It’s November, which means it’s time to get into holiday marketing mode if you have not started already.
In a former life, I worked in print advertising. This time of year was our busiest (still is) and most profitable for the newspapers I worked at.
Businesses crammed to get as many ads as possible into the paper and spent more money than they did the rest of the year. It seemed they saved all their marketing dollars for the last 2 months of the year.
Enter social media marketing and the whole holiday marketing game has changed.
Newspaper advertising (and pretty much all print advertising) is on the decline due to advances in technology, aka social media.
Do I think you should completely scrap your traditional marketing plan and advertising?
No, for this one reason: not all of your market is online. I know I typically recommend not advertising via traditional methods, however, during the holiday season, more people will look at newspapers and such to find the best deal.
This is the one time of year it’s okay to use some marketing dollars on traditional advertising.
There are some great and creative ways to blend your traditional marketing with your social media marketing.
Doing this will give you the best coverage this holiday season.
Here are some ways to mix it up…
Are you having a social media contest? Promote in your print/radio/television ads.
Hang signs up in your storefront (if you have one).
Encourage people to follow you on social media when they come into your store.
Put forth an advertising campaign that leads your social media community to your print ads and vice versa.
For example, if you are having a contest, encourage people via social media to visit the store to enter or look for a special code in a print ad to enter.
Give them just enough info to know what to do, but they either have to visit you in-person or follow you on social media to participate.
The more places you can tell them and the more places they will see it, the better.
Something I learned in advertising a long time ago is that it takes someone, on average, to see something 3 times before they act on it.
For example, in print ads, say “Like us on Facebook for exclusive discounts.” Tease them in print ads and give them a reason to follow/like/circle you online.
Encourage your customers to sign up for email newsletters.
There are many more ways to mix and blend the two. Social media, in some form, is here to stay.
Traditional Marketing and Social Media will continue to evolve and blend as digital marketing grows and evolves.
Since not everyone will be online, traditional marketing will always be around in some form. It’s important to not forget about your offline community.
That’s why every business should have a well-balanced marketing plan mixing the two together.
How do you blend traditional and social media marketing together?
Losing Instagram Followers for no reason? Here are 8 Reasons why
One fine morning in the sweltering summer heat of May, I noticed something odd on Instagram. I had lost 45 Followers, dropping my total following to a measly 356. It’s true, I was randomly losing followers for the last couple of weeks. But with this large drop, all my hopes of an aspiring career as an Instagram influencer came to a halt.
To be fair, I posted on Instagram once a month and most of my followers were friends and acquaintances. So this isn’t a huge loss. But unlike me, you might be a content creator who depends on Instagram for business. In which case, it is fair to worry about why you’re losing Instagram followers.
For most Instagrammers their first instinct might be to recall on the great purge of 2014 and ask:
Is Instagram deleting my followers?
It is not unheard of for Instagram to delete your followers. In fact, back in 2014, Justin Bieber lost more than 3.5 million of his 23 million followers. Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian lost 1.3 million of her 23 million followers and Beyoncé lost more than 800,000.
In all fairness, the 2014 algorithm update resulted in a deletion of paid followers only.
Instagram has warned users that it will be cracking down on inauthentic followers. This includes bots, inactive accounts, and third-party apps.
But good news, is that unless you’ve been using shady tactics, your account is safe.
Here are some examples of black-hat practices to avoid.
Buying followers are the quickest way of losing Instagram followers. If the purge is any sign, Instagram dislikes third-party apps and paying for followers.
But could you be paying for followers without knowing about it?
The answer is yes. Do you have a marketing agency managing your account? Could it be possible that they’ve used black-hat tactics like buying followers?
Steer away from shady companies who promise to get you, 10,000 followers for $10. If the offer sounds too good to be true it most certainly is.
Using Bots and Third-party apps
As I write this, I understand that I could be putting in all the wrong ideas in your head. But I guarantee you these shady tactics will get you banned.
Instagram has banned chatbots that reach out to people and encourage follow-backs. In recent years, several third-party bots/apps have had to close their operations.
So here’s a brain teaser – Did everyone who loses Instagram followers pay for their followers? Well, I didn’t. I never paid for an app or hired a firm to manage my account but I still lost followers. The hard truth is that sometimes you might be doing everything by the books and still lose followers.
Here are 8 reasons why you might be losing Instagram followers
1. Your follower’s preferences have changed.
Its been almost 10 years since Instagram launched and the platform is anything but new. In the 10 years we’ve been on Instagram, people have graduated from school, got married, and had kids. We’ve all done a lot of growing and it’s safe to say that we’re not the same person we were 10 years ago.
The downside of being on Instagram for a long time is that your followers have changed. And as they grow as individuals they’re also growing out of old habits.
As an influencer or business owner, you too should grow in how you create content. If you’re interested in keeping followers, find out what they currently like, and cater to their needs. At the same time, you should also realize that some of these followers are never coming back. It would be better to find a new base of followers who are more relevant to the type of content you create.
2. You’ve changed too and some people don’t like that.
Growth is not exclusive to your followers. As a content creator, you too have grown and your tastes have changed as well. But even though growth is a good thing, it’s worth examining if the new you agree with your followers.
Often, as we get older and more experienced, we tend to be more cautious. It’s not uncommon for brands to be rebellious in their early days and dial it down later down the line. Most brands that follow this path alienate their core fan base and lose them in the process.
3. Your followers haven’t heard from you in a long time.
We know that post frequency matters. But could posting less actually influence people to unfollow?
The answer is a definite yes. Most users on the platform are conscious about who they follow. As a brand, if you’re not creating new content, your users don’t have a reason to keep following you.
3. You are posting content too frequently.
Posting too much can be as big a crime as posting too little. As a victim of brands and influences who constantly bombard me with their content – I can say that it can be overwhelming and invasive.
When we post too often, we deprive them of novelty that comes with consuming content from different creators. Naturally, when your followers realize that their feed is being bombarded by one creator, they’ll remove them to make room for others.
4. Your content is not differentiated.
As human beings, we are wired to seek out novelty. Our brain is designed to flood our neural networks with dopamine, a hormone responsible for giving us the sensation of happiness and satisfaction when we enjoy a snack, get good grades or hear good news.
But, the brain’s dopamine delivery system is severely flawed. As we rely on the same stimulation to provide us with a hit, our neural networks demand more stimulation to get the same amount of dopamine.
That is why we never feel the same satisfaction when eating our twelfth slice of pizza as much as we received while biting into the first one.
Content is no different. We get satisfaction and fulfilment from the content we choose to consume. But when content creators keep creating the same content as everyone else, our thirst for novelty remains unquenched. This is why many people stop following creators. Instead, they look for other creators who can offer something different.
5. Your content is too spammy, too pushy, and too sales oriented.
In other words, your content is self-serving and adds little value to your followers.
Back in the day, commercials came in the way of consuming content on TV. This resulted in Youtube democratizing content and bringing interruption free content to people. When Youtube started spamming people with Ads. They moved over to Netflix.
When creators focus too much on ads and too little on value-added content, followers also exercise their power. They move on to content creators who can balance between self-service and fan-service.
6. You might be losing inauthentic followers.
Not everyone who follows you does so because they love your content. Following other people in hopes of getting a follow back is a common practice. Once their strategy succeeds, these people don’t stick around for long.
Additionally, your account might also consist of spam, bots, and fake accounts. These accounts are periodically purged by Instagram and can result in a sudden drop in followers.
There is no sure-fire way of knowing if you’re losing fake followers. but if you see a sudden drop, especially after an algorithm update, then chances are you’re just seeing Instagram cleaning out the trash.
8. You’re not gaining new followers.
Maintaining your follower count is difficult. You’ll win some of these battles and lose others. It is important to understand that you must always focus on reaching out to new followers as well. Without new followers to replace the ones you lose, your follower count will drop with time.
Instagram insights display daily net gains. Keep track of your followers by checking insights on a weekly basis.
A few parting words
Instagram is changing, so is social media. New algorithm updates are burying organic reach in favor of paid ads. At the same time, competition is looming large for Instagram and its counterparts. For example, video-sharing platform Tiktok has already overtaken Instagram as the most downloaded app. Which will inevitably lead to people spending lesser time on Instagram.
As creators, this could mean challenging times lie ahead. It’s entirely possible, we’ll never get some followers back. Some of us will see engagement and reach drop.
we should be ready for the worse and explore all avenues that connect us to our followers.
Before I finish this article, I will leave you with one last piece of borrowed wisdom:
Accept the things you can’t change, change the things you can, and know the difference between the two.
Instagram E-commerce Strategies That Will Boost Your Sales
Social media has long been a favored tool for promoting and growing businesses. And with the recent appearance of Instagram Shops on the radar, the eCommerce world is taking their game to the next level. Regardless of which of the platforms was used to build your online store, Shopify, BigCommerce, or Magento, there are many ways you can gain from Instagram sales.
On this page, we introduce you to Instagram Shopping and its importance to the eCommerce sphere, give tips on where to begin, and share the best practices of running the account.
Instagram Shops: An Introduction
As stated previously, Instagram is yet one more way for you to reach out to your prospects, speak about your brand, and sell more. One of the greatest things about Instagram Shopping is that it not only boosts the visual side of your digital storefront but also helps potential customers to check out the things that you have on offer without leaving their favorite application.
How do Instagram Shops look?
That said, just by posting and making Instagram Stories, you may display images with your products and place tags/product stickers on them. Those viewing the content can then tap on the picture to see a short overview of the item (or items) as well as their prices. And when clicking on “View Products”, the product page leading to your online store will be shown. On the images below you can see how Forever21 uses Instagram Shopping on their official account.
So how does all of this work?
Instagram Shops can be set up only if your business Instagram account is linked to your Facebook Shops. In this case, your Facebook catalog plays the role of a mediator, connecting your online store with your Instagram Shop. If you’re not sure about how to handle the integration, it’s wise to turn to the professionals for assistance; as such, Magento consulting services will provide you with expert help to integrate your Magento store with the catalog on Facebook, and have your Instagram channel running in no time.
Moreover, it is important to note that Instagram Shopping isn’t available from the desktop, it only works from the downloaded application on mobile devices.
Is Instagram Shopping available worldwide?
What’s for the global scale of Instagram Shopping, already more than 60 countries all around the world can use it. As such, it’s available if the account was registered in the USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, the UK, or in one of the countries on the list. Mentioning the checkout functionality, currently, it can be used in the USA and for some shortlisted businesses.
→ Importantly, in case the account registration is handled from a country that’s not among the list or in case you’ve decided to work around the rules and opt for proxy or VPN to take advantage of this functionality, this may lead to you losing your opportunity for product tagging whatsoever. Therefore, it’s best to play by the rules.
Which business types are Instagram Shops suitable for?
Predominantly this solution is a great fit for those companies that have physical goods on sale. Thus, eCommerce and Instagram Shops are “meant to be”.
Getting Started with Instagram Shops
Some of the things you’ll need to get started with Instagram Shops include:
- a Facebook account to which your store’s catalog is connected to (i.e. a functioning Facebook catalog);
- the latest version of the Instagram application;
- an account on Instagram that is switched to “Business” and is tied to your store’s Facebook account.
In order to get the features of “Instagram Shopping”, your account needs to get reviewed and approved. When you’ve made certain to follow the requirements, go to your Instagram account: Profile → Settings → Account → Switch to Business Account, and wait for the approval. Generally, expect it to be reviewed within several working days.
Tips on Filling Your Instagram Profile
1. Begin with the bio & don’t forget about “highlights” circles
One of the things to not overlook is the bio of your account. Make sure to state all of the key information about your business in this area of the page. Make use of all the capabilities it offers to the most. To be specific:
- don’t overdo it with too much text, keep the phrases about who you are short;
- make sure there’s a link to your official website;
- optionally, you can add a link to your location, use hashtags, and CTAs.
What is more, after you’ll have enough Stories in your archive, make sure to break them down into categories and add them to your “Highlights” section (displayed in circles). It’s wise to create special-made Instagram highlight covers, often these are icons or single-style images.
Take a look at the bios and Highlights sections on the official Instagram pages of Shiseido and Hermes.
2. Choose what to post about & Post on a schedule
Selecting the products to be featured is a matter to be considered seriously. Apart from the photos, their quality, and touch-ups, it is also important to think ahead. That said, planning the sequence of your posts, which texts to use, and when to post them is important. Here are some tips:
- Have a content plan and make use of layout tools that are handy to visualize how your pictures and videos will look like together on your grid. As such, the official Instagram preview App can be a good choice.
- Making posts on a regular basis is also important. Consistency counts and your followers will be happy to see your products and new arrivals via Instagram.
- But don’t post too often, overcrowding the newsfeed of people following you can lead to irritation, and they’ll unfollow you. Once per day is more than enough for posts, and up to 5 Stories per day is okay.
- Plus, it makes sense to use tools for scheduling your posts and even automating the postings. This can save you time, some tool examples can be Hopper HQ.
- Speaking of time, research the top “prime-time” frames when it is best to make posts based on your eCommerce field and customer location for better results and engagement.
3. Stick to a style & tag your products
Another great trend revolves around the style of your account. Having separate post images connect into one appealing piece is something to consider. It may not be easy to do, of course, but the results are often very nice!
Also, don’t forget to tag your products on the pictures. After all, that is the point of doing this, right?
An outstanding example of what “sticking to a style” means is the official Instagram account of Pandora:
4. Hashtags, location & alternative texts
Use hashtags wisely. Too many hashtags won’t do you good. Likewise, combine them in a smart way, i.e. use:
- hashtags that are specifically relevant to your product or brand;
- those that are considered popular or target your audience.
Keep location in mind. This is especially relevant if you have one or several physical shops. Alternatively, you can attach different locations based on the areas to which you deliver your products. In any case, by adding a geotag, you can tell your customers that you’re near and available.
Fill out alternative texts. After you’ve posted, press the three dots in the top right corner of the post to edit it. On the image, there’ll be an opportunity to add an alternative text, keep it short and narrow it down to a keyword or phrase. It is good to have such alt tags in terms of SEO and it will help you to reach out to a broader audience.
5. Make use of Stories & IGTV
As mentioned a couple of times already, Stories are one more powerful Instagram move. You may also tag products in Stories, inform about new posts, and share a lot of what’s hot and happening. Take a look at how Chanel uses Stories on their official Instagram account:
Similarly, if you have large videos to share, why not use the IGTV channel? You can upload videos, shoots, and ads there, the latest news. Well, basically, any video content that’s relevant to your business.
What else can be done?
Another way you can get “the best of both worlds” is by getting your hands on user-generated content. By running contests and giveaways, you may both attract new users and engage the audience that you have. Brainstorming helps, so don’t be intimidated by experimenting.
Repost various content that you like. Team up with your partners for cross-linking. Put together combos with the client feedback and comments of your customers on your products. There’s so much you can do!
Analyze the behavior of your followers. What kind of content do they like? Which items have they bought more from your Instagram Shop? Do your analytic homework and work out your own best practices that are effective for your target audience and buyers.
In conclusion, the opportunities of using Instagram for uplifting your business are very broad and are constantly growing. There are many ways you can sell more of your goods and get more clients if you’re running your Instagram account properly. And this is twice as true for eCommerce!
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