You post gorgeous pics regularly to Instagram. You’ve steadily built a following. Now … how the heck do you turn all those polite commenters into actual here’s-my-credit-card-ring-me-up customers?
It’s easy for business owners to become complacent about generating sales through Instagram, but according to Nathan Chan, a writer with Search Engine Journal, a few best practices that amount to basic tweaks to your posts can help you convert admirers into buyers. His tips include:
- Give your bio some love. Your Instagram bio shouldn’t be an afterthought. Instead, that’s the ideal place to highlight your “competitive differentiators.” “Whatever makes your brand stand out from the competition is something you want to highlight,” Chan writes. “This is especially true if you want to increase your Instagram followers and use the social network for new customer acquisition.” As an example, he points to Tarte Cosmetics, a company that uses its bio section to tout that its products are cruelty-free and free of glutens, parabens and mineral oil. “This sets them apart from many other high-end cosmetic brands that do tests on animals or use animal ingredients in their formulas,” he explains. Try this: Your bio needs to be concise; Tarte’s is just 10 words. Huddle with your staff or management team to brainstorm key words and phrases that set you apart from national vendors and other local retailers.
- Ask customers for help. Want to gain more followers? Ask customers — directly — for help. That’s a strategy Beard King, a men’s grooming company, has implemented with a catchphrase at the end of most posts: “Save a beard. Tag a friend.” “This strategy has multiple benefits for Beard King,” Chan writes. “It allows them to grow their Instagram following quickly through a friend’s referral.” Try this: Ask for follows and photos of customers enjoying your flowers and plants. Beard King encourages customers to send in real photos, a strategy that any small business can emulate, and a time-saving approach that Chan says can help create a more interactive and engaging space. “If a photo is high quality and features a beard, it’s likely that will post the user-generated photo to its Instagram account and tag the photographer,” he writes. “This gives Beard King a constant supply of new photos to use.”
- Use a promo code. Promo codes “really draw in new followers,” Chan writes. “Most people love to save money on high-quality products and will follow your brand for discount codes. This is especially true if they have already purchased your products.” Try this: Follow the lead of the women’s athletic clothing company Oiselle and offer a summer-themed promo code to bump up sales this month. An added benefit of such codes? You can track results and actually gauge the sales result of your post. “Because Instagram posts aren’t clickable it’s often difficult to say with accuracy how many sales came from the social network,” Chan writes. “If you push out a promo code that’s only shared on your Instagram feed, you’ll know with better accuracy how many people made a purchase because they saw one of your Insta posts.”
Feeling overwhelmed by the many demands of managing your social media efforts and all of the other digital marketing tasks affiliated with your business? Check out how four flower shops divide, conquer and sometimes outsource the tasks in the current issue of Floral Management.