Virtual Window Dressing
Why brands need to use Instagram as their shop window.
Unless you‘ve been stranded on a desert island, you’re probably aware that Instagram is the fastest growing global social network, gaining over 400 million daily active users since its launch in 2010. 70% of users follow a brand on Instagram and 75% of users say they have taken action after being inspired by a post (Instagram data 2016). Furthermore, Instagram has an average per follower engagement rate ten times higher than Facebook. With new developments to the app coming thick and fast, including extended video, advertising, the stories feature and the testing of a shopping capability to be rolled out in 2017, all consumer brands, particularly visual ones, need to get serious about using Instagram to its full potential. Whether its for building brand awareness and loyalty, showcasing your products or driving web traffic, all brands need to think of Instagram as a shopping centre, and their account as their own shop window. But how do you make your window display eye-catching and appealing to your audience?
Here are our top tips
- Create a great profile – the only clickable link you can have on Instagram is in your profile, so use it wisely and change it regularly. If you have a new blog post or product – change your link to direct traffic there and keep your audience interested.
- Post value-adding content. Beautiful images are essential to get noticed on Instagram. Pictures posted hastily of your breakfast as you rush out of the door in the morning won’t really cut the mustard. Your content needs to be carefully planned, well photographed and original. It also needs to tell the story of your brand – its people, its culture and behind the scenes. You should post frequently and consistently in order to keep an engaged audience.
- Get hashtagging! This is how new customers will find you. Use a wide variety (up to 35) of hashtags related to your brand, but post them in the comments section to avoid the caption looking spammy.
- Post a long caption. There is a high character limit in Instagram so use it! You can say so much more about your brand by using Instagram as a mini blog. It’s a great way to connect with your customers.
- Engage! The absolute key to Instagram success is using it to interact with your customers and influencers in your industry. Search for those people with big followings who could help your brand, and ask them to collaborate or promote you, or do reciprocal shout outs. Flatter them and you might get a bit of attention in return.
- Build your tribe. Connect with your customers by interacting and encouraging them to post pictures of themselves using your brand products. It can help to create a vibrant and loyal brand community.
It’s all straightforward stuff, but can be time consuming for small businesses who are focused on getting products off the ground and getting the real work done!
At Jones & Bone, we specialise in producing great visual content for brands to use across their social channels, particularly Instagram. From planning the content, scouting locations, and professionally shooting images, to managing and curating your account, we ensure that your brand story is told beautifully and consistently to earn and keep your customers’ loyalty. We can also interact on your behalf, to find and connect with those all important influencers and take care of your customer queries. The best Instagram followings are ones that are grown organically and are engaged and interested – and building this for you forms the core of our brand Instagram strategy.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with the demands of keeping up with Instagram – do get in touch for a chat. Otherwise, happy snapping!