Instagram is great. It's the easiest, cheapest way to keep your customers engaged (and spending money) with your shop. If you get it right, it's the a very easy win. Here's how we got to our first 20,000 followers.

1. Post Pictures You Know They'll Love

We're not saying you can't be creative, but try to stick to what your customers know. Chances are; just like you have a stereotypical customer, you'll have a stereotypical follower. For us, it's a lady in her 30s or 40s who is on the lookout for interesting/unusual gifts for her husband and son. Obviously, not all of our followers match that description, but most of them do.

In your case - if you post pictures that you think your average customer would like to see, you're likely to see some success. Made Of Fridays are great for that on Instagram. Their average customer is arty, loves craft and great design. Their Instagram page is a beautiful mix of the products they sell, craft inspiration and aesthetically pleasing design. 

Made Of Fridays InstagramMade Of Fridays' Instagram page

2. Use Hashtags

Hashtags are seriously #important if you want to #SpreadTheWord about your business. People use hashtags when they search, so without them you probably won't be found. You can use up to 30 hashtags in a post. Think of a group of 15-20 that you think your customers are likely to use the most when talking about your company or the products you sell. You should use these on everything you post. Use the other ten available to you to describe the post.

Hashtags in comments also count. To make our posts look cleaner (and less spammy), we put our hashtags in a comment immediately after posting. 

Blighty's GiftsBlighty's Gifts use hashtags in their descriptions so that more people see their posts

3. Reply To Comments

Not all comments on Instagram are from actual people. We get loads of accounts commenting generic things on our posts - these are robots, designed to make people think that the owner of the account is commenting on their posts in the hope they will gain followers. We don't reply to these but when genuine people comment on our posts, they always get a reply. 

Think of an Instagram comment the same way you do when a customer speaks to you in your shop. Even if they just say hello, you'd always say hello back. Replying to comments is a great way to make your customers feel included and involved (and more likely to buy from you again!).

Chirpy Store replies to comments
Chirpy Store are brilliant at replying to comments

FAQs

Still got questions? Hopefully, we'll answer them here.

How often should I post on Instagram?
No less than every other day and no more than twice a day. You don't want to become annoying but if you don't post enough, people might forget about you.

I'm worried that I don't have enough things to photograph. What if I run out?
It's hard work thinking of things to photograph. It's always a good idea to add some variety and use images from other sources. You could use other images from Instagram that you like (remember to as for permission and credit the author) or go to websites like Pixabay, Pexels or Flickr and use images from there. On Flickr, you'll want to set the filter to "All Creative Commons".

Someone has posted a negative comment on my Instagram. What should I do?
This is a difficult situation. If you reply and open a dialogue, they might say more unpleasant things that put your customers off. If you don't, it could look like you don't care. If you delete them, they could comment complaints on all of your photos to make you look bad. If it's a minor complaint, we think it's best to reply to them. In the past, we have had to delete offensive comments.

I have heard that you can buy Instagram followers. Should I do it?
Absolutely not. Your account could be banned by Instagram. Also, they go through deleting accounts that are fake. Sometimes millions of them in one go. You don't want to end up like Justin Bieber, who lost nearly four million followers overnight when Instagram deleted a load of fake accounts. Awkward.


Don't forget, as a Men's Society wholesale customer, you have access to free sales and marketing support. Just drop us an email and we will be more than happy to help you.
April 25, 2018 by Men's Society