By Crystal Vilkaitis, owner of Crystal Media, founder of Social Edge and RDI Diamond’s resident Social Media Expert
Instagram can be a great tool to boost exposure, connect with locals, drive traffic into your store and even sell merchandise. There are several ways to use Instagram, for example you can use the mobile app to edit photos or videos, connect with bloggers to gain free press, network with customers and find new ones, market research to see what trends and products consumers are wanting and for selling items in-store or online.
Here are 3 examples of retailers who are successfully using Instagram to market and sell items, all from their mobile devices.
1. Get friends involved. Asking people to tag their friends on Instagram is a great way to gain additional exposure to new users. @freshlypicked, a baby shoe retailer, does a great job in this post saying, “Be a good friend and tag anyone that needs this! They will thank you later, I promise!”
Their caption is visually fun including an ant, pineapple and watermelon emojis, plus is written in a way that is friendly. Their authentic tone comes through in the text, which works well on all social media platforms. Finally, this is a great example of a Flat Lay shot, which is the next tip.
2. Flat Lays. I’m sure you’ve seen these types of images on Instagram, as they’re becoming a very popular way to display products or a lifestyle. Flat lays are a great way to showcase a collection, new items or products that have a theme like the same material or color. Or, use flat lay pictures to showcase your own style or things you love, so followers can get to know you better. By doing this, you’re humanizing your brand, which helps build relationships and trust amongst your Instagram community.
In this example by @shecomesincolors, Sofia showcases her summer essentials, which includes must-have accessories.
Need some flat lay inspiration? Search for #flatlay in the Instagram app and you’ll find thousands of photos that can help brainstorm ideas for your profile.
3. Help the shopper shop. Consumers love getting inspiration from Instagram. Posting things like ideas for outfits, how to accessorize for events like a wedding, date night or Sunday Brunch, jewelry ideas for different seasons, gift ideas or tutorials on how to mix and match or buy the right engagement ring are all helpful content that typically gets a lot of likes and comments.
@shoptherapyboutique did a great job with this “Therapy’s Graduation Must-Haves” post. Not only is the picture timely to graduation, it helps the shopper shop by providing text on top of the image that labels each product. They could have taken this photo one step further by including the price on top of the image as well.
Take a look a look at the comments on this post, people are asking how much items are and posting that they’ll be calling to buy over the phone. Cha-ching, sales from Instagram!
If you have a strategy that works well for your Instagram, or a success to share, please leave it in a comment or share to the RDI Diamonds Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rdidiamonds.
If you’re looking to learn more strategies about Instagram marketing, and how to boost exposure and sales with this mobile app, visit www.socialedge.co to learn more about Social Edge, an online training website for retailers looking to increase traffic and sales through social media. Use the coupon code RDIDiamonds to save 25% on a yearly membership.
Crystal Vilkaitis is the resident Social Media Expert at RDI Diamonds and owner of Crystal Media; a company dedicated to helping retailers integrate proven social media, mobile and e-mail marketing strategies into their businesses. Crystal started Social Edge, an online membership group exclusive to retailers looking to gain an edge over competition using social media, who need direct access to what’s important and relevant when it comes to marketing their store and products online. For more information and to receive free bi-weekly social media tips to your e-mail inbox, visit crystalmedia.co or socialedge.co.