Social media’s importance to businesses shouldn’t come as a surprise to any entrepreneur. With over 2.6 billion users on various social media platforms, this online tool is a powerful way to engage with your audiences and promote your business.
However, the most common platforms mentioned have usually been Twitter and Facebook. While these can be great for engagement, your e-commerce might also benefit from utilizing another, more visually focused social media: Instagram.
Instagram has over 600 million active monthly users with the user base increasing steadily. So, how can it help your e-commerce business?
Here are 5 ways to use Instagram to promote your products.
1. Capture Natural Photos
As mentioned, Instagram is all about the visual. You can’t attach copy to your photos, you can’t give the marketing speech, but you just have to rely on the rawness of your photos.
Now, e-commerce photos on the social media platform work best when they are natural and organic. You don’t want them to feel like a photo that took an hour to setup – you want to, in effect, showcase the power of your product out in the everyday world.
For example, if you are selling clothing or shoes on your e-commerce site, your photos shouldn’t be anything but people wearing them and going out and about or the clothes being ready to be placed in the wardrobe and so on. You want to keep it raw and organic.
2. Set up Triggered Responses
Now, you can’t just treat Instagram as a platform for posting beautiful photos. It also has the potential to increase customer engagement in more ways than just getting likes. You can ensure customer engagement with your e-commerce site leads to participation on site and even a purchasing decision.
The best way to do this is through triggered responses. These are essentially responses that automatically occur when an Instagram user tags you or mentions your brand in their post.
So, if someone mentions your business, you can send a message that promotes your involvement further and helps the customer to make a purchasing decision – or help other followers do so since the triggered responses are public and show up in the comments.
Hashtags are everywhere and it is crucial you learn how to use them, especially on Instagram.
The reason hashtags are so important in the platform is the lack of links – you can’t link to things the same way you do on Facebook or Twitter, so you really need to understand how to use hashtags for marketing purposes.
You can instantly get your e-commerce business more visibility by using popular hashtags such as
- #mondaymotivation, and
As you start gaining followers, you need to start connecting with the customers with specific and more personalized hashtags.
This means using and vocalizing these hashtags in more ways than just on the social media platform. These need to be visible to customers on your website and your other social media channels.
4. Connect Instagram Galleries with Your e-Commerce
Once your Instagram campaign begins to kick off, you can start utilizing customer photos to encourage other people to buy those specific products.
To do this, you need to use hashtaged photos on Instagram to create galleries on your e-commerce site. This can be a suggestive gallery on things like “which shoes to wear this summer” or “favorite ways to use vanilla pods” and so on.
If you start a campaign with your hashtags, you can get people involved and add more organic content on your website as well. This allows you to not only engage more with your customers and improve your brand but also keep your social media profiles and your website filled with content.
5. Focus on Real People
As mentioned at the start, your photos should be natural and organic. This means you don’t want the people posing with your products to be models. You want to make people feel your products are relatable and useful for them.
So, connect with your actual customers and get them involved. You can even use your e-commerce team as part of the photos.
By using real people in real situations, you make the products seem more ‘every day’ – this is ultimately what people want from them.
Now, the ability to make the most out of Instagram will require you to realize it’s not like the other social media platforms. You can’t just use advertorial copy on it or link directly to your products and website – you really need to use the above tactics to harness the power of the photo.
In order to do it, you need a good camera to take perfect photos and a photo editing software to make the most of those photos.
Now, you just need to get out there and start using the above 5 ways to promote your bustling e-commerce business on Instagram.