How to Use Instagram to Promote Your Brand and Drive Sales
If you’re new to Instagram or have been struggling to increase user engagement on your IG account lately, you’re probably wondering how to turn things around. If you don’t have the right tools, insights, and resources, using Instagram for business can seem like an uphill battle.
When it comes to Instagram marketing, joining the platform is a great step in itself. The social media site ranks 3rd on the most-used (per daily basis) social media platforms, according to the statistics reported in Pew Research Center’s 2018 Social Media Use Survey.
The people featured on Instagram accounts are attractive, the sceneries pretty, and the packaging pristine. Plus, there’s consistency; the pictures on many popular IG accounts follow a similar theme, so that when displayed in a grid format on the profile, the photos look cohesive.
Whether you’re a photographer or not, you will find yourself appreciating the nature of these pictures, their beautiful subjects, their use of focal points and negative space, and the inclusion of complementary, often pastel hues. Makeup brands are particularly competent in establishing a perfect flow of colors in pictures on IG.
So how do you do what they do? Yes, they have professional photographers and graphic designers, but you don’t need to master either to have an attractive Instagram profile.
You’ll find a ton of photo editing tools and filters, perfect for non-designers who find working with light and colors challenging. In fact, nearly 60% of top brands’ Instagram accounts use a consistent filter for all content.
Plus, as most beauty brands do, you can also reuse a picture in a different shade if you are selling one product in multiple colors. Recolor and repeat—it works well for those with scarce content.
To understand Instagram users, we need to understand human behavior today.
We’re social creatures and crave interaction; the growth of social media—with its many features for sharing information in a creative manner—allows humans to take their usual conversations online.
This includes asking for advice to finalize purchase decisions. So if a person loves a particular product and talks about it on IG, you can bet that their friends and family will be curious and develop interest in it.
In short, to sell in 2020, you need to implement a strong social media strategy.
Instagram has witnessed substantial user growth in the past few years, from 28% of U.S. adults using IG in 2016 to 37% of U.S. adults using Instagram today. The underlying contributor? Brands with visually engaging and informative Instagram pages.
To use IG the right way, follow their lead. Here are a few reasons why these brands’ IG accounts look amazing and receive a great response.
Beauty brands are not popular for their powerful aesthetic alone. They’re also popular for their words. In particular, their use of hashtags and phototags. IG is visual, so graphics are everything—if they reach the right people.
Like Twitter and Facebook hashtags, Instagram hashtags are an organic way of boosting content visibility. Instagram posts that include at least one hashtag receive over 12% more engagement than posts that exclude hashtags entirely.
And just like Twitter, the right hashtags matter on Instagram, which allows up to 30 hashtags per post. But this can look too spammy and overdone. However, if you’re using Instagram like a beauty brand does, you’ll use hashtags the way they do: separate from the main caption, with periods-for-line-breaks. You can also add your hashtags to the first comment, posted separately.
Hunting the right hashtags requires thought and some additional help. You can use online analytics tools to find hashtags on IG. You can also search for hashtags directly on IG’s “Discover” section, where you can view the number of times a particular hashtag has been used.
Or you can hand over this task over to social media marketing experts who are adept at sifting through and finding the best keywords for your brand. Not only will they help make your content more visible, but they’ll also ensure you’re able to effectively sell on Instagram.
Beauty brands make use of photo tagging on their posts. Photo tagging on IG is similar to tagging people in your photos on Facebook; only you can tag anyone outside your followers list (provided they allow tagging). Beauty brands tag celebrities—whose fans can then discover that post.
In addition to tagging other people, you can also tag your products (which you have been allowed to sell through IG) in your photos. Users can access the product pages directly though these. It’s that simple.
Whether you’re a commercial contractor or a turnkey white label gaming software provider, you have much to gain from engaging and responding to customers on any social media account, including Instagram.
Here are some ways to enhance engagement:
- Ask followers questions about their favorite products, content preferences, and recommendations
- Host product giveaways or offer free services provided that your followers tag their friends in the comments and request them to follow your account
- Collaborate with an influencer to expand your audience (more on influencer marketing here)
- Answer queries in the comments and reply to any compliments/concerns
Give your followers unique insight into the product creation/service delivery process with the Stories feature. Make sure they’re engaging! However, don’t share important updates that should be announced through a regular post. Remember, Instagram stories only last for 24 hours. Use stories with polls to gather more insights from your followers.
Test out every feature Instagram has to offer to increase account visibility and engage the community. At Search Berg, we offer expert social media services to help your business rank higher and dominate the online landscape!
If you’re still unsure about how social media marketing and management can benefit your company, we suggest referring to our earlier blog on the benefits of social media for businesses.
Our social media marketing experts are dedicated to consistent research to apply the latest strategies to your social accounts. If you’ve been struggling to use Instagram to promote your brand and drive sales, we can help you kick things off.
Our Instagram marketing and management services start at as little as $199 and focus on how to sell on Instagram.