The average person will spend 5 years of their life on social media. If you’re selling a B2C product or running an e-commerce business, you should already be utilizing social media advertising.
Many of the largest fashion brands are moving their advertising budgets on to social media and influencer marketing, as it offers a higher return on investment when compared to conventional advertising.
Instagram is particularly appealing to marketers. The social platform provides a great way for brands to promote their products, connect with new audiences, and engage with existing customers. Through linking up with Instagram influencers, you can promote your products to thousands of people in your target demographic, while also boosting your chance of conversion by utilizing the relationship the influencer has already established with their followers.
So how can you use Instagram to help your business build an online following, increase brand loyalty, and drive sales?
Here are seven ways to boost your social media following and build your brand using Instagram.
1. Get Facebook Ads Manager: Instagram Ads
Around 93 percent of marketers are regularly using Facebook Ads. Instagram Ads runs through the platform and offers a high return on investment with instant results for your brand.
2. Understand Instagram’s Algorithm
If you’re going to produce content that goes viral on Instagram, you need to understand how it chooses which content it shows to users.
The three core factors that decide what Instagram puts on your feed:
Interest: Instagram analyses your past reactions to posts and uses this data to predict and present posts it thinks you will find interesting.
Recent Posts: Instagram gives priority to newer posts over posts that could be a week old or more.
Strength of Connections: Instagram gives a higher priority to posts that are shared by people you’ve interacted with previously by commenting on posts or being tagged in the same photo.
Keeping the three core factors in mind, the additional aspects that affect rankings are:
- How often you check your Instagram. Instagram tries to present the best posts since you last checked in.
- How many people you follow. If you follow hundreds of people, it will be picking posts from a deeper pool so you might not see as much from each person.
- How much time you spend on Instagram. If you spend more extended amounts of time browsing, Instagram will dig deeper to find posts you haven’t seen before.
3. Engage and Maintain Followers With Regular Shoutouts
Content that provokes high engagement helps bring new followers to your account by expanding your organic reach. Make regular shoutouts mentioning active followers in your Instagram posts to boost the engagement of your followers.
4. Offer Discounts to Followers
Give customers a reason to follow your account by offering discounts to Instagram followers. Some state of the art e-commerce systems can actually inform you if a buyer at your store is already following you on Instagram. If you don’t have the budget for expensive e-commerce technology, you can encourage people to follow your account by simply sending automated direct messages to your followers with exclusive discount codes.
5. Purchase Shoutouts
Send a friendly and polite direct message to a large Instagram page requesting their prices for shoutouts. It will give you an idea of what you will need to spend to promote your products on pages of that size. You might be pleasantly surprised too; some well-followed pages offer great value for promoting your product to their audience.
Brands Fashion Nova and HiSmile have both seen massive boosts to their market presence by partnering with social media influencers Conor McGregor and Kylie Jenner. While it will take a large budget to partner with influencers with millions of followers, everybody needs to start somewhere. Look for influencers in your niche with around 10,000 followers to start.
7. Share User-Generated Content
Many well thought of and respected brands like Mercedes-Benz regularly highlight user-generated content (UGC) on their social media platforms. UGC is an excellent way for a brand to exhibit social proof while sharing compelling brand content.
Those looking to build their e-commerce brand and grow their Instagram following have several tried and tested strategies to help them achieve their goal. Remember that good marketing is always about testing, analyzing, and learning from your efforts. Keep the above strategies in mind when you start your Instagram marketing campaign.
George Drennan is a writer on all things digital marketing and the founder of Eagle Content, a UK based copywriting company that helps businesses connect with their clients.