Most people and businesses have a love/hate relationship with social media. Maintaining, enhancing and promoting our social media accounts can take up so much time in our days, especially if you’re following about 20 different how-to guides that end up flooding your mind with hashtags techniques and linkback strategies.
However, for the majority of businesses, the return on investment of these accounts is minimal, especially when compared to email marketing campaigns and PPC ventures. However, some businesses do make a lot of money when using their social media in the right way.
Why can’t I be one of them!?
I hear you cry. Well, let’s focus on the basics. In short, Facebook is designed for sharing content, and friend posts. That’s a whole other ball game I’m not going to get into today. However, Instagram is a different story.
Did you know that 68% of all Instagram followers will regularly engage with brands and businesses on their accounts? In comparison, it’s only 32% of Facebook. What’s more, Instagram isn’t absolutely drenched with marketers already, meaning you can effortlessly slip your content into a user’s feed among photos of their dinner and favourite holiday destinations.
But how can I Instagram benefit my eCommerce business?
Okay, well let’s find out! Today, I’m going to share five essential and need-to-know steps to assist you in generating Instagram eCommerce.
Step #1 – Getting Your Content Perfect
Instagram is all about content.
Think about your current process for creating and posting content of your Instagram page. Do you suddenly grab your phone thinking now’s a good time to post, think of something up on the spot and upload it?
Don’t worry, although this seems primitive (and it is), there are so many Instagram eCommerce businesses out there that do it.
So it’s time to take things to the next level.
Put yourself in the eyes of your potential customers. When you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed, what are you keeping your eyes out for and what kind of posts do you interact with?
The answer; genuine posts.
“You don’t want something slapped together in a couple of seconds; you want something that provides you with real value. Something that stops you scrolling, double-tapping that pictures and start commenting below” – shares Paul Daniels, a social media writer for Paper Fellows.
You want something real. All social media users need authenticity in their feeds, it’s what they crave, and this relates to both people, followers and brands. However, getting this right for your own business and you’ll have a lot more work to do.
People will start commenting and liking your posts, and then you’ll need to spend even more time replying to these comments and getting people exciting while giving them a glimpse into this amazing online community that you’re creating that centres around your entire brand.
Welcome to batching.
“Instead of sitting and creating a single post when you feel like we need one, Instagram has a drafts feature, allowing you to create posts and save them for a later date. This means you can set aside a set number of hours per week and solely create Instagram posts. Because you’re not just creating them when you’ve stopped to have a coffee, you’ll be putting much more effort into them, making them far more effective and interactive” – explains Travis Harper, a social media writer for Coursework Writing Service.
You can source images from your own camera, use stock websites or any place where you normally get your images, just make sure they are relevant and high-quality. Unsplash is one of my personal favourites.
You can also focus on creating perfect captions that your users are going to love. Of course, this will depend on your business and the style of your branding, but here are some online tools that can help;
- Easy Word Count & Grammar Checker – These are two tools to help you track the word count of your captions, and for checking the grammar.
- Essayroo & Do My Assignment – Two leading proofreading services, as reviewed by Assignment Help services, to help you ensure accuracy in your content.
- Cite It In & Viawriting – Two free online tools to help you format your captions, and to improve your vocabulary in them.
- Paper Writers & Boom Essays – Two expert proofreading services to ensure your captions are free from mistakes, as recommended by the HuffPost in Write My Essay article.
- State of Writing & My Writing Way – Two blogs full of writing guides that can help you to improve your general writing skills.
- Assignment Writer – A professional editing tools to ensure your captions match your personal business branding.
Start by creating a month’s worth of content. This may seem like a lot, but it’s a great jumping off point. This will allow you to create high-quality posts that your users will love.
Step #2 – Implement Automation
The next step is implementing automation into your email marketing strategy. Too much time can be spent trying to organise when the best time to post is and what works best for you (based on your analytics).
However, this can also eat up precious hours of your day, so it’s important that you start using automation software. While you can’t directly post to Instagram using third-party software, you can set up a calendar that will notify you when to post and when’s best for your followers.
This can save you so much time when it comes to posting, allowing you to focus your attention on more important things like Step #3.
Step #3 – Interacting with Followers
As I’ve mentioned above, one of the most important things about running a successful Instagram eCommerce campaign is making sure that users feel as though they are part of your online community. They want to feel included and appreciated by your brand and business, so you’ll need to put effort into making sure that this happens.
The best way to do this is asking questions in your captions to get your followers commenting on your posts. Then, you can encourage a conversation by replying to these conversations, starting a community conversation surrounding your Instagram eCommerce business.
However, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of checking your profile every couple of minutes to try and reply, and this will simply eat up your day, and you won’t get accurate results from your responses. Instead, set aside designated periods of time to reply. Perhaps once a day for half an hour. Be strict with yourself and stick to your limits.
Step #4 – Creating a Conversion-Friendly Page
So, we’ve created a high-quality number of followers, and they simply can’t get enough of your page. Now we need to get them to buy things! This means creating an Instagram eCommerce experience that’s fluid for your users and makes buying as easy as possible.
Let’s say you own a clothing eCommerce store, and the majority of your pictures are of models wearing your clothes. A good first step is to link to your product in your bio every time you upload a new photo.
You can then write in the caption of your image ‘Click the link in the bio to call this your own’ or words to that effect. This link should take your user directly to that product page on your eCommerce store where they can make a sale.
Of course, if you’re posting about blog posts or other pages on your website, you can update this link here as well. You then need to tweak your eCommerce store and your Instagram page, so they work effortlessly side-by-side.
Are there any steps in your sales journey that can be removed to give your customers a quicker and more fluid experience? If you’re using landing pages, another tip is to use customised URLs, rather than yourwebsite.com/3f9h49gn40, but rather yourwebsite.com/yourproduct, as this simply looks a lot more professional and legitimate.
You could use this tactic for all kinds of purposes, including linking to your home page, an online event that you’re hosting or even for people to sign up to your email marketing list.
Many store also improve their homepage design with an embedded and shoppable version of their Instagram feed. Apps like Foursixty or Snapppt make this easy to do.
Step #5 – Taking Things to the Next Level
Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to start ramping things up when it comes to your Instagram eCommerce conversion rates. This could mean running competitions and posting user-generated content to get people excited really.
If you sell a product, find a relevant hashtag that isn’t really used and get your followers to tag themselves using your products and then, every now and then, post one of their pictures as a user featured picture.
This is another great way to get people interested in your online community. As mentioned, an Instagram competition is another extremely popular way to boost sales.
Whether you’re offering an Instagram discount code and then letting people buy, whereas people who have quoted the code can then be entered into a prize draw, or simply giving away a prize to people who like and share a certain post (possibly even tagging a friend or two in the comments), the opportunities you have here are only limited by your imagination.
As you can see, the process of effectively generating Instagram eCommerce sales for your business relies on you being organised, one-step-ahead and creative with what you do. Be sure to put your followers and potential customers first in every decision you make, and you can guarantee the very best experience.