Instagram eCommerce Marketing
At first glance, Instagram may seem like just a feed of endless photos, but it has more potential than you may think. Instagram is a social media platform full of opportunities to build engagement with your consumers. However, before you begin to establish your Instagram community and build your brand, you should consider implementing these 12 best practices:
- Optimize your profile page
- Set your account to public
- Build a consistent brand image
- Share with a purpose
- Share User-Generated Content
- Post Stories
- Don’t oversaturate your feed
- Engage with comments
- Use hashtags properly
- Incorporate product tags
- Follow your followers
- Showcase all aspects of your business
Optimize Your Profile Page
A social media profile page is the equivalent of a website’s home page. This is where the opportunity lies to explain what your brand is all about. The structure of your profile page will impact the way people get to know your brand, what you do and what you have to offer. Only your logo, bio and URL can be modified, so editing capabilities are limited. The way you put these elements together impacts how your followers view your brand, which can affect how much traffic you generate.
Your bio is essentially your online business card. It is where you present the name of your business, contact information and a summary of your brand’s identity. Most bios only allow for about 150 characters, and while this may seem limited, it actually makes it more powerful. Consider the key elements that make up your company’s mission and compress it into your bio.
You should also include keywords that match your brand and are highly searched. SEO strategies are rarely mentioned in the world of social media, but adding keywords to your profile can really help your business show up in search results. Do keyword research to find out which words would be best to plug into your bio description.
Set Your Account to Public
Instagram is an online mobile photo and video sharing social network. The point of every social network is to share your thoughts and ideas with an online community. The best way for new audiences to find and connect with you is through a public business account. Setting an account to private only makes it harder for users to connect with you. When your account is public, it eliminates the limitations of connecting with unknown markets.
Build a Consistent Brand Image
Branding your images is vital, especially on Instagram. People appreciate consistency and often associate it with trust, which increases the chances of them purchasing your products. Color schemes, consistent visuals and font choices are important aspects to pay attention to when defining and promoting your brand on social media and on the web. Make sure to stick with your choices, as these noticeable elements will help your brand stick out.
Share With a Purpose
Like any other social media platform, your Instagram account should serve a certain purpose, and the purpose of Instagram is to visually tell a story that draws people in to learn more. Therefore, every post should have a specific goal in mind. Otherwise, people will begin to lose interest in your brand.
Humans have been storytellers since the dawn of time and absorb content quickly. Share stories about the success of your business or reveal a piece of your company culture through photos, stories and 1-minute videos. When you share with a purpose, your audience will be more engaged and can easily consume your content in the perfect amount of time. Two ways to purposefully share content is through user-generated content (UGC) and stories.
Share User-Generated Content
It’s crucial to incorporate user-generated content in your Instagram eCommerce marketing strategy. Customer photos communicate not only a product, but a lifestyle, too. Instagram is the best platform to ask your followers for permission to repost their photos with your product. When other Instagram users see their peers and others truly satisfied with your product, they’re more willing to trust your brand and imagine themselves using your product.
Social media campaigns, like contests and giveaways, provide incentives for people to share their personal content. 41% of Instagram users follow brands for perks and giveaways. Announcing discounts with clear text overlays and appealing graphics will better capture your follower’s attention.
With plenty of UGC, your eCommerce business can create an engaged community that makes your followers feel special and turns them into lifetime customers.
Instagram stories serve the same purpose as Snapchat stories, to share short-lived photos and videos with your followers. Stories are often quirkier than feed content, so your business has more freedom here to get creative and share its fun side. It also presents different opportunities to benefit your business.
To start, stories are another way to acquire and share UGC. We already know that followers love to see that a brand cares about them, and this is another way to build that customer engagement and trust. You can place CTAs to encourage users to share pictures of their latest purchase and utilize the poll feature to get feedback.
Another option is promoting and covering events, whether they already happened, are currently happening or will happen in the near future. Showing followers what they’re missing out on can build brand awareness and increase event attendance.
Going live on Instagram lets you broadcast from your mobile phone and allows your followers to engage with your business in real time. You can highlight specific topics, feature guests or influencers or host Q&As. A great thing about going live is that you’re able to adjust the settings so the live story is played with the rest of your stories.
Lastly, one of the best features of stories is the ability to create highlights. Originally, stories would disappear after 24 hours. However, Instagram users can now add stories to highlights that are featured on your profile page. You can create different highlights to showcase different content, like UGC, events, brand storytelling and so much more. This keeps your content an easily-accessible place so that customers can watch it any time to get to know your brand better and trust you a bit quicker.
Don’t Oversaturate Your Feed
While it is important to share consistently on social platforms, there is such a thing as “too much of a good thing.” Some people choose to post every minute of an event or the same selfie with different filters. But this doesn’t mean that you should do it, too. It is important to spread out your content, as well as have a variety when it comes to posts.
Instagram is tricky when it comes to finding a balance between obtaining enough content and posting regularly yet not too often. Be sure to nurture your followers’ attention and desires without giving off a spammy vibe. You want to gain followers - not lose followers - and quality will trump quantity any day. Also, pay attention to how your followers are responding to your content via comments, swipe-ups to stories, etc. Providing original and relevant content will keep your audience engaged and attract your target market to follow your account.
Think you’ve made some mistakes before? Check out these 7 Instagram marketing mistakes you’ll never make again.
Engage With Comments
Now that your audience is engaging with your excellent content, it’s time to engage back. It is crucial to interact with your followers when they reach out to you. Social media is about a dialogue, not a monologue. It’s an awesome feeling to see that a brand and customers care enough to comment on your post.
A perfect way to engage with your followers outside of just comments is by using the “ask a question” feature on your stories. Allowing followers to personally ask you questions provides a sense of community and intimate feel. Addressing any questions and concerns your followers may have, either through physical text or video responses, is more valuable to consumers than reading a Q&A page on your website.
Use Hashtags Properly
Instagram now allows its users to follow hashtags. Ignoring hashtags deprives your brand of the opportunity to generate powerful engagement. Your targeted users are more likely to become aware of your brand with the use of hashtags, since they group relevant content and conversations from all over the world.
Geo-tagging is another way to generate brand awareness. Using geo-tags along with relevant hashtags will continue the conversation past your followers. For example, when launching an event like an open house, an event hashtag or geo-tag allows people to have a clickable resource to find a variety of posts from the event.
Keep in mind you can always search hashtags on Instagram if you need new ideas. Popular hashtags are recommended and are helpful in spreading your message.
Incorporate Product Tags
If your business profile is approved by Instagram, be sure to attach product tags and product stickers to your posts and stories. Product tags provide Instagram users more information, like price, about your product. When users click on these product tags, they are directed to your landing page for that product. So, don’t forget to take advantage of product tags for all of your Instagram product photos if you want to increase conversion rates.
Follow Your Followers
Unlike celebrities who tend to be picky about their followers, eCommerce businesses should be following every follower back. It’s important to show your customers that you care and are interested in meeting their wants and needs. When you follow back, you are given direct access to their profile that allows you to collect the information needed to improve the customer experience. Instagram also offers analytics for business accounts that provides an outlet for analyzing follower engagement and profile performance.
If the number of people following you is much larger than the amount you are following, it indicates that you aren’t trying to get to know your followers. Your followers will notice this and potentially unfollow you, which results in decreased revenue, brand awareness, customer engagement and conversion.
Showcase All Aspects of Your Business
Instagram is a great tool for announcing upcoming promotions for your business, but it can be used for so much more. It is the perfect platform to show off all aspects of your business. As a show-and-don’t-tell platform, you should use Instagram to visually establish what your organization stands for and how your brand stands out. Overall, remember that people like talking to people, so make sure your business shows off the people that contribute to your business’s success (aka your followers.)
We hope these 12 Instagram eCommerce best practices inspire you to improve your eCommerce marketing strategy. Keep these in mind when creating an Instagram account for your eCommerce business, and you’ll be on the right track for creating a beneficial community for your followers.
Looking for more ways to build your brand with social media platforms? Are you looking for a marketing team to help you with your social media strategy? Contact us today or fill out the form below, and we’ll be happy to assist you.