- 3 Ways The New Instagram Can Boost Your Ecommerce Efforts Fail
- 3 Ways The New Instagram Can Boost Your Ecommerce Efforts Work
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Third party tools can also provide data about your hashtag usage and their results. Sprout Social has excellent hashtag data, showing you the hashtags that yielded the best engagement and which you used most often. Find the best Instagram hashtags for your brand. Instagram hashtags are an essential part of Instagram marketing. Try videos, live videos, and Stories. While Instagram started as a photo-sharing network, it has grown beyond just photos. With features like videos, live videos, and Stories, brands can now create many different types of content to engage their fans and grow their following.
If you’re an ecommerce store looking to boost your sales, Instagram just might be the solution for you. If you aren’t already leveraging the platform to reach your goals, you should be. There are more than one billion active users on Instagram every month, so if you’re going to reach your target audience and get your brand where it needs to be, it’s time to get to work.
Social media marketing is nothing new; however, the ways in which we use social media are constantly changing and therefore, it’s important to keep up with the trends and apply them to ecommerce too. Social media allows brands to put a face to a name and create personalized experiences where there were none before.
If you want to boost sales using Instagram, here are a few ways to get started.
Out of all the popular social platforms out there, Instagram is most well-known for brands using influencer marketing to reach their goals. If you’re an Instagram user, you’ve probably seen popular influencers you follow endorsing products like Sugar Bear Hair and Flat Tummy Tea. These are both examples of influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing happens when brands pay a well-known social media user with a large following to promote their products. This strategy works because the influencer’s followers are loyal to the influencer and trust what they say. Another reason is that the influencer’s target market is the same as that brand’s, which means their marketing message caters to their needs and piques their interest.
When UWheels was a brand new company, they used well-known social media users and celebrities to endorse their product and spread the word. As a result, the brand generated more than $1.2 million dollars in revenue.
To find success with influencer marketing, seek out influencers who share the same target audience as your brand so you have better chances of boosting conversions. Look at how your competitors are using influencers in their strategies to promote their products and grow their following.
3 Ways The New Instagram Can Boost Your Ecommerce Efforts Fail
Don’t underestimate how much users love live streams from their favorite brands. In fact, 82 percent of people prefer live video over static posts, and if your audience sees this kind of content from you instead of just strictly photos, they’ll enjoy it too.
When businesses run live streams, they put a face to a brand name and make the experience more personal. Humanizing your brand has positive effects that make your audience feel like they know you on a deeper level and connect with you. Offering inside looks into your warehouse or running a contest through live stream are great ways to invite your customers to know your brand better while keeping it fun.
Vintage retailer ModCloth went live on Instagram to promote their latest in-store clothing items which boosted interest in their store and gave customers a look into what they could expect next:
To run a successful live stream for your brand, test it out beforehand. This will prepare you for any potential audio or visual issues. Make sure you have a sound internet connection so you don’t cut off halfway through, and respond to user comments and questions to improve overall engagement.
Showcase user-generated content
Because 83 percent of people trust the opinions of friends and family rather than brands, it’s wise to include real customers into your Instagram marketing strategy. A great way to build credibility is by showcasing user-generated content (UGC). This is content created by consumers that’s posted on social media. Its authenticity encourages users to trust brands because someone they know recommended it.
Airbnb’s Instagram thrives off of user-generated content as it features the homes of people who rent out their spaces to strangers:
They even encourage users to share their content with them by tagging them in their bio:
To encourage UGC for your brand, encourage your audience to post something and tag you in it. Beyond that, create a branded hashtag people can add to their post so you have all of them in one place and be sure to make it unique and relevant to your brand. Sift through all the content and post the best ones to your Instagram page. Remember to tag the user whose content you’re posting in the description so they get their credit.
Run a contest
Who doesn’t love the thrill of entering a contest to see if they’ve won stuff for free? There’s something about running contests and giveaways that entices people. It’s tough to turn the chance of winning something down and it always feels good to win, which is probably why contests are a good way to boost sales.
You have to give away something your audience actually wants. This is important because you want as many people to enter as possible so you can get their attention and move them through the sales funnel. You can set the guidelines however you’d like, whether that’s having them submit UGC, like or comment on a post, follow you, etc.
Create a hashtag that’s specific to your contest to create brand recognition, stay organized, and follow along with what users are doing. It should be short, easy to remember, and relevant to the contest itself.
Mint created the hashtag #MyMintMoment for their contest which was catchy and reflected what they wanted their audience to do:
Instagram is a versatile platform that ecommerce businesses can use to increase sales and encourage engagement. You can showcase UGC, create a contest, go live, and use influencer marketing to boost your social media strategy and reach your goals. How will you use Instagram marketing to your benefit?
According to Statistica, the number of worldwide users on social media is projected to hit a whopping 3.02 billion active users per month by 2021. That's one-third of the world’s entire population! So, it’s obvious that social media, more and more, is engaging the majority of the world's citizenry.
Related: The 4 Essentials to Building Your Brand on Social Media
That means if you own a business and you’re not focused on building a strong brand presence on social media this year, your customers already are or soon will be choosing your competitors.
That fact is intriguing to me, as a modern-day business owner. I've never questioned the value of having a social media presence, but I wanted to dive deeper into that realm to see what other views entrepreneurs might voice about the evolution of social media.
Along the way, I found that the problem most brands face with social media isn’t whether or not to take advantage of it, but how to take advantage of it. I’ve certainly fallen into the “information overload” trap myself. I too have become overwhelmed with the plethora of tips, tricks, secrets and strategies being preached left and right.
With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and other platforms -- plus videos, blogs, etc. -- as options for online marketing these days, an obvious observation is that brands are struggling to identify the most profitable social media strategy to use for their business. So, I singled out several eminently successful entrepreneurs to talk to about their recommendations for effective online marketing.
Here are the five strategies they suggested for using social media to fuel business growth this year:
1. Use social media to drive traffic to your ecommerce stores.
In a phone interview, Cody Neer, the CEO of several multimillion dollar ecommerce brands, highlighted how powerful social media can be for ecommerce entrepreneurs like himself. “We use social media to drive traffic to over 300 of our ecommerce stores,' he told me. And most of his success has come, he said, from funneling his brands' social media followers to those brands' stores through paid Facebook advertising.
'Our brands are expected to cross $60 million in sales by the end of 2019 [with] much of that success thanks to social media,' Neer told me.
Takeaway: If you too have an ecommerce business, scale your business quickly by using targeted Facebook advertising to drive more traffic to your store. With over 1.4 billion active Facebook users every day, the problem isn’t whether or not your customers are scrolling. They are, but that doesn’t mean they'll find your Facebook page or convert to paying customers. You have to market to them in a way that makes them want to buy, and that’s achieved by targeting the right kind of people with the right kind of offer.
2. Use plenty of videos on social media to keep your audience engaged and growing.
Open your favorite social media platform; you’ll notice your feed is replete with video content instead of text and images. In fact, algorithms have changed, evolving to prefer video content over other content formats. And that's something the leading brands have noticed: A whopping 86 percent of businesses already use video on their website, and 77 percent use video on social media, according to Vidyard statistics.
Related: 7 Creative Ways to Boost Your Social Media Strategy
As Tai Lopez, investor and advisor to multimillion-dollar businesses, told Entrepreneur, “Follow one simple formula for social media success: live a fascinating, authentic, adventurous life and share it through vlogging [video blogging].' Added Lopez: 'I’ve made more money with my iPhone than most people have made in their lives with high-tech equipment.”
Takeaway: There are dozens of ways you can use videos to keep your audience engaged and growing. Consider sharing an authentic behind-the-scenes look at your life. Document your company’s next product launch. Show your followers what it’s like to work for your company, etc. The bottom line: If you’re not using videos on social media, your customers are becoming unengaged -- fast.
3. Build brand awareness by using targeted influencers on social media to market your products for you.
Josh Forti, social media influencer marketing expert, explained to me by phone how he’s used social media to organically grow over five million followers online for both his clients and himself.“I’ve primarily used social media to build online audiences that serve as assets to brands,' Forti said. 'If you can get your product or service publicly vouched [for] by a trusted authority in your niche, your sales can skyrocket overnight.”
3 Ways The New Instagram Can Boost Your Ecommerce Efforts Work
What he was talking about, of course, was the growing use of influencer marketing: One study showed that 22 percent of marketers surveyed already considered influencer marketing the most cost-effective way of obtaining new customers.
Takeaway:Partnering with influencers on social media can be one of the most profitable decisions you make for your business this year. Influencers are now widely considered more relatable than celebrities. That's why consumers turn to their favorite models and gurus for advice on what to buy.
4. Provide massive amounts of value before asking for anything in return.
Never forget that customers hate being 'sold' to, but love to buy. One surefire way to have your customers line up to do that is to provide a massive amount of free value before asking for a sale. Arguably the leading expert of the value-first concept is Gary Vaynerchuk, author of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, in which he explained how to provide free valuable content to your audience on social media to build trust and entice visitors to buy.
Takeaway: This concept is even more critical today, when customers are being bombarded with ads on their social feeds. If you want to build engaged brand followers on social media who love you and love buying from you, provide content that solves their problems and shows that you care about them before asking for a sale. You’ll quickly build a pool of loyal fans who buy from you over and over again.
3 Ways The New Instagram Can Boost Your Ecommerce Efforts Make
5. Use social media to tell your brand story and successfully differentiate yourself from the competition.
Everyone -- including your customers -- loves a good story. Lauren Gordon, storytelling and content marketing specialist, explained to me in an interview that she uses social media to strategically differentiate herself from competition. “Don’t ever forget that every single human being makes decisions based on emotion and justifies with logic,' Gordon said.
3 Ways The New Instagram Can Boost Your Ecommerce Efforts Affect
'This means, if you want your brand to stand the test of time, you need to be telling your brand’s story across social media to differentiate yourself from competitors, build deep connections and trust with customers and earn your customers’ loyalty.”
Whether yours is a personal brand or a company brand, you can use any social media platform to tell your brand’s story, and quickly differentiate yourself from the competition. No matter how many social media transformations we see in the next decade, we humans are going to be drawn to the same fundamental things. This means customers being drawn to stories they can relate to and brands they can deeply connect with.
Takeaway: In this context, brand storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to differentiate yourself, connect with your customers, increase brand loyalty and sell your vision.
So, those are these entrepreneurs' five best social media strategies. Whether you use one or all five, growing your business using social media has never been easier than it is today.
Related: 5 Tactics To Build Your Social Media Following
Assess your company’s current problems, and find out how you can fill the gaps. What's key to using social media to drive sales is the willingness to experiment until you find what works best for your brand.