With more than 700 million total monthly active users, Instagram is the fastest growing social media network. Not only Instagram has a great no. of users but 68% of Instagram users engage with brand regularly! That’s why the brands are focusing heavily on Instagram.
For your ecommerce business too, Instagram can be a great marketing channel. Here’s comprehensive guide to get most out of Instagram.
Start with some research:
Do some spying on your competitors (or brands serving the same target audience)
Find out what’s working for other brands. Seek answers for these questions:
- What are they posting?
- On what kind of posts are they getting most engagement.?
- What hashtags are they using?
- Who are their promoters/influencers?
Get familiar with your target audience on Instagram:
The basic criteria for starting on Instagram (or any other social media) is to know your target audience. By doing some basic research on your audience you should find out:
- What are their interests?
- What attracts them?
- What are they talking about?
- who are some influencers they follow?
Now a here’s no brainer way to do this research:
Find out some of the instagram profiles of your competitors or brands serving the same target audience. Now filter the profiles with a good no. of followers which are posting and engaging regularly on Instagram. Go to their followers list and there you have some profiles which you may like to dig in for the answers.
Plan some posts:
When you are starting on Instagram, the first thing you wish to do is to plan some posts. There are various kinds of posts you may consider for Instagram but let’s take some data based decision here.
i) 70% of Instagram Posts Don’t Get Seen.
Over 100 million photos are shared on Instagram daily, which means it can be hard for your potential customers to find your posts. In fact 70% of the posts published on Instagram go unnoticed.
ii) 65% of Top-Performing Instagram Posts Feature Products.
It’s true that you shouldn’t be self-promotional all the time, users of Instagram actually enjoy seeing photos of your products. Research from L2 found 65% of top-performing brand posts on Instagram feature products. In fact, product posts even beat out lifestyle content (43%) and images or videos from an influencer or celebrity (29%).
iii) Photos With Human Faces Get 38% More Likes.
Human love human and a human face in a pic always get more attention (not more than a pic with a cute puppy I hope). That’s why it’s great if you can showcase your products with human face.
iv) User-Generated Content Has a 4.5% Higher Conversion Rate.
When it comes to building trust with your customers in a way that helps you increase the conversion rate, UGC is the best way to go about it. It has been seen that brand engagement rises by 28% when consumers are exposed to both professional and user generated content.
Schedule your posts to be consistent and regular:
If social content is to help your business, it’s important to post frequently and consistently. Thirty percent of brands post less than once a day, or they don’t have a schedule at all, leaving them outpaced by more productive users.
The best way to post consistently is to plan and schedule posts early. There are lot’s of tools out there for scheduling your Instagram posts.
Be Creative With Your Captions:
Writing a good Instagram caption may not be as important as your Instagram feed, but it still matters! Your caption is just as much a representation of your brand as your Instagram feed, and could be the key for taking your Instagram from good to great!
Here are 5 tips to write Instagram caption that works:
i) Use Call to actions
The simple act of including a call-to-action in your Instagram caption and inviting your audience to comment or engage can go a very long way it when it comes to driving more engagement on your posts.
Of course, you don’t have to include a call-to-action on every Instagram caption! But good Instagram captions are great way to inspire your followers to engage with your business both inside and outside of Instagram.
ii) Use a consistent brand voice
One of the most important parts of any good Instagram caption is brand voice. And, ultimately, what it comes down to is consistency: your Instagram captions should sound and feel like the rest of your marketing channels.
a little about the inspiration for the line …”the more we started working on the line, the more we realized a cross country road trip with friends (from california to tennessee) would be our inspiration. i’ve taken this exact trip twice (once was my honeymoon) and a multitude of smaller versions, too, and when i started thinking about how it feels to be on the open road – windows down, car full of friends, blasting songs you know all the words to, and eating food you would never allow yourself to eat any other time (yeah, i’m talking about cool ranch doritos), and feeling so free and open and excited about the most mundane things – i knew i wanted to design a range of tees that brought that to life.” – @jengotch. ps – did you know that HAPPY and PARIS are real towns in texas? in fact, the tagline for happy is “the town without a frown”. swipe left to go to paris and happy!
iii) Use emojis
When you aren’t using emojis to draw attention to your call-to-action, you can use emojis to add personality to your Instagram caption. You can insert multiple emoji at the beginning of your caption to catch the eye of your followers with a bit of color.
🐕 #Corgi Flowerpot 🌻🌻 Limited Stock! Link in bio #puppylove #corgipuppy #couple #couples #couplesgoals #couplegoals #couplesbelike #coupleslove #coupleswag #love #truelove #lovememes #cute #coupleshop #tagyourbae #tagyourlove #tagyourcrush #tagyourboyfriend #tagyourgirlfriend #coupleskart #giftsforher #giftshop #giftsforhim #giftsfromtheheart #giftstore #homedecor
iv) Consider length
Remember that most people scroll through their Instagram feeds at a brisk pace. If there’s any doubt as to how long your caption should be, keep it brief. Give context where you need to, but if the post speaks for itself, let it.
Hashtags are the key to get discovered:
Using hashtags on Instagram can help you engage with more than just your followers. Hashtags on Instagram give “audiences an organic way to discover branded content through the topics and forums that interest them.” Hashtags on Instagram are useful as they help other Insta users discover your profile, which can ultimately increase the likelihood of obtaining more followers.
Contrary to Twitter, using more specific hashtags on Instagram can help build a bigger audience for your business. One tip you can consider when posting on Instagram: look at the hashtags your audience is already using and connect your hashtags with those. If you use general hashtags on your photos, you are more likely to not get many engagements and your photo will not stand out as much as you want or expect to.
How to create a list of hashtags for your Instagram posts?
Create a sheet to list hashtags for different kinds of posts you are planning to post. For example if you are planning to post quotes, then create a list of hashtags related to quotes. You can easily search hashtags from Instagram search itself. Hashtagify is also a great tool to find out related hashtags.
Here’s some ideas you should consider while researching hashtags.
Connection – Hashtags that identifies your target audience. For example if your target audience are couples then you can consider these kinds of tags:
Emotional – Hashtags that’s emotionally connects with your audience. For example #puppylove connects with all those who love puppies or dogs.
Activity – Hashtags which will help you reach based on activity. Ex: #yoga, #yogalover
Product – Find hashtags that are related to your product.
Popular – Find some popular hashtags (like #love #smile #wanderlust) which are most popular on Instagram. Use those hashtags wherever applicable.
Branded – Create a hashtag for your brand and use that all your promotional posts.
How many hashtags should you use on Instagram?
Instagrammers aren’t as susceptible to hashtag fatigue as Facebook and Twitter users are. According to a TrackMaven study of Instagram accounts with 1,000 followers or fewer, posts containing four or five hashtags received an average of 22 interactions compared to 14 interactions on posts with zero hashtags. Even with posts containing 11 or more hashtags, engagement was still well-above what it was on posts without hashtags.
Still, that doesn’t mean you should tag every post with 30 hashtags (the maximum Instagram allows per post). Tagging your photos and videos with the most popular hashtags will probably gain you new followers, but they’ll likely be the wrong kind of followers—spammers or people only interested in being followed back. And using too many hashtags might dilute your message and make you seem desperate.
Let the content of the post decide how many and which hashtags to use.
Allocate time to engage with followers:
Posting appealing content isn’t enough. It’s a social platform and user generated content is important. So, you need to respond to comments by your Instagram followers on your social feeds.
But, don’t fall for keeping tabs on your Instagram account every few minutes and waiting for new notifications to pop up. Your business won’t have tangible results to show, after such random check-ins.
Instead, I recommend that you build a system to respond to your audience user generated content and comments, in a strict time limit, every day.
Feel empowered to sell on Instagram. We’re always told to “show our human side” on social media channels. But you know what a recent Instagram study revealed? That users follow brands to look at products, whether they be tractors, cameras, or computers. So add product shots to your Instagram content calendar to give users what they want and to kindly remind them that you are a business who has stuff for sale.