Can you imagine your life, utterly devoid of social media?
If you are a millennial or Gen Z, the chances are that you can’t. After all, with the rise of platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, the masses have found a new way to connect.
Social media isn’t just famous for personal use. Instead, owing to its broad reach, many businesses are creating strategies solely for their social media presence. After all, it is a great and cost-effective way to speak to your target audience.
What do the numbers say?
Let’s put it all to perspective using a few numbers. According to HootSuite, there are approximately 8 billion people in the world. And out of them, 4.5 billion people are online, while 3.7 billion are active on social media.
As per the Digital Information World, an average user spends 142 minutes daily on social media platforms! And every user has at least seven accounts. This proves one thing for sure- a significant chunk of consumers are online.
Regardless of which business you are in, you will find your target audience online. You can’t let go of the opportunity to speak to them via social media.
However, you must do so appropriately. It is essential to follow social media etiquettes when reaching consumers through the platform.
The Do’s of Social Media
Here are some things you must do on social media.
1. Be grammatically correct
Users might not run their statuses and posts past grammatical checks whenever they post online. However, this doesn’t mean that you can also be as care-free as them. Remember, you are a brand, and your social media account is just one of the many ways to get your brand message across.
Make sure you come off as sophisticated and authentic. The first step to ensuring this is using proper punctuation, spelling, and grammar. Even when you are replying to comments, don’t overuse caps lock or disregard the rules of grammar.
You need to look professional online. So, read every marketing communication you send across carefully. This includes both posts and comments.
2. Use the Story Feature
Now, a wide variety of social media platforms have the Story feature in them. This includes Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.
Many brands tend to stay away from the function, dubbing it to be a tad too unprofessional.
This is a misconception. Stories tend to be highly engaging. There is much more chance of people viewing your five-second story than reading a post to the tee. So, make sure to use this feature to your advantage.
What can you post in your story? You can share news about discounts or recent collections. You can also use the feature creatively. For instance, a leather jacket online store can post stories about how the different jackets are made or how to carry the leather jackets stylishly.
Put your creative brain to work and come up with the perfect content to share via Stories.
3. Be Consistent
One of the first things taught in brand management classes is the need to have a consistent brand image. Your communications are the stepping stone to creating this consistency.
Generally, people tend to think that consistency only comes through the tone of voice and the content. However, in the world of social media, it also comes in the form of the frequency of posting.
The more inconsistent and infrequent you are with your social media posts, the more you will lose out on your target audience.
According to a study conducted by Facebook, brands tend to lose connection with their target audience if they post merely once a week or more than three times a day. Remember, you can’t spam your customers, nor can you let them forget you.
You need to find a balance between the two. Post original and witty content three days a week and at most twice a day.
The Don’ts of Social Media
Here are three things you must avoid doing on social media at all costs!
1. Be a spammer
There is nothing worse than annoying your target audience. And there is nothing easier to do than annoying them!
In an attempt to sound friendly, don’t spam your audience. It is never a good idea to continually post, retweet, comment, and like. If you do so, you will watch as your engagement rates drop significantly. People will start unfollowing you. After all, no one wants a brand to be the only thing they see on their social media accounts!
2. Complain about negative customer experiences
Just like there are bad brands that garner a lot of negative reviews online, there can also be bad customers. However, in this case, a brand cannot go online and share their negative experience with the said customer.
One of the essential social media etiquettes for business owners is the need to take the high road when things don’t go to plan. Whenever a customer interaction turns sour or a transaction does not follow through, never bad mouth your customers online.
Don’t even post sarcastic comments about them. This is because potential customers might look at your interactions with your audience and form a negative opinion about you.
You don’t want to sound like a bully or a whiner online!
Hashtags are a great solution. They allow users to view content about a given topic all at once. As a business owner, it lets you categorize your content and link it to a more important topic.
But, there is a thing such as overdoing hashtags. Some brands are even guilty of it! Some people tend to convert every word of their post into a hashtag. Others make the entire sentence into one prominent, incoherent, hashtag!
Both of these approaches tend to look very unprofessional and highly annoying. It also means that the tags don’t perform a function, unlike the initial purpose of the concept!
Social media is a powerful tool if you use it the right way. Where can you address such a massive chunk of your target group, all at once?
Be careful about social media etiquette and watch as your online presence, and hence your business revenue increases.
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!
5 Reasons Why Marketers Prefer Instagram Over Snapchat
Instagram or Snapchat — which one should you choose?
Both platforms are similar. They each have a huge audience base and are suited for visual marketing. So, it’s not an easy choice. But most marketers are picking Instagram over Snapchat.
Instagram has over a billion monthly active users while Snapchat has about 218 million daily active users, worldwide. But that’s not the only reason why marketers prefer Instagram for promotional campaigns.
After all, 39.9% of social media users in the USA used Snapchat in 2018, making it a powerful marketing platform. However, the same study revealed that this share is projected to fall and reach to 35.3% in 2023.
It’s a tell-all sign that Snapchat is losing its sheen.
So, where is Snapchat falling short?
Let’s get into the crux of the matter. Here are five reasons why marketers prefer Instagram over Snapchat to increase their overall online sales:
1. Instagram Does Stories Better
Snapchat was the first social media platform to come up with the concept of Stories. This feature allowed its users to share photos and videos of daily activities. Stories were exciting as you could add text, graphics, and more to them.
The Stories feature opened up a world of opportunities for marketers. Using it, they could tell more vivid stories, run contests, and make announcements.
Soon enough, Instagram pounced on the opportunity to roll out their version of Stories. With another platform bringing in the same feature, the uniqueness of the idea was gone.
Interestingly, Instagram kept most of the things the same, including the name and the basic features. Today over 500 million people use the Stories feature on the platform daily.
So, what’s the difference between Stories on Instagram and Snapchat?
Let’s take a look.
Instagram is a marketer’s delight because the Stories are prominently placed. As soon as the users open the app, Stories are the first thing they see at the top of the screen. This makes it easy for them to capture their audience’s attention.
Additionally, the Stories keep playing one after the other in a sequence. Even if a user clicks on just one Story, the chances are that they will end up seeing a few more.
What’s more, the platform offers plenty of tools such as stickers, augmented reality (AR) filters, and drawing tools to help you build a super interactive experience for viewers.
Through Stories, you can also drive traffic to your landing pages. This can help you with lead generation and sales. However, for this, you must ensure that your landing pages are top-notch. To build such landing pages, you can use landing page builders.
When it comes to Stories, Snapchat is more user-centric in its approach. For example, Stories did autoplay in the past on Snapchat, but they have removed this feature.
This gives the power in the hands of the users. They get to decide which Stories they want to view. That’s a great feature for the users. But for marketers and influencers, it’s a dealbreaker. This cuts down the overall reach of their Stories and reduces the chances of users engaging with them.
2. Organized User Interface
Consistent look and feel is a key aspect of brand building. This is why the ability to brand the Story with a visual layout that is consistent with the overall branding effort is a plus point for marketers.
Let’s look at how both the social media apps stack up against each other in terms of ease of organizing the visual layout.
The organized layout seems like a priority for Instagram. From the visual layout of Stories at the top and everything in relation to navigation at the bottom, the interface is user-friendly and organized. Instagram focuses on maintaining aesthetics and order on the platform.
But it also gives enough liberty to marketers and influencers to manipulate photos and order their placement. This allows marketers and brands to showcase the best versions of themselves.
The focus is on the users, so when the user opens the app, they are instantly plunged into the camera app. They are nudged into creating something right away, regardless of whether they wanted that or not. This is good for people who have always something to say.
3. Features to Put Your Best Foot Forward
The more features there are on the social media platform, the better it is for marketers and brands. A social media platform that brings more tools and features to the table that make content creation easy, will score.
Instagram offers a range of tools and features to help you create impactful content. For example, you can share your Stories with filters that can make your photographs look even better.
You can seamlessly add flair to your images and videos by editing them in the app.
Additionally, you can use various tools to schedule and share them on multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. This way, your posts can get greater reach as well.
Snapchat also offers an array of tools and features to create great content. However, it had a rough time identifying its real purpose since its origin as a private messaging platform with disappearing messages.
Some of its new features have led to a backlash as well. Over 1 million users signed a petition in 2018 to restore the previous version as well.
4. Ease of Use for Influencers and Brands
We live in a busy world and everyone is hustling to tick off items from their checklists. If a platform is overcomplicated, it is going to be a definite turn off for influencer marketing. It has to be easy and rewarding for influencers and brands to take it seriously.
Instagram makes it extremely easy for marketers to create posts or Stories and publish them on the platform. When you are building a brand, it’s more about building an experience for your target audience. Since so much goes into building a brand, the easier a platform is, the better.
Instagram seems to understand this very well. Therefore, it has simplified things at various levels. For example, you can easily find people to follow, remain updated with the latest topics, and also engage with others easily. Additionally, Instagram allows you to save some of your Stories as Highlights to make them available permanently.
It’s also easy to partner with influencers on the platform. However, it can be challenging for brands to find reliable influencers, manage the campaign, and track the results. In such a situation, you can always partner with agencies that handle social media campaigns for brands.
It seems Snapchat has missed out in this area. If you want to follow someone with the help of their username, you will need to go through multiple screens to make that happen.
The posts at Snapchat also have a limited lifespan and it lacks a Highlights section like Instagram. Thus, you can not find any old posts on Snapchat, which isn’t ideal.
5. Numbers Speak Volumes
In the end, everything boils down to numbers. The ideal platform for marketers is the one that enables them to reach and engage more people with the least amount of effort.
Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users, but with features that allow you to share your posts on other platforms, you have an even bigger market. Additionally, it gives you the option to create a public profile.
This increases your discoverability among potential followers. As a result, brands have a greater chance of reaching potential followers on the platform. These stats show that Instagram is a powerful platform for marketers and influencers.
Snapchat has about 314 million monthly active users. But since the platform is more focused on the users, you might find the majority of them busy sending photos back and forth among themselves.
This can make it difficult for marketers to reach users on the platform. Additionally, the profiles on Snapchat can only be viewed by the people who have added the influencer’s or the brand’s profile. This can drastically reduce your reach.
Instagram is the clear winner when it comes to the preferred platform for marketers and influencers. Snapchat has fewer active users on the platform than Instagram, but the numbers are still significant. So it cannot be ignored if you are looking to build a brand presence on all the platforms where you have your target audience.
Which platform do you prefer? Let us know in the comments.
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