you have a retail location) and by sharing the news with your online community. If you are on Facebook for example, share the news with your Fans that they can also connect with you on Instagram.
- Use Hashtags. A #hashtag is a way to group ideas, concepts or conversations. They make it easy for people to find others who are posting about topics they’re interested in. The key is to use hashtags that not only describe your photos and business, but are also actively searched for and used on Instagram.
- Engage With Competitors’ Followers. Now this does not give you a free pass to spam or shamelessly self-promote your products or business to their followers. Do that and you’ll chase them away! However, DO look at who your competitors’ followers are, follow those that might be a good fit for your products and or services, and then begin to SINCERELY engage by liking and commenting on their pictures. Show genuine interest in others and they will be more compelled to get to know you.
Next, it’s time to convert followers into Customers.
- Engage, engage, engage! True success with social media comes when you actually behave in a social manner. If someone asks you a question, reply back. If someone comments on your picture, reply back. Follow some of your followers back and then engage with them by commenting and liking their photos.
- Emphasize Scarcity. When a product has a limited quantity and customers know it, you often see more demand. For example, if you are a boutique and you have five unique handbags that have just arrived in your shop share not only a picture of the product, but also the number available. Scarcity often converts followers into customers.
- Spotlight New Products. Each time a new product arrives or your business offers a new service, share that with your followers. Be sure to include a great description and appropriate hashtags with your photos.
Final Tip: Look to other companies for inspiration. Always study those who are more successful than you and pay attention to what they do.
What are they doing that you like or don’t like? Do they use specific photo filters that you find appealing? Do they write short, long, detailed, or brief descriptions? Do they use hashtags? What types of photos seem to generate the most engagement?
So if you’ve thought about using Instagram for business, hopefully you are now armed with enough information to get you started. Keep it simple, post a few pictures a week, and have fun!