Marketers, business owners and entrepreneurs are all starting to understand that Instagram is the most powerful platform in our social media ecosystem. This isn’t a doomsday article about the Facebook privacy changes or a headline panic over Snap Chats stock prices, but Instagram has just become that important. Facebook is becoming mainly a “pay to play” platform, which is very effective for businesses, and Snap Chat followings tend to be fueled from other platforms like Instagram. Add to the fact that Instagram has copied most of its competitors features and their nearly 1 Billion users, it’s safe to say that Instagram is most important platform you can invest your resources into for 2018.
Long gone are the days where people are impressed by follower count, and that shouldn’t be your concern either. However, you should be thinking seriously about growing a real community of followers, fans and potential customers whether you run a personal account or a business account. If you are on Instagram and have come across this article, you likely have some interest in building brand or increasing sales. So how do you do it and why is it important?
Importance of growing your Instagram
Let’s skip all of the superficial reasons for growing your account. We are not here to impress aunt Karen at the summer cookout, were here to grow your business.
Looking for a way to grow your brand quicker while also converting more sales? Consider partnering with a local influencer. In part 2 of this Instagram growth series, ill discuss specific tactics on how to grow your account and the importance of collaborations, but since were talking about sales and conversions, here is one example locally here in Columbus. Face Forward Aestheics, a beauty and cosmetics company here in Columbus has really started story telling with Instagram and collaborating with influencers to help control their brands message while driving more immediate sales. They have local bloggers in all the time to help curate more content and show potential customers how their treatments work with before/after photos, daily stories and influencer giveaways.
Recently, they did a giveaway where they gave away 50 free hair removal treatments through one of their preferred influencers, Reanna Hickman who runs a popular food/lifestyle account @columbus_foodie which boasts over 25,000 followers. To some, 50 free treatments may seem like a loss or hardship on a local business, but not a business with vision and a confident product. Think of these 50 small treatments as lead generation and brand awareness! If 50 people come in the door, that’s 50 new people that didn’t know about your business before. Let’s say that 25 of those customers come in for the free treatment and don’t purchase anything else. You may take a small loss on those customers (time/resources), but consider that 15 more customers decide that they want to also get their legs zapped as well! Those 15 customers that you were able to upsell, now cover the 25 that only came in for the free treatment. Let’s also say the other 10 decide “well I’m here already, let’s get everything taken care of.” Now you have gained 50 new fans, most likely their emails (which you can market deals/offers to forever), word of mouth awareness, social media shares and you likely turned a profit from the customers that you were able to upsell! If you are wondering if this strategy is working, simply give the influencer a promo code that they can redeem online or in-store, so you can track how many people the influencer is bringing in. This is just one example of how you can leverage an Instagram following to drive real sales and awareness for your brand.
Instagram is quickly becoming the most important platform for business owners and entrepreneurs. While Facebook still has a great place and its ad product is underpriced in most instances, it has become a “pay to play” platform. Instagram’s discovery feature and naturally “open” platform, gives you direct access to your potential customers. In part 2 of this series, we will discuss ways you can grow your accounts and ways you can align yourself with influencers to make a real difference on your business/brand.