The most simplistic principle of productive marketing and branding is effective customer engagement. Customer engagement can be accomplished in a number of ways through multitudinous mediums. The key is to provide relevant content that your customer base and target audience will find useful and engaging. This goes beyond your sales copy and promotional resources. You have to be willing to engage your customers with patience and be intent on developing a relationship. Social media has provided powerful platforms on which businesses can leverage their viral effect to increase their reach and conversion. Instagram is becoming increasing popular among businesses who are looking to raise their conversion rate and increase their buzz.
The problem is that many businesses are not certain on the best approach when using Instagram. We will take a little time to lay out 25 ways that you can use the social media platform to give your sales conversions a shot in the arm as well as improve your positioning from a brand perspective.
1. Controlled Engagement
What this means is that you need to understand the makeup of your audience and provide the content that they will find relevant, but you also need to maintain control over how the content is presented and the level of direct engagement it creates.
2. Develop a Strategy and System
One mistake that is very common is the free for all. This means that businesses just jump on Instagram and begin posting pictures and comments without any strategy or consistency. Consistency is extremely important. Develop an approach that your followers can grow accustomed to. Make it easy for them to know what to expect. Inconsistency equals being unpredictable and followers don’t like that.
3. Provide Valuable Content without Call to Action
Often, businesses push the sale too hard. Today’s consumer, especially the online consumer, knows when they are being pitched and led to the close. They don’t have a problem buying, but they will only buy from businesses they trust. This means you need to take the time to build a relationship of trust with them before asking them to buy.
4. Be Informative With Your Promotional Content
When it is time to present content that will lead your followers to the action of purchasing or signing up, be informative. Don’t simply present the deal. Use clever photos and graphics to paint a clear picture of why they need your product or service now.
5. Think Laterally
Thinking outside of the box can go a long way in getting the attention of your followers. You are not limited to basic photos. You should make sure to integrate short videos and infographics into your Instagram campaign.
6. Develop a Customer Profile
By carefully monitoring the interactions that you have with your followers, you will be able to develop a profile of them. This will help you develop campaigns that will be engaging and useful to them
7. Get Off the Island
Instagram is most effective when it is a part of a coordinated effort with other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Most of these platforms are designed to connect and work with one another, increasing the leverage they possess.
8. Posts Should be Strategic
Think of every post as a chess move. There should not be any wasted movement. Make a post already knowing what the next post will be. These incremental moves will allow you to manage the relationship without seeming too controlling.
9. Sneak Previews
Use the platform to show off sneak previews of your products and services. Find clever ways of introducing new services and products in a way that is enticing but not promotional.
10. Cuteness Sells
This may not seem highly technical, but it is highly effective. Cuteness sells. The use of animals and children or funny quotes produce the ideal environment for selling. Don’t overdo it, but definitely take advantage of it.
11. Display your Philosophy
Remember, part of the branding process is controlling the way that you’re viewed. By introducing your philosophy, you will give your followers a peek inside of who you are as a company. This helps with the relationship development process.
12. Introduce them to Your Culture
This platform is a great place to announce new hires, policy changes, promotions and more. Again, you are inviting them inside. The more effective you are at building the relationship, the less you will have to work at converting the sale.
13. Showcase Your Customers
Give your followers a taste of your company and how well it treats its customers. Share customer reviews and stories with your followers. Again, this builds trust and expectations.
14. Choose the Right Filter
This may not seem like something that would impact the conversion or buzz that you are attempting to create, but it does. Using the right filter has the capacity to create a 60 percent increase in engagement.
15. Consider Location
If you are a local business, you will want to consider your location. Instagram is the perfect platform for making a standard scenery shot look quite a bit more appealing. . You have the option to intensify the color with filters such as Hefe, which has the ability to turn the average shot of a sunset into something truly splendid. Steer clear of average shots.
16. Earn Style Points
Keep in mind that you are in competition for the attention of your followers. Every way that you are able catch and keep their attention is a plus for you. Style plays a major role in engagement. This goes back to a philosophy that avoids the ordinary.
17. Joint Venture
Connect with other businesses that you are not in competition with. Make sure that they have already built a buzz and have a strong following. This has the potential to create a synergistic impact that can flow across social media platforms.
18. Don’t Neglect Retro Filter
This point reverts back to the filter selection. Don’t overuse it, but you definitely want to experiment with the retro filter. There is something about retro that creates the perfect buying situation.
19. Follow a Defined Theme
There is no limit to the things that companies can take photos of. When taking photos, you will want to consider the fact that stand alone photos don’t do as well as photos that follow a particular theme or ones that are part of a collection.
20. Show Personality
A part of branding is introducing the personality of your brand. You want to keep a balance of providing information about the brand and showing the personality of the brand. This will go a long way in building a trusting relationship that will at some point result not only in a sale but customer loyalty.
21. Don’t Advertise Exclusively
Not even well-established brands can get away with this on social media. You cannot simply have posts that are nothing more than ads exclusively. You have to be willing to engage your followers outside the sales vortex.
22. Calls to Action
When you do decide that it is time to present an opportunity to make a purchase, make your call to action clear.
23. Examine your Feedback
Pay attention to the feedback that you are getting from your followers and make the necessary adjustments.
24. Use Guest Contributors
Inviting users to contribute images to your feed is an easy way to collect content and generate a buzz. Be sure to request images that fit a certain theme.
Hashtags are highly effective in developing and maintaining your brand. There are also good for building a buzz.
You may not be able to use all of this, but a combination of any three or four is a good place to start. Work your way up slowly, mastering each practice, and you will begin to experience positive results.