Social media has taken the world by storm, and whereas before it was the hot spot for checking out the latest news about friends and acquaintances, connecting with people of the past or just watching funny cat videos – many businesses are now choosing to harvest the power of social media to give their e-commerce sales a boost!
Is Instagram Actually That Influential?
In short? Yes. Instagram is no longer just about posting pictures of your brunch selection that looked extremely tasty before you stuck your fork in (yes, I’m guilty of contributing towards #lunchagram!). In fact, here are some statistics that may just surprise you:
- On average, users spend 53 minutes on Instagram per day!
- 50% of users make a purchase via the business’ website after seeing the products on Instagram.
- 80% of Instagrammers decide whether or not to buy a product or service, based on its visibility and exposure on the platform.
- 83% of Instagrammers say they discover new products and services on the platform.
- One-third of the most viewed Instagram stories are posted by businesses.
With that kind of exposure and influence over buying decisions, why would you not want to harness the power of Instagram for your e-commerce business?
So, How Does the Algorithm Work?
The Instagram algorithm focuses on user engagement, which can be frustrating to optimise for at first, but once you’ve put the leg work in and established a strong base of followers, can mean huge boosts in product sales and exposure! It may come as a surprise, but your Instagram feed isn’t just a list of people that you happen to follow, it is based on who and what you like. If it believes, based on your past behaviour, that you are going to like particular content, that content will appear higher up in your feed.
If Content Is King Queen, How Do I Get Mine Seen? 💁
There are some best practices that we would recommend if wanting to get maximum exposure:
Recommended Image and Content Size
Image size for Instagram photos is recommended to be 1080 x 1080 pixels and captions can be 2,200 characters long including the name of your handle. It is worth considering though, that the content will cut off in the user feed after three lines of text – so keep the important messages towards the top!
Create an Easy User Journey
A great feature of Instagram that is super effective is product tagging! Provided you are a business profile and have a product catalogue set up, Facebook and Instagram can seamlessly integrate to create a professional presence on Social Media. If you’ve ever been scrolling and seen a nice-looking photo of a product and seen this the icon below – you’ll have also noticed the product is tagged in the photo! Click the link and it will take you through to the website to buy – what an easy journey!
We may all joke at some ridiculously long hashtags, but they are very integral to gaining exposure within Instagram! Many users search by hashtags so in essence, by applying relevant hashtags to your content you are using the same optimisation method as using keywords to be relevant in Google Search.
Of Course, That All Important Imagery!
It is obvious that imagery is a key feature of Instagram but how could this be important to your business? The way you serve your imagery is how you will connect and be relevant to your audience. There are some main product photo categories that you could consider for this:
- Manicured product photo – a clean, polished product image that shows what you’ve got to offer in its most natural form.
- Candid product photo – show off your product in the setting it is used in, selling shoes? Let’s see someone walking down a street, gazing into the distance in those gorgeous shoes!
- Of course, the meme – we don’t always understand them but what we all we know is, that when they’re relevant to us, we love them! If your business is targeting a younger audience, placing your product into a popular meme format could lead you onto a winner.
A few examples of some great Instagram imagery:
Office Envy sell top of the range ergonomic office chairs with integrated leg rests and head rests. They aren’t also great products for comfort but they look modern and sleek. The Instagram page features candid home office shots that emphasise the chair as a focal point but also make the product relatable, especially for those wanting to give their home office a lift!
I want my home office to look that trendy and be comfy whilst I work! I’m sold. Go check out their other product imagery on Instagram @officeenvyuk
Mutneys Professional Pet Care
This one will definitely appeal to all the pet lovers out there! Mutneys are an e-commerce business that specialise in products for pet care and grooming. I’m sure you may have guessed, their Instagram features our four-legged friends living their best groomed life thanks to the top quality products.
For all the funny dog videos and some great products, check out their page at @themutneysdog.