Being well aware of the fact that 300 million people exist on only one social platform isn’t enough. Instagram is taking the lead in customer retention and engagement so listen carefully when I say – if eCommerce and social media aren’t married already, they soon will be so here are a few ways, like in good ol’ times, of taking the advantage of the marriage.
While many marketers still underestimate the power of Instagram, others are just not sure how to use it properly. And honestly, there is no ‘‘properly’’ when it comes to Instagram. Your business is special, your company is different, you are unique and that’s exactly how your Instagram is supposed to look like. Like with any other communication channel, there are some basic rules, but when it comes to posting pictures, individual quality talks. And it talks louder and more than ever.
So, what am I trying to say?
There is a value which can be found in Instagram, learn it.
If you ever doubted how Instagram influences the buying decision, you will be happy to know that it most surely does. Just ask Nordstrom. Yes, customers still have to get over some bumps to buy the products from their Instagram feeds but Curalate’s Like2Buy seems to work rather nicely.
Here’s the trick: it’s a connection between company’s Instagram profile and the online shop you have. How do you do it? Glad you asked. You see, Instagram doesn’t allow you to put the ad right into the picture. The only place where you can navigate your customers to another page is in your bio. That’s why Like2Buy leads your followers to a whole other gallery with your featured products which, when clicked, can be added into the shopping cart. Why? Because they are on your webshop. Basically, Instagram page – bio with a link to Like2Buy – featured products gallery (which even allows you to save products for later purchase) – your web shop with buying options.
How does that sound? Pretty slick, huh?
Following the Nordstrom example and cashing in on a few basic tips, here’s how you can capitalize on connecting Instagram with Like2Buy or any similar apps (and there are and will be even more!).
Make sure that you’re responding to customers who are already sharing.
If you’re shipping your products, you should know that your customers are anticipating them. They are looking forward to a new set of picture frames or a gadget you’re supposed to send. And what better way to show their excitement once it arrives than to share it with the community of their followers? People, especially Millennials, love Instagram because it makes them feel famous – you have a base of followers, people who literally, like what you do on daily basis. If your product is being shared that way, there is a high chance some of those followers would want your product as well. Needless to say, there is no better promotion than that. But, don’t be scared of negative comments, too. Instagram community is vibrant: if something goes wrong, you’ll know it immediately. That also means you’ll know that your customers expect a response. It’s hard to solve a problem which hasn’t been detected yet. Appreciate the communication on Instagram.
Channel the user generated content.
Create a hashtag your customers can recognise. If you want to know what your customers think, encourage them to use it. Cross-posting is one of the most effective ways to raise awareness of your brand. Inform your Facebook fans that you have Instagram and you’ll be surprised in the number of followers you will be getting.
Don’t forget to make Instagrammers feel special. Every social network is different and as such, should be approached differently. If you were planning on creating social media campaigns, make sure that your customers know how much you value them. Add a card to your packages informing the customers about your Instagram: mention the hashtag and call to action – let your customers be the ones who will take pictures of your product, even when unpacking them. Feature their perspective on your shop or on your blog. Relevance of their experience to you is the link between your brand and a long term dedication to it.
Be smart. PLEASE.
Instagram has a certain ”beat” and you want to learn it. Like any other social media strategy, doing Instagram well means doing it smart so listen to your customers. Investigate the tools connected with Instagram – keep in mind that those tools aren’t crutches, they are superpowers. You could discover something on your own but why should you if there’s a way to know it at the moments notice? It’s like making Superman walk to the crime scene instead of flying there. What I’m trying to say – Instagram was born 4 years ago. Since then, it grew a lot, but along with it grew the community of connected apps. Some of them have filters not available through original app, others, more importantly, measure the effect your posts have on your followers. They can help you optimize the time and energy you’re putting into Instagram.
Post when you’re followers are online, learn which pictures they respond to, where are they from, and what topics/thoughts/events are their triggers. Something is always trending, but the base more often than not remains the same.
With Instagram, it’s all about the here and now and that is something to bear in mind when thinking of how to get more followers. As with all social media platforms, focus on what is important to your customer. Do they want sneak peeks, ”behind-the-scenes” pictures or simply, a place where they can see your company’s culture?
Instagram can be used as a perfect interaction spot – after all, what do we do with our mobile phones (and all of its apps) than to communicate through it? It’s an in-hand engagement tool, why not enhance your company’s appeal? Tell us, what are you doing to make it happen for you and your company?