Any online business will need to have a social media presence in order to connect and reach out to their online target audience, and Instagram marketing can be extremely beneficial and worthwhile for any online shop.
Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform in the last couple of years and it boasts over 500 million active daily users. These are users that are highly engaged and keen users of the visual platform.
Many ecommerce businesses can attribute their success to Instagram, where online brands have managed to amass a loyal following of users that have been successfully converted into paying customers. Brands like Gymshark, Luca and Grae, and Warby Parker and examples of ecommerce brands that have used Instagram to fuel their success and influence their follower.
As an enterprising ecommerce entrepreneur, you’re going to want in on the same level of success. But just as there are some right ways to use Instagram, there are wrong ways to use it too.
In this article, we are going to talk about the strategies you can employ to build a strong following who are excited about your online store and what it has to offer.
Whether you are just starting out with your Instagram business account or have been running one for a while now, the goal is always to get more followers and more engagement. Let’s now jump right into it and talk about what we can do to use Instagram right and gain a massive following in no time at all:
1. Target A Niche Market
A niche market is a subset of a larger market category with its own particular needs and preferences. For example, when it comes to women’s clothing, there are many different segments or niches under this large category.
On Instagram, users engage in content that align with their interest. For instance athletic women will follow brands and hashtags that offer athletic gear and content that promote an active lifestyle.
People on Instagram are searching for interest and social media communities that they can become a part of, and this is why niche accounts get followers, likes, and engagement.
Your target audience use social media to feed into their interest, so having a niche account centered on the proclivities of your target audience is a must. So if you were to run an online shop selling fitness clothing, you should use relevant fitness hashtags, post gym-related motivational images, videos, and tips on Instagram for users to find interesting.
If you can successfully build your ecommerce Instagram business account around a culture associated with a niche, then you may find yourself building a community of followers who turn up frequently in support of your business because they find you relevant to their lifestyle and interests.
2. Post Consistently
Instagram and its users favor accounts that post regularly and consistently. When someone follows your business on Instagram, they follow you because they like what they see from your past posts and they want to see more posts, more stories, and content in the future.
Letting your account sit and seem more dead than alive won’t do any online business any favors in growing a community and a following if the business does not appear active.
Our advice is that you plot your posts on your grid. For instance, you can post quotes on Mondays, feature a product on Wednesday, and on Fridays, you can feature some video content or behind the scenes.
It is best to find an ideal schedule for your posts and posts several times a week on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be every single day, 3 to 4 times a week is a viable and safe number for maintaining your followers' engagement and acquiring new ones.
3. Share Quality Images
Instagram is a visual platform where users follow individuals and brands who share photos that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. So if you can stick to high quality photography with similar and consistent themes, you’ll up your chances of people liking what they see and growing your brand’s following.
You should take note that images have the power to delight, attract, and to inform your target consumers. The right images can help you stimulate and drive the agenda of your marketing campaign and help you make more followers and customers.
Ideally, your ecommerce Instagram profile should be populated by images of a consistent and unique visual style that will appeal to your target audience and build brand recognition in your consumers.
4. Post At The Right Time
The level of engagement your posts can garner can have dramatic differences depending on the day and even the time you post. If you don’t post your content at the right time, the chances are that fewer of your followers and potential followers will see it.
So, when is the best time to post on Instagram?
Here are some key stats on a report conducted on the best times to post on social media, particularly on Instagram:
- Best Time: Wednesday 11 a.m. and Friday 10-11 a.m.
- Best Day: Wednesday
- Consistent Engagement: Tuesday- Friday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- Worst Day: Sunday
Engagement is higher during mid-day and mid-week, making the weekdays the safest and most effective days to post on social media, while the best times to post can be in the evening or mornings.
5. Engage in Trending Topics
Every day there are trending topics and hashtags being used in social media. If you want to stay current, improve discoverability, and engagement, then you can try to align some of your posts with these trending topics whenever an appropriate opportunity arises.
Keeping up with the trends can be a great engagement strategy. For instance, if it is mother’s day, feel free to create a relevant post with the right hashtags to boost your engagement and reach.
You can even start planning your posts ahead in line with the upcoming holidays and events, but also make sure to keep an eye out on rising trending topics. Just make sure you are contributing to the online topic in a meaningful way and you may find other users joining in to engage with your posts.
6. Use Hashtags
One of the best and most effective ways of growing your following and increasing your reach on Instagram is to use hashtags. This is because hashtags help you appear on search results. It also increases the likelihood of your post appearing on your target audience’s feed if they are following a particular hashtag that you are using.
You can conduct some hashtag research to find out which are the most followed ones on Instagram right now and also look up the ones that are most relevant to your online business. Each time you make a post, make sure to include a number of these hashtags to get more likes and more followers over time.
For instance, if you were running a plastic-free online store, then you can use hashtags like #plasticfree or #stopsucking. Many businesses also come up with their own unique hashtags so that followers and fans can also utilize the hashtag and join in the conversation. This is a great way to grow your Instagram community.
It’s important to note that you should also update your hashtag list now and again to keep up with which ones are trending.
7. Use Instagram Stories
While Instagram may have started as a photo-sharing application, it has evolved to support other types of media, and one that you should definitely be utilizing is Instagram stories.
Instagram stories is a feature that allows you to share a photo or a video that disappears in 24 hours. Keeping your stories updated is a great way to keep your followers in the loop, and you can post multiple stories every day without it being intrusive to your target audience.
Instagram stories can help you improve your engagement rate and your visibility. You can also use it to promote events, products, and services, and it is a great way to boost your social media content.
What’s more is that Instagram now allows you to choose story highlights and add them to your business page. These highlights will not disappear within 24 hours and can be viewed by your target audience at any time. This is a great place to promote your services and other highlights.
8. Optimize Your Bio
Never forget your Instagram bio or take it for granted. Your bio is one of the first things your target audience will notice the first time they visit your Instagram profile. You only get 150 characters to utilize in your bio, so make it count.
Your bio should include a brief description of what followers can expect from your account and a call to action. It should also include one link URL (Instagram will only allow for one link at a time). You can use this feature to link your followers to your ecommerce shop. You can also include a hashtag, and some contact information, like an email address.
When creating your bio, keep things short, sweet, and effective.
9. Try Instagram Advertising
All the methods to grow your Instagram business account that we have mentioned thus far are free. However, if you want to gain more traction, Instagram’s paid ads are great for when you want to extend your reach and increase the number of people exposed to your products and services. Ads appear in-feed, appear totally native, and are especially targeted towards your target audience.
Instagram offers five different ad formats in the form of:
- Stories ads
- Photo ads
- Video ads
- Carousel ads
- Collection ads
Quite like any other social advertising platform, Instagram advertising allows you to target specific demographics, based on gender, age, location, behavior, and more. This helps to assure you that your ads are going to the right target mark.
Wrapping It Up
In this post, we talked about some of the ways that you can grow your Instagram business account for ecommerce. We talked about how to get a targeted following that will help you grow your business so that it can reach its full potential.
Remember that you should focus on delivering good content consistently and regularly, and to use all the features that you’ll have at your disposal through the app. Many of the ways to grow your Instagram business account is free, but there are also paid methods for you to promote your brand and generating the revenue for your store to really get your online business booming.
Get In Touch
Trying to improve your social media strategy and build a booming ecommerce business? If you are, and you have a project in mind, please feel free to start a conversation with Ecommerce Pro today! We love to discuss the future plans of online business ventures and to share practical solutions to help you meet your ecommerce and dropshipping business goals.