At Shopify we have a saying: Go for the lowest hanging fruit first. Creating social media accounts and growing an audience there seemed like an easy first step for generating interest in our products at little or no added cost.
Deciding which social media platform to focus on first was a tough decision and required a little bit of research. We ended up landing on Instagram after learning that Instagram has the highest engagement rates for brands marketing products to their audiences. Although Facebook has more than double the amount of active users (over 1 billion), research shows that Instagram users are more open to interacting with companies selling goods on their social feeds.
So, earlier this month Jane and I created The Stockroom’s Instagram account.
We also created a video to share our own Instagram strategy and some tips on how to create an account that will attract a lot of followers, who you can then turn into customers.
A lot of information is shared in this video so here is a written breakdown of what we cover with links to all the tools we mention:
How often do you post and at what time of day? Finding the optimal time to post your images for the most engagement (likes and follows) then sticking to that routine will help you steadily grow an audience on Instagram
Sticking to a photography style or subject matter will help minimize unfollows and make your overall grid more attractive to prospective followers.
Don’t stress if you’re not a professional photographer or graphic designer. There are tons of ways you can create a great profile without these technical skills.
Sending your product to bloggers for free and having them photograph and review your products is an excellent way to source great photography at a low cost.
Frank Bod is a great example of an Instagram account that uses Influencers.
Finding existing photos that suit your brand’s aesthetic and using them on Instagram— with photo cred. given to the photographer— is how many successful Instagram accounts source their photographs.
There are plenty of tools for creating professional looking graphic designs to post on social media. Canva is one of the most popular tools Instagrammers use for layering text over images. We used Adobe Illustrator, but Photoshop or Canva are fine alternatives.
Captions are often overlooked on Instagram, despite being one of the best ways to get likes and comments on your photos. Getting high engagement rates is what leads to your follower’s friends discovering your brand as well—through the Discover or Following sections of Instagram.
Probe for Engagement
Ask questions, encourage comments and liking on your photos through creative copy in your captions. Asking followers to “double tap” (like your photo) if they can relate to what it displays is an excellent way to get those likes pouring in.
It’s Hard Work! These tools make it easier.
This software will like, follow and comment on other people's posts for you at astonishingly fast rates, drumming up interest and attention for your account which can lead to more followers.
A powerful analytics tool for Instagram that shows you the top hashtags and user accounts for every category. This is a great place to find the best hashtags to use and top influencers to follow.
Schedule all of your Instagram posts in advance so you don’t forget to post everyday. Upload your photos, captions and hashtags into a content calendar and set your social media strategy on autopilot.
Similar to Buffer but Schedugram is a paid service. The advantage is that you won’t ever need to login to Instagram to post your photos to your feed— this software does it all for you.
That’s it! Hope you enjoyed the video. Comment with any questions you might have about setting up your Instagram account or building an online following for you business.
Don’t forget to follow @shopify_stockroom for your chance to win a notebook with additional handwritten tips from us on how to grow your business.