When it comes to social media, small businesses often struggle. But there’s one platform that many small businesses owners seem to be overlooking: Instagram Shopping.
Thus, from store owners in your hometown to manufacturers in your favorite brands’ supply chain, everyone is taking notice of the platform’s impressive business potential and deciding to take a chance on it.
As far as channels go, Instagram is still relatively untapped by small business owners that could and should benefit from using this fast-growing social network for their e-commerce.
By having an Instagram account, small businesses have the opportunity to show off their products by adding product videos, images, and even testimonials.
Instagram is a visual platform that allows you to showcase your brand story, products, and goals to your target audience.
Brands like The North Face, Nike, Burberry, and Victoria’s Secret have already found success on the platform – for some, it took them a year or less to amass tens of thousands of followers. Chances are your competitors have already started using it too.
So what else can you do? How can you stand out among the rest? These 7 Instagram Shopping tips will help make the most out of your brand presence on one of social media’s biggest channels.
How to Set Up Instagram Shopping
By this point, you should have a completed account set up on Instagram, with the ability to post photos and videos.
You’ve got your brand name out there and are potentially attracting followers. Now it is time to kick it up a notch and get your product catalog set up so you can start making sales.
This is where Instagram e-commerce comes in, built right into the platform so you don’t need to create another website or dashboard to keep track of things…it’s all right there in your Instagram app!
To make the most of Instagram shopping you should make sure of the following:
- have a business account on Instagram;
- are selling physical goods;
- you are aware and agree to Instagram’s policies;
- you connect your Instagram account to your shop’s Facebook page.
1. Post Awesome Content on Instagram
There is no rule for how often you should post to Instagram, as each account and audience type are unique.
For example, if you are a travel blogger with a strong US following, posting 4-5 times will carry a lot less weight than a small fashion brand that typically posts once or twice daily.
The decision depends entirely on what your brand/audience prefers and expects of an Instagram user.
However, quality over quantity.
If you’re selling food or shakes, make sure that your Instagram pictures are appealing. If you’re selling clothes, use pictures portraying real people wearing them.
Also, be sure you’re writing clear product descriptions that convey emotions and appeal to your customers.
2. Post User Generated Content
A great engagement trick is posting user-generated content.
If you run a business, you’ve likely come across user-generated content (UGC) in some capacity. It’s a hot topic of discussion in the marketing world – and for good reason.
UGC is a proven way to build trust and affinity with your audience. If you’re not engaging your customers around UGC, you could be missing out on an opportunity to generate revenue, improve your brand image and expand your reach.
By posting UGC to your Facebook and/or Instagram accounts, you are giving consumers a sneak peek at what others think of your brand. You also present them with a visual for social sharing, which will grow your presence.
3. Use Hashtags – But Not Too Many!
Hashtags make a post more visible in the feeds of users who follow the hashtag and can lead to followers or engagement.
Using popular hashtags is particularly important as it expands your reach. If you don’t have a following yet, make sure that the hashtags are relevant to your products instead of simply increasing the number of hashtags that you use.
To determine which hashtags are best for your content, check out your competitors and see which hashtags they are using.
Then check out the performance of those hashtags by doing an Instagram Stories analytics report. If you use a paid tool like Later, you can click on any hashtag and it will show you who used that hashtag the most.
4. Use Ads
In case you’re not familiar with Instagram Ads, they are a type of online advertising that can help you bring in targeted traffic to your website. They appear within the Instagram app on profiles and feeds, or as an ad in the form of a gallery or video that appears when users scroll through their feed.
So, to answer your original question, “Should I “boost” my Instagram post?” In short: yes. Especially if you want your great content to reach your target audience. By doing so, you can expand your reach and visibility further.
However, if you want to customize your ads and have more control over your campaigns, I suggest forgetting about the “boost” feature, and actually creating your ads through Facebook Ads Manager.
You can target a specific audience based on demographic, geographic, and interests, and then focus your efforts on reaching these potential customers. You can also promote certain content or products without paying too much for it.
5. Engage With Your Customers
Ultimately, communication is the key to creating a healthy Instagram community around your brand. Whether it’s liking your customers’ photos or running competitions, Instagram can be used to build relationships with your existing and potential customers.
Focus on authentic communication and always stay in touch!
Another great reason to like your customers’ posts is that it can help build customer relationships and improve your customers’ perception of your brand. Many businesses have taken advantage of this by offering free coupons, discounts, etc. to their followers who tag them in their posts.
6. Collaborate With Influencers
If you ask people if they have ever been influenced by an influencer, the answer will probably be yes. The power of influence is immense and it is evident in today’s day and age. People are more willing to purchase when there is a recommendation from someone they trust.
Influencer marketing is not just about having someone promote your product in an Instagram post with a big message at the end of it. It’s about genuinely engaging with them and building that relationship over time.
Influencer marketing has been proven to positively impact brand awareness, drive online sales and increase repeat purchases. Social media is the main tool for marketers to reach their targets, but finding, contacting, and engaging influencers is not an easy job.
Choose your influencers carefully, as they can impact your brand forever.
7. Measure Your Success
There are several ways to measure your Instagram shopping success. But the question is, how do you measure your Instagram e-commerce sales? How can you show the effectiveness of an Instagram marketing campaign?
You can learn from measuring the number of followers or likes that you’ve gained. But it is more difficult to measure your sales and revenue, especially when it comes to Instagram.
Instagram Analytics is a free and easy-to-implement solution to monitor your Instagram performance. If you want to see the number of Likes, Impressions, Views, Comments, and Placements, then Instagram Analytics is just for you.