— September 20, 2017
Is your company looking to get more out of social media this year? If so this post is for you!
Today I want to talk about three big goals: how to get more Instagram followers, how to increase engagement and how to drive more conversions.
To do that I thought we could deconstruct one of the top Instagram accounts and see what sets it apart from other branded accounts.
We’ll start at the top (with the bio) and dive into the meat (linking people to a website) as we move through these Instagram marketing tips. Let’s jump right in!
1.Include a benefit-driven bio.
It’s common for a businesses to include a short description of the company in the Instagram bio area.
For example, the software company called HubSpot includes a bio description that reads “A full stack of products for marketing, sales and customer relationship management.” That’s a totally accurate description of their company which makes it a really good bio.
Lowes takes their Instagram bio to the next level by not only including a description of the company but also detailing why you should follow the @LowesHomeImprovement account.
The Lowes bio reads, “Inspiring your home improvement journey. Your house becomes a home when you start with Lowe’s.”
Lowe’s is able to do this because their Instagram name is “Lowe’s Home Improvement” rather than just Lowes. This adds on a descriptor for anyone who might not know what type of store Lowe’s is.
By including the descriptor in its Instagram name the company frees up space in the bio to speak to the user deciding whether or not to follow the Lowe’s account.
While it may be your preference to keep an Instagram handle as short as possible, keep the Lowe’s naming strategy in mind if you want to build up a large following.
2. Share a shoppable link.
Instagram photos aren’t clickable unless you make them into an ad.
This can be a real problem for brands that want to link followers to a website where more information can be found or products can be purchased. Many brands use the “click link in bio” approach to move followers from Instagram to their site — and I definitely think that’s a smart tip.
Lowe’s uses this approach as well. You can see how they did it in this post below. Notice how it says, “Find inspiration with the link in profile.”
Many brands will use this tip to drive traffic to a specific URL on their site. This is a great idea unless you post multiple times per day and are always mentioning different products. Then it becomes quite difficult to manage because you have to update the link at exactly the right time to make sure you are directing traffic to the right page on your site.
If you forget to update the link in bio and a new post goes up you’ll be directing traffic to the wrong page and will end up with frustrated shoppers. That’s definitely not what you want, luckily there is a great work around.
You can create a shoppable Instagram feed using a software platform like Curalate’s Like 2 Buy It solution. Using Like 2 Buy It, Curalate will automatically duplicate your Instagram feed and allow you to assign specific links to each photo.
This is exactly what Lowe’s does to keep their shoppable link up to date. You can see in their bio they link to a specific Like2Buy link.
When you click the link it takes you to their shoppable feed. You can then click any of the photos to be taken to a specific product page or collection on their site.
For example if you click the first photo in the top left you will be taken to this page where shoppers can learn more about putting together a front patio and shop the items shown in the picture:
Using a shoppable link like this creates a seamless experience for followers and allows you to increase your sales from Instagram!
On the Curalate website, the Digital Brand Manager for Fossil says, “Traffic has substantially increased since we implemented Like2Buy and all of our channels have seen the positive effects of both added followers and the new and highly engaged audience.”
Additionally, the social media manager at Forever 21 says that “Like2Buy has assisted Forever 21 in turning a social channel that was built purely for brand awareness into a revenue driver.”
If your company is looking to achieve similar results look into creating a shoppable link as soon as possible!
3. Make great use of video.
If you browse through the Lowe’s Instagram feed you will see lots of videos included among the still photo updates. Videos allow you to explain how to use a product or service in an easier and faster way than text.
Video also allows you to show off a product from multiple angles, or in the case of Lowe’s, it allows the brand to show off a big area like a garden or a living room.
There is no doubt that posting video can be beneficial for many brands, but the key thing to do is post the video at the right time. CoSchedule has found that posting at 9pm garners 34% more interactions than any other time, and that, generally speaking, posting videos between 9pm and 8am is best.
There are many reasons this could be, but my best guess is that many people are unable to watch videos at work. It’s easy to discreetly scroll through a bunch of photos but once volume is involved it’s less easy to hide what you’re doing. Whereas when you’re at home and relaxing for the night you can easily play a video without worry or distraction.
Now that you have a few ideas for growing your Instagram follower count, increasing engagement and driving conversions it’s time to get started!
If you have any questions leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer!