Instagram has made marketing for businesses easier by offering a free resource to visually showcase products and a platform for engaging with clients and potential customers. But if you’re not strategically optimizing your Instagram account and all its features, promoting your business can be a frustrating and ineffective waste of time. So we’ve ironed out a few tips and critical strategies which, if you start implementing right now, you’ll thank us tomorrow.
Upload high-quality images
While users are scrolling through millions of photos daily, your photos need to stand out from the rest to be noticed and gain engagement. You don’t have to be a photographer or a photoshop wiz. By paying attention to lighting and composition of your photo, you already increase the quality of your photo drastically.
By photo composition, we mean the way that items are spaced out in photos to look aesthetically pleasing. Laying your garments flat, neatly folded with relevant props is a great way to go.
Pro tip: Make sure you are avoiding shadows in your photos, that your products are the main focal point, and the resolution is crisp and clear!
Need user-friendly photo editing app recommendations? Here at Ricoma, we love Canva and Lightroom mobile.
Engage with your audience
Be quick to respond to their comments, show them love, and build a relationship with them that will last. These engagements are the key to turning a client prospect into a loyal advocate for your company. If they feel like you have their best interests in mind and have positive experiences with you, they are more inclined to keep purchasing.
Also, keep up with your direct messages. We know this can be a chore when you start receiving more and more messages but take time each day to respond to each one. It’s a great place to send images of your work to inquiring customers and a great way to communicate with customers once they’ve placed their order.
If you aren’t sure what hashtags are, that may be a critical reason why you haven’t seen any growth or improvement on your Instagram account. A hashtag is a label for content following the # symbol included in post captions. It helps others who are interested in a specific topic, quickly find content on that same topic.
Clicking or tapping on a hashtagged word in any caption shows you other posts that include that hashtag. You can find examples of hashtags related to embroidery by going to the search icon on your Instagram profile and typing in the word ‘embroidery.’ There, you can find related hashtags, how often they’re used, etc. The higher the number of times a hashtag is used, the more popular they are.
Make sure you are using relevant hashtags that relate to your post so that you have a better chance of users looking for ‘embroidery’ or ‘heat press’ finding your images and discovering your business.
Track insights with a business account
Now that you know the basics of Instagram, let’s talk about the advantages of creating a business account.
If you already created a personal account, don’t worry. You can switch over. In settings, scroll down to ‘switch to business account.’ Once you have a business account, you can add important business information like store hours, business address, or a phone number for your customers to see on your profile.
The best part about using a business account is that you can track your analytics and see all the details of your post’s reach, how many clicks it generates, and how many people went from your recent post to your profile.
On the ‘insights’ homepage, you’ll find a summary of follower demographics, including gender, age group, and location (you have to have at least 100 followers to access this feature). You can even segment follower data by gender, age, location, and online times to study your audience and know who you’re reaching.
Be creative and consistent
You want to create a schedule for your Instagram strategy. Are you going to post three times a week? Once a day? More? Less? An inconsistent feed can cause you to lose followers because no one wants to follow an account that seems inactive or waits too long in between posts.
You want to remain top of mind for your clients, so while you don’t want to risk overwhelming your followers with content, make sure they don’t forget you throughout the week.
If you’re wondering how to come up with regular content, it’s time to get creative. The custom apparel industry is a visual business. Make sure you’re posting your work, colorful designs, and even show off your process and workshop.
Don’t forget to use Instagram stories to help keep you top of mind with existing and potential customers.
Pro tip: When you post 10+ stories, you automatically get pushed to the front of everyone’s feed. Need ideas?
- Show your embroidery process with your machine running
- Show images of a final product
- Talk to your audience about your process/tasks for the day
- Give them a tour of your workshop
- Ask poll questions to get an idea about their preferences
For more ideas on how to utilize Instagram for your business, follow us on Instagram (@RicomaHQ) and learn from the pros!