Instagram is more than just a social network for sharing photos and videos. The platform is also a great tool for companies that want to reach a young target market and promote their products. But how does this work? And how can small stationers use Instagram to grow their business?
Besides Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is one of the largest social networks, with one billion active users worldwide. The platform focuses on photos and videos, which are tagged with various hashtags. These hashtags help users to look for and find specific posts.
Instagram has been offering business profiles since 2016. Unlike private accounts, these profiles give companies access to detailed statistics on the success of their posts on the social network. They can also be used to launch campaigns and promote products and services.
The target audience on Instagram tends to be younger, as most users are under 34 years of age. Therefore, stationers need to ask themselves how they can use creative image content to capture the imagination of younger people. Motivating posts should be used to appeal to schoolgoers, for example.
German pen manufacturer Lamy posts arty photos on Instagram to appeal to creative target groups and promote its fountain pens. The company shows what can be done with its products and gives potential customers a goal that they can achieve with a Lamy fountain pen. This obviously has a motivating effect and can inspire creative projects.
Stationers new to Instagram should start by setting up a free business profile. This allows them to promote their company and its products and services.
But how exactly does this work? It is now very easy for companies to market themselves on Instagram. By creating what are known as shoppable posts, they can enable users to complete the entire purchase process – from product discovery through to payment – on the platform. Such posts are indicated by a shopping bag icon in the lower left corner. When Instagram users click on the icon, they get further information about the respective product and can buy it directly on the platform.
Shoppable posts encourage impulse buys. If you see a product you like on Instagram, you don’t even need to then google it and switch to an external shop to get your hands on it. Instead, you can simply stay on the platform and snap it up immediately.
Direct customer contact is another benefit for companies. If products are presented on Instagram in a visually appealing way and the company behind them is available to answer questions and deal with problems, the platform can lead to enormous business growth.
Generally speaking, hashtags are particularly important on Instagram. Used correctly, they ensure that users can find a retailer’s posts and interact with them, e.g. by liking and commenting on them. The greater the level of interaction, the easier it is to find the posts on Instagram. Therefore, companies using Instagram should make sure that they are successfully incorporating hashtags. Choose a small number of hashtags that match your content. Avoid generic hashtags such as “love” and “happy”, as your posts will get lost in the noise.
Post regular creative content tailored to your younger target market
Use shoppable posts to boost sales of your products
Use a small number of meaningful hashtags in your posts to increase their visibility
About the author:
Vivien Stellmach is author of BASIC thinking, an online magazine about social media, marketing and digital topics.