Social media marketing has become an indispensable tool for brands looking to increase awareness of their products with retailers. There are several social media channels to choose from depending on your business goals and target audience, but if you’re going to focus on one single platform, Instagram continues to be the most popular and comprehensive choice.
Brands in nearly every retail sector turn to Instagram to tell their story, find new customers, develop a sense of community with followers, partner with influencers, and drive traffic to their website or Faire shop page. Here, we’ve gathered some tips to help you harness the power of Instagram to attract more buyers and boost sales.
Set up a business account
If you’re new to Instagram, you’ll first want to make sure your account is set as a business account. This allows you to add information about your business, run ads, sell products directly through the platform if you choose, and view analytics information about your followers.
If your account is currently set as a personal account, simply tap the menu in the top right corner to find the Settings, then click on Account and scroll down. From there, you’ll see the option to Switch to a Professional Account. Select a Business Category and choose whether you’re a Business or a Creator. Make sure to select Business before continuing.
Make your profile shine
It’s important to provide as much relevant information about your business as possible within your Instagram profile so folks can discover it. This includes your website, where you’re based, and what makes your products unique. You’ll have to be concise here, as you’re allowed only 150 characters in your bio. Line breaks and a couple of well-chosen emojis can help highlight any important information that you want to stand out.
It’s also important to choose your profile picture wisely. Businesses often use their company logo as a profile picture, but whatever you choose, be sure to use the same profile pic across all online platforms for consistency and brand recognition.
Include multiple links in your bio
In the past, brands often turned to tools like Linktree to add multiple links to their bio through a custom landing page. Those days are over since Instagram just announced that users can now include up to five links in their bio at a time. This provides a great opportunity to share your Faire Direct link for any current or potential customers who aren’t yet part of the Faire community.
Faire Direct is a personalized link that helps you grow sales on Faire at 0% commission. By embedding this unique link in your profile, you can increase commission-free sales without even speaking to prospects. New customers that use this link to sign up for Faire also receive incentives such as a discount on their initial order and free shipping on purchases from your brand for one year. Additionally, you may be eligible for Faire Direct Rewards if you refer at least five new retailers to join Faire and each completes at least one purchase through your Direct link.
Think before you post
Before you start regularly posting on Instagram, you’ll want to take the time to define your target audience, social media goals, and what kind of topics you want to post about. It’s a safe bet to start by posting photos of your products in different settings and general information about your brand, including where your business is based, the features of your top products, and answers to frequently asked questions. You can also share positive reviews from happy customers to get the ball rolling.
Your Instagram Business account provides insights about when your audience is most active, so you can determine what day and time to post on your account to get the most views and likes. You can also schedule posts ahead of time by using third-party tools like Sprout Social, Later, or HubSpot.
Master the fundamentals of posting
There are a handful of basics you should keep in mind with each post, beginning with the words you’ll use to describe the image. The first line of a caption can make the difference between a follower who keeps reading and one who opts to go back to scrolling.
Captions should include keywords associated with your brand, industry, or products to help new followers discover you on Instagram. Using an efficient content creation tool can greatly enhance this process. Emojis can also serve as bullet points to break up longer content and make it easier for readers to digest.
Hashtags make it easier for Instagram users to find your posts. Users can search for, or tap, a hashtag and see every post associated with that word or phrase, so feel free to try out different hashtags to see what works. However, it’s best to avoid using an excessive number of hashtags in each post.
Geotagging your post with a physical location will help build an association between your brand and the area where your business is based. Instagram collects all geotags from the same location and organizes them with the most recent first, so geotagging is a good way to foster community with local followers and other businesses in your area.
You can also share your most important posts as Instagram Stories and save them as Highlights that appear at the top of your page. This allows new followers to click through basic information about your business and any important stuff you want them to see first.
Develop and diversify your publishing cadence
Once you start attracting followers, you’ll want to post regularly to keep them engaged, including direct posts on your Instagram page as well as Stories that appear for a limited time and can be saved as a Highlight. You can browse the accounts of other brands with similar audiences for ideas and keep a calendar of important upcoming dates or seasons to post about, such as Independence Day, Pride Month, or Black Friday.
Other popular content ideas for your Instagram page or Stories include:
- Behind-the-scenes posts: Give visitors a tour of your studio, introduce your team, show your products being made, explain what your products are made of, or offer a look at a day in the life of a small business owner.
- Exclusive promotions: Offer exclusive deals or discount codes to your Instagram followers or host a giveaway requiring followers to like, comment, or share a post.
- Hosted takeovers: If you know someone willing to share their expertise about your products, consider inviting them to create a series of guest posts in your feed, on your Instagram Stories, or via Instagram Live. This will create a bit of buzz while adding credibility to your brand.
- Reminders and updates: Let your followers know about new products, sales, special events such as Faire markets, and other timely news.
- Surveys and polls: Use Instagram as a tool for sourcing valuable customer feedback. For example, you might ask followers what their favorite products are or what kind of new products they’re hoping to see in the upcoming season.
Engage with your brand’s followers
Don’t let your online audience lose sight of your brand. Keep followers engaged by replying promptly to any direct messages, responding to comments and mentions of your brand, and commenting on or liking your followers’ Instagram posts and Stories when appropriate.
To further engage your customers, you can try partnering with influencers who have large followings to serve as brand ambassadors. Just be sure they have a similar audience to your target demographic and are truly excited about your products. Some influencers will promote your brand in exchange for free products, while others will want to be paid for their promotions. The ultimate goal should be to drive more traffic to your Faire shop page and boost sales, so keep that in mind when selecting influencers and partners.