Do More With Your Followers

Turning Followers into Customers and Advocates
Now that your business’s Instagram is up and running and you’ve started to gain some followers, it’s time to consider how you can turn your followers into real customers and influencers. This week, we’re going to look at some methods of getting your customers to go from “Liking” your images to actually buying your product or service.
1. Put Your Product on Display
First and foremost, make sure the content you post is getting your followers excited about your product. Instagram is a completely image (photo or video) based platform. Utilize this by showcasing your product for the world to see. This can be as easy as a posting an image of your newest line in action (as shown by H&M below), or even just sharing a #FoodPorn picture from your new menu. If your content is visually appealing, you increase the likelihood a customer will find your product worth buying, or share the content with their friend.

2. Ad Links to Online Purchase

A few weeks ago, we talked about engaging customers directly to your brand. By combining these paid advertising options with links to your purchase page, it’s extremely easy to herd your followers straight to your online market place.

3. Offer Discounts 

As with traditional sales, sometimes the easiest way to get customers is to offer discounts. Instagram gives you a unique platform to let your followers know about in-store or online sales. Post an image sharing information about a current promotion your business is running to let your followers know. In the caption, share any necessary promo codes for customers to receive the discount. An added benefit of sharing your promotion on Instagram is that, should they like the sale, follower can tag others on your post to inform them about said promotion. Now, your follower just became an influencer If you’re looking for inspiration, check out American Apparel’s Chicago Region account. 

4. Offer competitions

Everyone loves a good competition. While Instagram does only allow engagement through follows, likes, tags, and comments, Business Instagram accounts are getting more creative in using these limited options to help offer competitions through the platform. For example, Social Print Studio (https://www.instagram.com/socialps/) (a direct-from-Instagram print website) offers weekly variations of competitions. Two weeks ago SPS asked followers to comment on an image by tagging a friend who doesn’t follow SPS and saying how much you love Social Print, offering a chance to win a free 8×10 print. The print cost around $43 (including shipping), and garnered 5000 comments (for having 213K followers, that a lot of comments). While SPS does delete the image after the competition ends and a winner is chosen, below is a good example of how to announce the winner of a competition

The real benefit of these competitions is, when used properly, you can grow your fan base. In the SPS example, tagging non-followers increased the likelihood of gaining new followers, and thus new possible customers. That sacrificed $43 will definitely pay off if you can even gain 3 new customers from those 5000 comments. Side note, I won the SPS Instagram contest. You can believe I tweeted AND posted an Instagram about winning, sharing the brand with my own followers.

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And there you have it, 4 ways to make your followers do more for your brand than just like pictures.

Next week, we’ll discuss the upcoming changes to Instagram, as well as defining what an Algorithm is and how it affects your business account.

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