Brands existing in the retail space have a unique opportunity to utilize the power of social media to engage with their customers in-store and online. This gives brands in this industry a great way to connect with potential purchasers, and generate revenue through digital channels.
Particularly, Instagram is a strong contender as the most popular social network to engage with retail customers and increase foot traffic at your brick and mortar locations. Instagram has many benefits for retail, including the following three focal points:
1. Geotagging your location
Geotagging your location, and promoting your location information on Instagram, encourages users to also tag their posts at your brick and mortar retail store. For example, unveiling your new Fall line through a series of Instagram images and video, while tagging your store’s location, will attract new, potential visitors to click on your geotagged location and discover what else is in store in terms of content on Instagram.
2. Insights, insights, insights
When using a business account on Instagram, you can unlock so many benefits that are especially useful for retail brands.
With Instagram business accounts, you can see a breakdown of demographic following - where they’re from, age information, and overall interests. This information helps plan future content based on their profiles, as insights will help plan for your retail strategy.
3. User generated content
The beauty of user generated content - content that others share on their own profiles that are related to brands, interests and otherwise - is that it can be utilized on your own retail business account. Sharing Instagram photos from user accounts is a great way to engage with a new audience, and also give you ‘free’ content to use on your profile. Just be sure to ask the user for permission before posting.
Now that you’re aware of the benefits of using Instagram for your retail brand, here’s how to run an Instagram account for retail.
Set-up your business profile
Every business, regardless of industry, should set up a business profile on Instagram. Business profiles give users the ability to generate so much more information in terms of analytics and data that can provide you with far more information than a personal page.
Business profiles will also allow you to explore advertising features and benefits far easier than personal profiles do.
Determine your customer persona before developing your bio and setting your posting strategy
If you’re brand new to the retail space, or perhaps you have been in the business for decades, though this is your first foray into Instagram, it’s important to determine your strategy before writing your bio and understanding when and what you should post.
A customer persona should include key persona information, include age, location, gender, interests, at the minimum.
Though you might ask - why should you take this into consideration when thinking about Instagram?
Because your bio is one of the first things your new visitors will read when they get to your account and your posting strategy should take all customer persona information into consideration. Here’s why:
- Your customer persona will help determine when you should post. For example, if you have a retail children's’ clothing store, you might be targeting 30-40 year old females with interests relating to kids. This means you would post generally during “nap” or “school” time.
- This information will also impact your hashtag strategy, including which hashtags you will use and how you will use them.
- Additionally, it will impact how often you post, and the days you decide to share images and videos.
Include a combination of posting styles and types
Some of the best retail brands we’ve seen on Instagram include a variety of posting styles and types:
Set a theme
Themes are a great way to engage with your audience, while including visuals (filters, photos, etc.) Zara, for example, sets a specific theme for every three photos - from three photos of children in outfits, to three photos of vintage wear, to three photos of seasonal themes and more. We love this idea for retail brands.
Integrate video into your Instagram strategy
Video is a great way to engage your audience. Consider testing video with your Instagram following, by showcasing behind the scenes video content that compliments great visuals.
Include User Generated Content
User Generated Content is a great way to showcase some of the great content that your retail fans are sharing on social media. Be sure to monitor the hashtags you are using in your posting strategy (referenced above!) so you can keep a close eye on content your following is producing.
One of our most favorite tips for retail brands is…
...have an in-store call to action (CTA)! You can do this in a variety of ways, including sharing of a brand hashtag to use for customers, encouraging your customers to tag their locations when trying on or purchasing clothes, and tagging your account for chances to win gift cards or other contest ideas.
Running an Instagram account for retail brands can be so much fun, as it’s a great way to engage with your customers both on and offline. Be sure to enjoy the process as you build your following!