Missing a trick? How brands can double-tap into success on Instagram
Instagram: it’s all about image. As a picture speaks 1000 words, it’s a social media platform that shouldn’t be forgotten.
Filter this: Research suggests that over 80% of consumers now research a product or service online before purchasing, which includes looking at the brand’s website, customer reviews, and social media channels. In today’s inter-connected world, consumers are interacting with businesses across multiple touch points, and so brands have to incorporate multi-channel into their strategies.
Social media allows businesses to meet and greet its customers online, starting a conversation and interacting and engaging with them in a way never possible beforehand. In an ever-competitive market, you have to provide added value in order to attract and retain customers, and social media is one of the ways that brands can manage this.
With more than 300 million users, Instagram boasts more than 70 million photos and videos shared each day. The photo and video-sharing network’s prime time to post has been found to be 5pm EST on Wednesday, perhaps as at this time less people are generally posting, but more engaged users are active.
Speaking of engagement, findings show that Instagram users are 58 times more likely to like, comment, or share a brand’s post than Facebook users and 120 more likely than Twitter users.
5 easy tips to help towards Insta-success:
Know your customer
Is your customer already on Instagram? If so, who do they follow? What do they like? What are they engaging with? Knowing the answers to these questions can determine if, first of all, Instagram is a platform that you should be using, and what type content is king to your customers.
Social media shouldn’t be looked at as just an additional platform for selling. It should portray the brand as a whole, expressing brand values, beliefs, interests and opinions. Customers tend to relate more to a brand that has a perceivable identity.
For example, Burberry has used its Instagram account to express the traditional luxury, aspiration and British heritage associated with the brand, using images with references to London.
With over 3 million followers, the brand is engaging with both actual and potential customers. Subtle product placement, such as Cara’s outfit in the image below, is lot more genuine and authentic than an obvious advertisement.
Interact and engage, and be consistent
Starting and responding to conversations, asking for and using customers’ opinions in decision making, and providing swift and speedy customer service online all builds a sense of community. Being consistent with interactions – responding to messages, joining in with conversations, and encouraging discussion regularly – makes a brand more personable and will instil trust in your customers. Various updates and tools are out there that you can utilise to make your account more innovative, engaging and exciting – you just need to get creative.
As of December 2014, Instagram added verified badges for celebrities, athletes and brands, making it easier for consumers to find and connect with authentic accounts. Getting your brand verified will ensure your customers can find YOU.
It’s all about the experience
Adding value is crucial to improving a customer’s overall experience. Behind-the-scenes snaps, sneak peeks and previews, and even aiding the transaction process are ways that brands can use Instagram’s ever-adapting features and tools to their advantage.
Like2Buy, a solution powered by Curalate, allows a simple, seamless and secure way to drive traffic for easy purchase from Instagram. A link in the bio, and geo-tagging images with “link in profile”, directs users to an easy to use grid of all the items up for sale from the retailer’s feed. One more click from here takes a user to the brand’s secure mobile site to complete the purchase. With solutions such as these, it shows that shoppers are using social media to influence purchases – and the easier you can make this for your customers, the more likely they will convert into a sale, and perhaps even become a loyal customer in the future.
Top-notch Instagram campaigns that listened to these tips:
Using Instagram’s native features and filters, Ted Baker intrigued its customers with the #Pinch_Me digital campaign, where ‘All is not as it seams’ [sic].
Users were encouraged to delve a little deeper and explore Instagram’s filters to reveal hidden messages within imagery from the SS15 campaign. Screenshotting, re-uploading and filtering the image uncovered a concealed message or picture, and uploading with the designated #Pinch_Me hashtag put users in the chance of winning a variety of prizes.
With even more filters and tools (such as ‘Color’ and ‘Fade’) introduced since, this shows a really innovative way that brands can utilise Instagram’s capabilities to increase direct customer engagement and interaction.
Marc by Marc Jacobs
Lasy year, Marc by Marc Jacobs took its model casting call to social media. #CastMeMarc gave “normal people” the chance to model for the designer’s next campaign, rather than going through the traditional route of using celebrities or modelling agencies. The campaign attracted 70,000 entries, with only 9 hopefuls making the cut.
Due to the popularity and success, the campaign is being repeated for a second time. While the hashtag and premise remains the same, this time around Jacobs is looking to cast groups of friends to be the new faces of Marc by Marc Jacobs for FW15.