Instagram is the best platform to "show the goods face." But users of all social networks, including this one, are tired of direct sales head-on.
For your convenience, we made the navigation on the article:
- Account Registration: Identity Brief
- Creating content for an online store on Instagram
- We write the content plan: we define the types of publications and the time of placement
- Features of working with hashtags
- Should I use emoji
- Cards of goods - placement rules
- Media Work: Live and Instagram Stories
- Attracting New Subscribers and Retaining Audience
- How to place effective advertising - instructions
- Choosing a blogger account: what to look for
- Stimulate activity: how to communicate and what to ask your audience?
- Work with clients: orders and order management
- Processing comments to the goods
- Mailing in "Direct": communication and sales
- How to choose SMM-manager
- Popular Instagram Online Store Profiles: 8 Ideas to Follow
Create and configure a business profile
There is nothing complicated in registering a commercial Instagram account: all that is required of you is to link your profile to Facebook. Details on the process you can read on Instagram. Now it remains to come up with the name of the account, its description and upload a profile photo. Contact the designer to create a logo version specifically for your Instagram profile.
The profile should be informative: the user immediately understands what products you offer (there is a link to the site, a description and contacts).
Account Registration: Identity Brief
The word "identity" is derived from the English "brand identity" - a concept that covers all the elements of brand identification. Identity, or corporate identity of the brand, includes:
- Brand name
- A fixed palette of corporate colors,
- General principles of composition,
- Original graphics.
What does this mean for an online store account on Instagram? All work on the design is reduced to one main principle: cause a desire to buy goods.
Create a single visual style for all posts, different from the profiles of competitors or accounts of similar subjects.
Instagram content is created for the same purpose: so that the brand can be easily identified and remembered.
Creating content for an online store on Instagram
Content is one of the main carriers of the philosophy of your brand, its culture, basic principles, fundamental values, corporate ethics.
If we talk about the obvious, the first thing that needs to be done is to hire or learn the craft of a photographer. High-quality photos of your product on professional equipment with the correct exposure and good light - half the success.
In Instagram, it is important to take into account the visual component, this network does not tolerate a hack to the quality of photos:
Try to comply with the minimum requirements for registration (about them it was said above):
This product for comparison in a different profile:
Photograph the product in action:
Choose good quality photos, do not upload them with text:
In addition to design, corporate identity requires attention to the syllable. Posts should be written taking into account the brand positioning.
Also, the content plan should include a description of content types, provisions on the style of the text, hashtags for headings.
We write the content plan: we define the types of publications and the time of placement
How to make a content plan, read in a recent article.
Standardly, you can select the following types of content:
- reputational - information about the victories and regalia of your brand / product. As an example: they use celebrities, received a diploma at the exhibition, improved their qualifications, successfully passed certification, etc. Tell us about participation in charity: how you help to take care of nature or help the shelter of homeless animals;
- teaching. Posts that help customers use your product. For cosmetics, the rules for applying makeup; for a fabric store, lessons on sewing products, etc. Write how much time it took to learn what you are doing;
- entertaining - A great excuse to make your subscribers laugh or touch them with a fun picture / video. Choose jokes on topics close to your audience. This will help you a careful study of customer accounts. If with a sense of humor complex relationships, it is better not to joke in the profile at all;
- news - Includes information on sales, seasonal discounts and promotions. Here you can also include events in your industry, trends and comparisons with competitors' products;
- communicative. Surveys, requests to choose the best option, appeal to subscribers for advice - help to engage the audience in a dialogue. As an example: before starting production of a new line of clothing, ask your audience to choose a print, style, etc. Share the book you have read, ask what inspires your subscribers. Or tell us about your future plans and ask the audience about the same;
- selling - I think this task of these posts is very clear. You can tell about the benefits of your product, show how your product helped solve the client's problem, use storytelling.
Information about the activity of subscribers to determine the optimal time of posting can be obtained:
- In the Picaton service:
- In the native service of Instagram analytics for a business profile. How to use it, read my other article.
- I like working with the Amplifer posting service - he knows how to analyze the best time for posting:
Therefore, all autoposting services violate at least two official rules:
- Ban on publishing from PC.
- The ban on the transfer of username and password to a third party - because the services can not directly publish through the API, you are risky giving them a username and password from your profile.
Another argument for the "Amplifer" - you create future posts, specify the time and see analytics on the account at the same time. The service reminds you in advance with the help of a bot in Telegram or via Facebook messenger that it’s time to publish - it sends a picture and text in a dialogue. Publishing them manually is safer. And the account is not threatened with blocking, which is even more important.
Features of working with hashtags
As for hashtags, it's time to dispel myths about their incredible benefits.
- Search by hashtag? It is unlikely that an ordinary user so often uses this feature. Not many people even know how to use the search - much more often, users simply watch a tape of events with friends and subscriptions.
- Popular hashtags will bring you likes from offers (of the same stores and commercial profiles that set up mass-leasing by hashtags or bots). Why such activity is useless and even harmful, I already wrote in the article.
- You can use popular hashtags, but their gain in search is too crazy. Do not expect that you will be noticed among the constantly updated hundreds and thousands of new photos among more than 700 million Instagram users!
In general, hashtags will not bring any substantial benefit in promoting an account. However, there is comforting news. It is possible and necessary to use hashtags as follows:
- Geoheshtegi - binding to a specific region. The usual hashtag # of the fabric is not aimed at any segment of the target audience, but the # of the Moscow fabric will be much more useful.
- Hashtags as a rubricator. For example, we use such hashtags in our work as # sk_collection, # lukbuk, #newseason, # sksk_inspiration, # fabrics in stock, # denim fabrics, # flax, etc. - these hashtags are designed to make it easier for the user to find the necessary assortment in your online store account.
- Branded hashtags. As an example: #roseantique #rose_antique_shop #rose_antique, # samsebekyurye, # sam_sebe_kutyur.
I recommend not to abuse hashtags in vain. Try to use no more than 11 to post.
Should I use emoji
Everyone has already noticed that Facebook has replaced regular likes with smilies? In Instagram, however, a good half of comments and signatures are made up of smiles.
Emoji or smilies:
- cause emotions and help make friends with your audience,
- personify communication
- facilitate the perception and erase language boundaries
- attract attention and help focus in the text,
- save time and space by reducing the number of words.
An example of how to use emoji / smiles in the account description:
Emoji is also appropriate to add in the description of goods:
And you can also use emoticons for visual separation, designation of product quality, environmental friendliness and other properties:
In 2015, the Unicode Consortium organization published a list of new icons from the eighth edition of Unicode (Unicode 8.0) - the Taco emoticon also got there:
Cards of goods - placement rules
What is an online store without an assortment? So, what can and should be included in the product description on the Instagram network:
Product description. Write briefly and interestingly: you can add funny facts, your personal experience, the history of the appearance of goods in the store, provide usage statistics. Write a story about how a person solved a problem with your product. Remember that people come to talk and not buy! To evoke emotions, to stimulate discussion and need in commodity posts. Tell us about trends, seasonal trends. We supplement the description of fabrics, for example, in addition to the price and composition, with useful information:
Specify the purpose - for whom is suitable and why this product is useful. Imagine that you are talking face to face with a client. In addition to the dry facts about the characteristics of the product, describe also the emotional benefits that it carries. For example, if a dress is made of flax, add that it will be comfortable even in a forty-degree heat.
Got attention? Now indicate the price / availability / address of the store. Be sure to write about the discount - it will give you the opportunity to feel that the customer not only spends, but also saves. People react positively to discounts because they guarantee less pain from spending.
Use delimiters. You will facilitate a potential buyer a visual search for the information he needs.
Specify the link to the profile / website or the name of the store / brand. Despite the lack of clickability of links in the description of posts, try to keep the brand name in front of your eyes, it helps to memorize. Remember: when in childhood we tried to memorize poetry, we read and looked at the book several times.
Some more tips:
- Make a TK for posts or create your own redpolicy:
- Enter the category “product of the week” (or day) and tell about the hero: why this product deserves close attention of the audience.
- Earlier, I already wrote about the need to publish photos of satisfied customers: user content (UGC) works for you, as excellent social proof. This is where branded hashtags come in handy. Ask the client to share a photo with your hashtag, make a discount or a gift to those who post the goods in their account.
- Add a ribbon of trust to your products on the site - share with customers information that your customers are happy with the product and are already putting it on your Instagram.
- Use QR codes to allow visitors to offline stores to instantly subscribe to your Instagram. In this service, you can encrypt the link to your account. The same can be done for your site, in general - any information.
Media Work: Live and Instagram Stories
Instagram launched the disappearing photos of Instagram Stories in August 2016, and after 2 months, according to Buzzfeed, more than 100 million users have already used them.
You can add:
- instructions for use of the product;
- interesting videos and photos from the life of your employees at work - behind the scenes;
- contests, promotions and raffle gifts;
- interviews with interesting people;
- product announcements, season opening;
- greeting cards with greetings.
In Instagram Stories you can also:
- Search for an audience by active hashtags and geolocation.
- Sell, indicating in the video or in the text on the image about the possibility to take the order in "Direct" using the "Send Message".
- Arrange a quest or marathon.
- Link to another your or recommended account.
- Broadcast live.
Video-based publications are attracting increasing user attention:
Especially popular are live broadcasts or online broadcasts.According to a study by Social Media Examiner, the online broadcasting format in 2016 was used by only 14% of marketers. I think in 2017 this figure will at least double.
According to Facebook, live broadcasts involve an audience 10 times more active than regular videos.
In the social network "Vkontakte" users even give stickers for viewing broadcasts. Example: buying stickers is possible while streaming (the slang name for online broadcasts) of one of the opinion leaders.
The community of "VK DotA 2" also opened access to stickers during the broadcast of the championship to attract the attention of users.
How to use live video format online store? Live can be:
- Anwser the questions.
- Present new products.
- Broadcast the participation of your campaign in significant industry events, such as an exhibition or conference.
For example, the editors of the Allure publication live shared their impressions of the new lipstick Urban Decay.
Instagram functionality is constantly expanding. In addition to the "Stories", users have become available carousel (a slide show of several photos), there are more and more opportunities for processing publications of all formats.
Additionally, I would like to recommend Popsters service - if you don’t know yet what content your target audience likes, use it:
- Enter a search by hashtag, link to your account and analyze simultaneously the pages of different companies, communities from different social networks (not just Instagram).
- Here you can find new ideas for your publications.
- You can see which posts are more or less attractive for the audience, sort them by format, text volume, publication date, and even content.
Attracting New Subscribers and Retaining Audience
Details on the black and white methods of promoting a business profile are written in Instagram.
On how to create advertising in the office business account Instagram, I also wrote.
In this article I will tell about the placement of advertising posts with "infliuenserov" / opinion leaders.
In 2016, influence marketing became one of the most popular tools in promoting brands around the world. The concept is quite simple: the brand finds an "influenser" (opinion leader) that fits the campaign objectives.
"Influenser" can be anyone - from the popular streamer to the person with the nickname SuperMama, who is believed by all the moms participating in the baby forum, or the user with a high rating on iRecommend.
“Influenser” can be any group, brand, company or even a club according to the interests that people trust on certain issues.
Your active subscribers, who share company values and are involved in community life, are also peculiar opinion leaders.An important rule is that before looking for "influensors", you need to know the target audience.
Advertising publications from "Influences" do not just get more coverage, but are effective in a number of other indicators. Working with opinion leaders helps:
- increasing the awareness of the audience about the brand / company / product / service,
- audience education (especially in the high-tech product segment),
- increase the number of subscribers and engagement,
- working out the negative (opinion leaders help dispel the myth about the harm / deficiencies of the product / service),
- increase sales
- increase confidence.
How to place effective advertising - instructions
- Collect target Instagram accounts for your audience. Or determine the geolocation - where your future customers live.
- Use advertising exchanges, such as Plibber or Sociate. This is the safest option, so as not to lower the budget for the account with the wound, "dead subscribers." Find niche bloggers that are popular among related brands, by hashtags and just in search.
- Adapt your promotional post to the style of the selected account. Analyze popular posts, study the profile manually or use the same Popsters or paid Minter.io.
What else should you pay attention to when buying advertising?
Choosing a blogger account: what to look for
- The number of subscribers is not as important as their activity. Look at the engagement score - ER:
- The number and quality of comments on posts. Too much advertising or spam is bad.
- Price for accommodation - the average prices from 600 to 5 000 rubles, highly dependent on the subject.
Since we consider subscriber engagement to be an important indicator of effective promotion on Instagram, let's see how to improve it in the online store profile.
Stimulate activity: how to communicate and what to ask your audience?
How to find out more about a person? To ask. Conduct polls, polls, interactives to increase the activity of subscribers. Engage in dialogue!
What can I ask from Instagram followers?
- Age and gender. Даже в чисто женском аккаунте могут быть мужчины. Вдруг они выбирают подарок для любимой?
- Место работы/учебы.
- Хобби или каким спортом занимаются.
- Есть ли дети, сколько их, какие методы воспитания применяют.
- География проживания или фактическое местонахождение. For example, your client may be on a business trip in the city you need or as a tourist.
- Income. At least approximate.
- Moral values, principles.
Ask to come up with an inscription to the photo of the post or fill in the pass in the description. For example, if you are selling sports equipment, create a post: "I love to start training with _____."
Work with clients: orders and order management
As in any store, Instagram also has a lot of communication with customers: to process comments and personal messages in the online store profile.
Processing comments to the goods
A few golden rules:
- Reply to all comments on posts.
- Comment on customer photos with your product.
- Always ask customers with negative reviews how you can improve the situation.
- Treat the negative always and everywhere, try not to delete it, if only it is not outright insults. It is good for your reputation.
- Do not leave comments unanswered.
What if you are afraid to skip comments?
Take advantage of automatic tracking and comment management. For example, in the Instalex service. Or set up sending all comments to the Telegram messenger in Picaton.
And you can also track comments in the profiles of your competitors (in discussions, posts, products):
- Chotam - the service of notification of comments in social networks, in addition to Instagram, keeps track of comments in VKontakte, Facebook, Odnoklassniki.
- Starcomment - the same plus YouTube.
Great guerilla marketing, isn't it? The efficiency and timeliness of monitoring activity among competitors works well here. If they respond to subscribers with a delay, it is likely that your offer may arrive earlier and you will gain a buyer.
Mailing in "Direct": communication and sales
Direct is a feature that allows you to exchange personal messages and publications with your subscribers. Use it to process appeals and orders. And automatic mailing.
Mailing is a mass sending of messages to users. With its help you can:
- send text, posts and text + post,
- attract new customers
- write welcome messages to subscribing,
- Announce to subscribers about new promotions or the beginning of seasonal sales.
You can also do a list on a given list, or intercept new subscribers from competitors and do a list on them! For this you need to use paid mailing services, for example:
- All the same Instalex.
As you understand, keeping an online store account on Instagram is energy-intensive. If there is no time, but there are funds, you can hire an SMM-manager.
How to choose SMM-manager
Before hiring a specialist, answer yourself a few questions:
- How do you see the sales scheme for your online store on Instagram?
- Did you buy through Instagram yourself?
- Are your competitors doing business in this social network?
- What will you do if the promotion does not pay off?
Profit and sales are all important. Do you understand why you need a social network presence? How will this affect your business? Business goes to Instagram for sales, but SMM-ping can not guarantee them!
Consider what the SMM specialist can be responsible for:
- Content is public. The responsibilities of the SMM-manager include the creation and posting of content.
- Communication. Automating posting in services allows you to focus all your efforts on communicating with subscribers: people go to social networks for communication, not shopping. Often, everyone begins to publish only selling and reputational content, forgetting about the main purpose of social networks - communication between users. Prompt response to questions and comments will help you not to lose customers.
- Traffic - the flow of potential customers. It is necessary to attract the target audience to Instagram, otherwise no one will see your content, and the products will remain unclaimed.
The applicant must:
- know the basic functionality of a social network. It will be great if the availability of this knowledge is confirmed by expert articles on the topic, publications on popular resources or in the personal blog of a specialist;
- have experience working with popular Instagram promotion tools (programs and services for autoposting, massfollowing, masslisting, media file processing, etc.);
- be able to work with negative, objections and black PR. Have experience in holding contests, promotions, etc.
- be able to use popular analytics systems.
The SMM manager searches for your target audience, prepares your customers for sales, is responsible for the content, sets up advertising, processes requests, and executes a promotion plan based on performance metrics.It is important to understand that it is only possible to charge content creation, setting up advertising and communication with customers only in a small company.
Popular Instagram Online Store Profiles: 8 Ideas to Follow
Ulmart (more than 2 thousand subscribers) shares events from the corporate life of the company:
Forever 21 (more than 13.3 million subscribers) is a mega-popular American store of youth clothing and accessories: they share bows (wardrobe collections) and just great photos with the expectation of their audience:
Managers of the popular Russian online store Wildberries (more than 79.7 thousand subscribers) share new products in their account in the account, and in the "Trends" section of the site they placed a ribbon of trust - INSTAWB.
A large British network of youth clothing stores TopShop (more than 8.9 million subscribers) is also aimed at young people: atmospheric photos of new collections and bows.
The Russian Lamoda account (more than 198 thousand subscribers) engages in dialogue with subscribers, conducts polls, uploads corporate news, and also asks to share subscribers with real photos with the #WeAreLamoda hashtag.
Sefora (more than 11.7 million subscribers) is an account for a network of perfume and cosmetic stores. He shares successful make-ups, tells about interesting accessories and trends of the year.
The world famous women's brand Victoria's Secret (over 56.2 million subscribers): photos of beautiful products on beautiful owners of elegant lingerie. The satisfied faces of the clients are clear to any girl.
The world-famous brand Tiffany (more than 6.8 million subscribers) does not just share great photos of its products. The brand pays special attention to socially significant activities and environmental protection: promotions can be found on the hashtag #TiffanySaveTheWild #KnotOnMyPlanet.
If you are sure that your audience is located on Instagram, then this social network is an excellent e-commerce platform. Finding new ways to attract customers is a difficult but interesting process. We help unleash communities from scratch.