Using Instagram to Connect with Your Mobile Audience
April 7, 2015
First there was Flickr, and as that died out Pinterest stepped in to replace it. Now, while Pinterest is still going strong Instagram is making strides as the image sharing platform of choice for the mobile user; a demographic that is increasingly important to any retail business. It is also a platform utilized more often than Pinterest by males and younger females.
If you are not familiar with how it works Instagram is an app, designed for use (at the moment) for mobile devices. The app takes the place of the standard camera and then users can edit and add filters to their images to create what are often basically little works of art. They can then tag and comment on the pictures and share them in basically the same way as any other social network.
Now owned by Facebook the platform hit 300 million users and is still growing. So the question for any retail business owner is how can I leverage this newer social platform to my advantage?
Here are just a few suggestions:
Inspire Your Customers to Showcase Your Products
Ask your current customers to show the world what they do with your products. A great example was a campaign created by Sharpie, which encouraged Instagram users to showcase artwork created using just their pens. The results were in many cases spectacular and encouraged huge engagement, with an average of a whopping 1,300 likes PER PHOTO!
Let Your Customers Showcase Themselves
In the spirit of social sharing you can also encourage your Instagram audience to share themselves. For example, jewelry giant Tiffany & Co ran a very successful Instagram campaign that asked users to submit photos of real couples in love in poses or situations inspired by their marketing phrases.
A number of fashion retailers also make great use of asking customers to upload pictures of themselves wearing their purchases with appropriate hashtags and then actually use these images on their main website as great 'real life' stock showcases and this is a technique that could be used by almost any retail business in relation to their own offerings.
The Instagram Contest
As is the case with many other social media platforms a contest can be a big draw on Instagram. What makes it more even effective is the integration that now exists between Facebook and Instagram, which allows you to run a contest that can feature images submitted to either site.
The Behind the Scenes Peek
Because almost all of us now have a mobile device with us almost all of the time it is not hard to use Instagram to offer your followers a 'behind the scenes' peek at your business and the people behind it that can help build both engagement and your brand. Take a picture of your packing process, your office, the view from outside your window. None of these things will take you more than a minute or so and you might be pleasantly surprised by just how engaging such things can be.
Offer an Instagram Only Special
Instagram is not a sales oriented platform in the way that Pinterest can be but offering a special 'Instagram' only special can be very successful. It should not be used too often, as to do that might appear spammy, but occasional use is fine.
Koehler Home Decor is a wholesaler of home decor accessories and unique gifts. Source quality wholesale merchandise at KoehlerHomeDecor.com and find tips for promoting your business on our blog.