When Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg acquired Instagram for a billion dollars, a lot of jaws dropped. Also, a lot of companies were left scratching their heads trying to come up with a plan to get in on it. It’s not a many-will-enter, few-will-win contest, it’s a vehicle for tapping a fresh audience. A lot of ecommerce sites and companies still aren’t convinced they need to actively participate. They couldn’t be more wrong, and here’s why.
1. The Local Scene Thrives
Lets compare city data to Instagram data. The population of Chicago is 2.7 million. The number of photos tagged #chicago on Instagram reached 2.4 million. That’s before we add hashtags like #ChiTown, #chicagobound, #chicagogram, and #chicagood, where we extend well beyond the 3 million photo mark, reaching out-of-towners and locals alike. The local-nichey tags like #chicagogram and #chicagood are the most effective for ecommerce sites to use, as they’re more frequently searched for.
2. Hashtags are Far-Reaching
Beyond the local scene, if you’re utilizing hashtags appropriately, you will bring more followers and more traffic to your site. “Appropriately” means not overdoing it. There’s just no need to add more than five hashtags it’s a major turn-off. A good formula to follow for hashtagging Instagram posts is as follows:
- #geoinformation (city, neighborhood, street, or tourist attraction)
3. Users Don’t Mind Following Companies
Too often, social media marketers think followers is a numbers game. Companies don’t make more money just because a thousand more people followed them in the month of July, they make money because some of those customers are actually shopping with them. Chicago Hoody, for example, might only have 95 followers, but you know they’re actual customers because their photos get likes and comments.
4. It’s More Scalable Than You Think
The statistics provided by Instagram on its website to every user are surprisingly thorough. Not only will it tell you unimportant details like Filter Use percentage, it also gives you incredible insight into engagement and optimization. You can find out which time of day your posts are well-received, your highest commented and liked photos, and how well you’re making use of hashtags. Make use of this information to formulate an optimized Instagram photo campaign so that you’re not wasting your time or worse turning people away.
5. Social Reach Comes Full Circle
How many times do Instagram photos appear on your Facebook feed everyday? Even if your followers have few Instagram followers (which is usually the case) the chance that they cross-post is good. Such is the coalescent nature of social media.
Perhaps one of the best arguments for Instagram is how well it meshes and feeds a Facebook campaign. You can add an Instagram tab to your Facebook page to give each social campaign another dimension you can add your photo feed or even a hashtag feed, which would work well for larger ecommerce sites whose brand name might get tagged from customers (posing with their new hoodies, perhaps.)