The better way to sell online

How to engage on Instagram

Instagram is a powerful tool. The image based social media site has over 800 million active users and its own unique culture.
With the huge amount of Instagram users, it can be easy to disappear in the crowd. Here are four tips to really connect with a customer base.

Include/Create Hashtags

Using #Hashtags is a common way for people to search up products and images. Instagram recommends you use around 3 targeted hashtags. You can add them to your caption and they’ll help people find your posts. Avoid using too many, as Instagram may demote your post as being spam otherwise.

Try to use long-tailed hashtags. If you sell shoes, for example, don’t use the hashtag #shoes. Too many other people will be using it, and your post might not end up being seen. Instead, use #redshoes, or #womensheels. That way, those who might be interested are more likely to see you.

Chances are you won’t be able to compete with larger, established businesses when you begin, so target smaller, more niche audiences to make sales. You can also create your own # for your customers to use, for example #BrandShoeStore. That way customers will be able to search your hashtag to see reviews and other posts about you.

Offer Promotions and Exclusive announcements

41% of Instagram users have said that they follow brands in order to hear about exclusive deals and giveaways. By promoting discount codes and promotions on Instagram, you can give your followers an incentive to get involved.

A common way of running competitions on Instagram goes like this: you post a picture of your product, along with an explanation of what it is. Then, you state in your caption that to win the product Instagram users will need to share the image, follow your account and use your custom hashtag.

It’s an effective way to get marketing in exchange for just one free product, as your product will then be seen by the friends of everyone who enters the competition. Keep in mind that to run a competition you need to already have a core of active fans; a giveaway with no entrants can be more damaging than beneficial to your image.

Respond to Notifications

Whenever someone posts a picture and tags you, you’ll get a notification. You’ll also be able to see when someone comments on your photos. Take the time to thank other Instagram users and have conversations with them; connecting is what will help turn viewers into customers into fans.

Post on a Consistent Schedule

On average brands post 3-6 images per week. The key is to stay on your customers’ radar without annoying them!

Make sure you post pictures which are in focus, relevant to your business, and professional. If you want people to engage with your images, post pictures which show your products in action.

- Lena Klein

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