With over 200 million* active users there is no doubt that Instagram deserves your brand’s attention. In fact some of the most successful brands we’ve seen on Storenvy have built their entire business around leveraging and growing an audience on Instagram. As powerful as Instagram is, your success primarily comes down to how well you use it.
First and foremost use Instagram the way it was intended.
Instagram has built their huge user base around sharing beautiful images and that remains true. When you approach the platform you need to keep in mind simply posting standard product photos not only wont do you any good, in fact it may hurt your brand. Instagram users want to see beautiful images that are captured in the moment, not posed/polished/sterile images that resemble anything close to a standard ecommerce product photo. Whatever you do make sure your photo does not look like an ad!
Keep this in mind when implementing any of the ideas below.
What should I post?
- People love to see behind the scenes! They want to see how the sausage is made, so show them. Instead of simply showing your final product show them how you make your products. People are more apt to connect and fall in love with a product when they can see how much passion you have poured into it.
- Show pictures of your office or workspace. No matter what your workspace looks like it helps paint a story about your brand and the products that you make. Show your tools, sketches, messy desk and whatever else shows the human side of your business. Customers want to connect with you just as much as they want to buy a product.
- Show what your products can do. Portray the feeling that a customer will get wearing or using your product. Photos are the easiest way to portray your brand’s lifestyle. Remember, you are not selling things, you are selling customers a better version of themselves. Show them how much more awesome they will feel/be when they purchase your product.
- Exclusive previews work great on Instagram. Give your Instagram followers even more reason to follow you by giving them exclusive sneak peeks and previews to upcoming pieces or lines you will be releasing.
- You! Your customers want to know who they are buying from. The best small business brands that I know have done an amazing job making themselves part of their brand. People want to know that there is a living breathing human being that they are purchasing from, not some faceless company. If they wanted that they could just go shop at their local mall.
- Leverage contests to quickly grow your following. Post a product, ask your followers to tag a friend that would also love that product and then pick a winner at random. This is a cheap, easy and fun way to get your followers to help spread the word about your brand.
- Instagram celebrities can absolutely blow up your business. Reach out to a few Instagrammers who have large followings that fit with your brand and offer them free product in exchange for a post. While this wont always work, you’ll be surprised to see how many of them will and how big of an impact it can have on your business.
Always be looking to strike a balance between showing off your products and yourself. After all, you are your brand so make sure your personality, lifestyle and passion comes through in every picture you snap. Have fun and happy Instagraming!
*This number is accurate as of 3/24/14