Long gone are the days when Instagram was just an app for sharing fire photos with cool captions for our fans, family, and frenemies. The platform has since grown into a powerful tool for connection and engagement, especially for businesses and brands.
Instagram now makes it possible to sell your products to tons of people from the comfort of your home.
In 2019, Facebook surveyed thousands of users in a bid to determine how they respond to and interact with content on Instagram.
Facebook survey report. Source: Pinterest
- 83% of users say they discover new brands, products, and services through Instagram
- 81% say they research products or services on the platform
- 80% will decide whether to buy a product or service with Instagram
The results are unbelievably positive for the online marketplace. It might appear easy; buy a ton of cool stuff and take pictures of them, upload them online and become a millionaire. The potentials are endless really but it can get overwhelming especially with Instagram constantly changing.
I’ll be sharing some tips and hacks I’ve learned along the way that’s helped me at social media strategy for small businesses.
SET YOUR GOALS
What do you want to achieve with your online presence?
? Increasing traffic to your E-commerce website
?Connecting with ideal clients and generating revenue online
?Driving more sales to your offline shop
?Connecting with other businesses and creating a community
Once this is defined clearly, it guides you in coming up with a social media strategy that suits your business need.
SWITCH TO A BUSINESS ACCOUNT
If your brand page is a personal account then you’re snoozing. With a business account, you can track your statistics, create ads and have access to other metrics.
Gaining new potential customers boils down to how good a first impression your profile makes. Most times, people can automatically tell if your brand is one they can connect with or not at first glance. This is your brand identity, and it goes down to;
Your username should be easy to pronounce, easy to remember and it should say exactly who you are or what you offer. The more professional it comes across as, the better. Avoid using numbers (except it’s a part of the brand) it may come across as spam.
A Catchy Bio
Be as concise as possible, you don’t have to appeal to everyone. Think about your target audience and the words they’ll search for. Add emojis if you can, throw in a cool catchy/witty phrase. It gives you a chance to give your business a personality.
who you are + what you offer + personality + call to action
Your profile photo goes a long way in determining if people will click on your profile. As a big brand, it solidifies brand awareness to have your company logo up. As a creative, a crisp shot that shows a clear sense of what you do will interest your target crowd.
A Direct Link In Your Bio
Underneath your bio, you can insert a link to drive traffic to. To avoid changing your bio link multiple times try using Linktree. With this website, you can create an aesthetically pleasing platform with multiple links so now you can have all your accounts tied to one link.
HOW TO SELL
According to AdEspresso, there are several types of Instagram images that are performing well on Instagram, and the trend is likely to extend into 2020. These 9 types of images are:
- User-generated content
- Behind the scenes photos
- DIY and how-to content
- Artfully composed images
- Influencer images
- Motivational pictures and quotes
- Contest and giveaway promotions
- Seasonal or on-trend images
At the end of the day, people are looking to go beyond just buying on Instagram. They’re on there to make connections or feed a hunger. Each post you put out affects your customer base.
It’s important to have a consistent brand tone in your captions and it needs to feel genuine and natural. Do you use smileys, slangs? Remember the most important lines are the first 2 lines so make sure it is attention-grabbing. Boring, conventional captions just don’t work anymore.
The most effective way of selling is to tell engaging stories about your products and yourself. Is your caption adding value to your client? product information? price? Your captions must always have a call to action.
The importance of having aesthetically pleasing photos of your products cannot be emphasized. We all love pretty things, make your products look nice. I once bought a pack of flavored tea because the pack looked like the smell would fill up a room, it didn’t even fill up the cup. Your photos need to draw people in and make your client look forward to patronizing the brand. Flatlay images or lifestyle photos are the most effective and with an app like Pinterest, there’s tons of inspiration available for you.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF INSTAGRAM FEATURES
This is a great place to share BTS of your product shots, flash sales, products and many more. You can also have them saved in your highlights so they remain for longer than 24 hours. There are several free apps that you can use to make catchy fun stories e.g MOJO, CANVA, UNFOLD, etc. Remember the extra mile is what makes all the difference.
This new feature by Instagram might soon rival youtube. This is a great space to share information about your products, post tutorials, and other videos that can be as long as an hour.
When posting, Instagram allows you to post multiple pictures on a slide. You can use this feature to show different angles of a product or several similar products at once.
Just like Facebook, you can promote your IG posts to have a greater reach. The beautiful part is it allows you to select your target audience to maximize the ROI.
Seek Out Your Ideal Clients
It is essential to know who your ideal clients are and to connect with them. Playing the common “Follow for follow” game with everybody isn’t adding value to your account nor earning you profit. However, by intentionally seeking out interested customers you’re likely to have better results.
Search for similar businesses as yours, hashtags, etc and follow and engage the accounts that engage with that content. That is your target market.
Some people believe that using immensely popular hashtags will help to grow your business but it actually doesn’t. Your content gets lost in that endless pool of content. Use moderately popular hashtags; large enough for you to know they’re being searched for frequently, small enough for your content to stand out.
At the end of the day, it is important to remember that the dynamics of social media is constantly changing and your brand must be able to keep up with trends. It’s simply wouldn’t suffice to just increase your number of followers; are they of any value to you?