Social media gives you the ability to go to where your potential clients are, grab their attention and then make them aware of your store or product. It also gives you leverage to compete against faceless e-commerce giants. It should be part of your eCommerce business plan an essential part of your marketing strategy if you are trying to grow your brand and gain new customers.
No two social media are the same; neither can they generate the same result for your marketing campaign. So, the way to go to reach a large number of interested audience easily and excitingly? Think Instagram!
Check out our list of actionable tips on various ways you can gain followers and spread your online brand using Instagram.
Build a Consistent Image Brand
People like consistency, which is why branding your images is vital — especially on Instagram. In most people’s minds, consistency equates to trust. And when people view your brand as trustworthy, they are more likely to purchase from you. You should create consistent visuals and have a colour scheme to work with (when necessary).
Consistent Visual Imagery
Consistent imagery is an integral part of creating trust and gaining followers. There are many ways to develop consistent visuals. For example, Nike’s Instagram Image Branding consists of a variety of colour overlays, filters, and even videos that they’ve posted. However, every photo is crisp, clean with a clear focus. And yet, looking at those six images alone, anyone could tell that this is Nike.
Use Beautiful and Inspirational Posts
Everyone loves taking a picture, but people love a good photo too. A good photo is not just about snapping a pic on your cellphone. The best photographs are considered art, and art evokes emotion. Instagram was built on the idea of sharing pictures, so your images are vital and something you need to nail down when it comes to creating them for brand awareness. Make your photos art by using inspirational quotes.
One of the most amazing things about Instagram is its ability of organic search. Though Instagram is a social media platform, it is also a search engine. But where Google uses keywords as part of its ranking, Instagram uses hashtags which can be used to be easily found in the search section of Instagram. Hashtags help your brand get found.
Not using hashtags makes everything you are doing a waste of time — to use them. One of the best places to use hashtags is in the description of the post. IG allows up to 30 hashtags in this section.
Think Outside the Instagram Box
Keep in mind that Instagram can connect to other social profiles like Facebook and Twitter, and you can post your images to these profiles all at the same time. Therefore, you can and should take your hashtag research off of just IG and look into what’s trending on Facebook and Twitter too and then post from IG to those profiles to expand your overall social media reach.
As with any marketing tactic you employ, you will want to know your Return on Investment (ROI). Even though you can reach 100% of your Instagram followers organically (for now), there is still an investment in your time that should be considered. And even if you determine that your time investment has been worth it, you still should be tracking: what posts resonate best, which posts get the most likes, comments, and re-posts, and how many followers you’re gaining or losing. Iconosquare makes it easy for you to do these. It gives you a ton of data that is pleasantly presented and easily digestible.
Do you think this sounds expensive? Wrong! If you don’t have time to take pictures worth posting, then consider hiring a photographer. And, yes, it is cheaper than you think. For $50 you can get 5 generic photos on Shutterstock, or hire a photographer on People Per Hour for the same price and get dozens of original images. This is a little price to pay to let your brand stand out.
Use and Test Filters
You have got your branding guide, hashtags you want to use, tools to help you keep track of your account, and some awesome photos. The next thing to do is post. But before you post that first picture, consider adding a filter. Studies have shown that even though a No-Filter post is most often used, the Filters that get more likes and overall engagement are as follows: Mayfair, Inkwell, Amaro, Walden, and Lo-Fi.
Post at the “Perfect” Time
Sincerely, there is no perfect time to post on Instagram. Every audience is a bit different, but that doesn’t mean you are left to guessing. So, start by posting to Instagram on Friday around 5 PM EST and see how that does. Test a few other times and days to measure how well those do and then cut out what’s not working and stick to what is.
Creativity in Highlighting Products
You could simply snap a picture, apply a good filter on it and post, but why not shake things up a bit? Dig deep and be creative when you want to highlight a product. Getting a massive number of likes may have had to do with timing, but the creativity applied to a picture can and will do a lot for it.
Influencer Outreach is just as vital for your blog as it is for gaining a follower on Instagram. There are a ton of influential people on Instagram, and many of them may be the last people you’d expect. There are quite a few accounts in various niches that have tens of thousands of followers, and they run kids. No matter the age of the people behind these accounts, these accounts hold power in your niche because they already have the followers you want. Get to work with them.
Give and Get
When it comes to Instagram, the idea of ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine’ is not lost on the platform. But how do you do this? Simple – by re-gramming. Believe it or not, re-gramming other people’s image content and cross-promoting with others while singing their praises is one of the best things you can do to grow your following and show that you are a reputable brand.
Go through the images and Like other people’s posts. Then, take it a step further and comment on the post. If you can be the first person to like and comment on a post, then be that person. Say something that is engaging enough to get them to be like ‘I don’t know this person… but they like what I’ve posted. I wonder who they are…*then taps to see your profile*’. This isn’t hard to get people to do on Instagram. People are highly and easily engaged on the platform, but you usually have to make the first move.
Run Contests and Giveaways
Contests and Giveaways can get you more followers in a single post than all your other posts throughout the month. Collaborate with a couple of influencers and some active followers, and you can skyrocket your giveaway’s success. In order for this to work, you need to put up something that your audience would want to win.
Use Your Bio-Link
Lastly, make sure you add your store’s link in your Bio area. You won’t be able to sell much if people can’t actually find a way to your store to buy your stuff so don’t forget to add it — it’s super important!
Currently, one of the only clickable URLs that you can put on Instagram is in your Bio-Link. However, your Bio-Link is not something set in stone so you can always change it to support your latest marketing endeavour.
So, you see, you too can be king using Instagram? Start applying these tips in no particular order, and you just will be bringing your brand to the limelight.