It’s not just big brands with massive marketing budgets that reign supreme in the Instagram Hall of Fame – although Lego, Tesla and Airbnb are totally nailing the grid. But smaller, niche companies are doing fantastic things on Insta and are reaping the rewards financially.
And so too, can you. It is a supreme platform for homes & interiors products. If you’re already up and running, you might want to skip straight down to the part on shoppable posts – selling directly from your images – and if we’ve missed anything you’d like more info on – give us a call or leave a comment.
Business is best.
Before you can win followers and more importantly – potential customers – with your stunning images, you need to set up your Instagram Business account.
Unlike a personal account, a business account lets you schedule posts, track your posts’ performance, sell products and create sponsored posts. All of which will help in your mission to make money from this most aesthetics of platforms.
But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we need to cover the basics. If you’ve already done this – skip on.
Choose a profile name that is consistent with your brand, as well as your other social media platforms, to make it easy for existing customers to find you.
Once your account is set up, there are three essentials every great profile needs:
- A profile pic that perfectly epitomises your brand – a logo is ideal. If your current one isn’t up to scratch, consider investing in a new one before launching your Instagram account. After all, your profile pic will be seen by all your followers every time you post, so make it a good one
- A well-thought out, carefully-crafted bio telling everyone who you are and what you do. These are limited to 150 characters so choose your words wisely
- A link to your website – this is the only clickable link on your Instagram page so make sure it’s on there
Once all these are in place, you can start posting. But before you grab your smartphone and start snapping away, step back.
Think of your Instagram account as your shop window or homepage. In the same way a window display entices potential customers through its doors, or a homepage inspires clickthroughs, you want your Instagram to do the same.
Plan every picture perfectly. Lifestyle images work amazingly well, and remember Instagram’s square format. Portrait and landscapes pictures are no goes so make sure you remember this when styling your pics.
And don’t make captions an after-thought. Before you post any product shots make sure your caption is complete with information about every item featured. Make it aspirational and choose one or two hashtags to make it easy to find.
From the start use your images to create a tone for your brand, making sure each one is similar in style. And don’t post too frequently – never more than twice a day.
If you do want to post more, consider Instagram stories. These 15-second bursts disappear from your account after 24 hours and are perfect for sharing behind the scenes action or styling shots.
Instagram stories are becoming increasingly popular and brands are using them more and more to sell products.
Some users can even add a link directly to their story, which takes followers who ‘Swipe Up’ to a website or a specific product.
However, this super useful feature is only available to accounts with more than 10,000 followers.
How do you get 10,000 followers on Instagram?
Reaching the magic 10k is no easy feat. However, great content aside, there are plenty of hacks to ramp up follower numbers – and we’re not talking about buying any either!
To really give your account kudos it is important to have genuine followers interested in what you are posting.
Captions are all-important here, especially the aforementioned hashtags used to sum up content. Hashtags make images easy to find, even to non-followers. Instagram users can simply search for a specific term and anything with that hashtag returns. By labeling your pics with tags relevant to your post and target audience, you’re making it easier for potential customers to find – and follow – you.
As an Instagrammer, it’s also important to be pro-active and start interacting with influencers and join the Instagram conversation. While the ultimate aim of your Instagram account might be to gain followers – also known as potential customers – don’t ignore the platform’s ability to connect your brand with its followers and fans.
Re-post your followers’ images (with permission of course) and interact with them in the same way a great sales assistant would with any customer. Answer questions promptly and nurture relationships. You’ll soon gain a reputation for great service.
And finally, give a shout out to the brands that match your own ethos. If you support others, they’ll hopefully support you in return and showcase your products to their audience.
Mutha.Hood is a female-owned business aimed at empowering other women through merchandise. Founder Gemma set up the business after having two children and her ‘Strong Girls Club’ tees have been seen on everyone from actress Rebecca Humphries to Instagram superstar Clemmie Hooper.
In return, the endearing Gemma massively supports the women who have helped grow her brand – giving them frequent shout-outs on her Instagram stories.
Creating Shoppable Posts on Instagram
Last year Instagram launched ‘Shoppable’ posts to help users drive sales. If you look at your favourite brand’s grid, you may spot a small white paper bag in the top right of each image. This indicates you can buy the items pictured there and then through Instagram. You don’t even have to leave the App.
This corker of a feature lets you tag up to five items per image. When these tagged products are tapped, followers will see more detailed information about the product and can even click straight through to your website where they can buy.
It massively streamlines the buying journey and helps secure those impulse purchases.
How do I make my posts shoppable?
If you want to make your images shoppable, the process is quite straightforward.
Firstly, you need to make sure you are using the latest version of Instagram and that your business complies with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies.
You also need to make sure your business is connected to a Facebook catalogue which can be managed through either Business Manager, Shopify or BigCommerce.
Once you’re approved, tagging your products could not be simpler. Tap the Get Started alert in your profile, then products and then continue. Select the product catalogue to link to your business profile and then get tagging.
You can tag up to five products per image, and like tagging a person, you just tap the items you want to make ‘shoppable’ and start typing the product name. Suggestions will drop down from your catalogue which you can then click on. Once you hit done and share your products are ready to be sold!
Like all social media platforms, Instagram offers users the chance to drive traffic and increase awareness through advertising.
Unlike traditional print advertising, ads on Instagram can be targeted by age, interests, behaviour and location thanks to Facebook’s Ad Manager, which in short means you can get your products in front of your target audience.
There are five ad formats: photos, videos, carousels, canvas story ads and story ads and you can select from a pretty hefty list of call to action prompts, everything from ‘Learn More’ and ‘Visit Instagram Profile’ to the more direct ‘Shop Now’.
Once you have decided which ad works for you, as well as your call to action, you need to determine how long your ad will run for and what budget you’re comfortable spending.