Social Selling on Instagram for Brand Awareness

Social media has been a key part of digital life for the last decade. Brands have used that to their advantage—leveraging social media to build brand awareness, discover new audiences and even close sales.But of all the social media platforms, Instagram has become one of the most valuable for retailers. Instagram’s visual-first platform is ripe for beautiful product photography,,and offers plenty of opportunity  to show off your brand’s personality along the way. Instagram is now a real sales channel, thanks to the possibility of selling products through your Instagram posts using Shopping tags. . 

If you’re an independent business or entrepreneur looking to get started on the ‘gram, this short guide is for you. Follow us for the best social selling tips, as well as how to launch your Instagram retail business. 

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Get to know your audience

First of all, Instagram users can be described as people just like you. They respond well to content that is both human-made and tailored for their needs. That’s where personalization comes in. According to TechTarget, personalization is “a means of meeting the customer’s needs more effectively and efficiently, making interactions faster and easier and, consequently, increasing customer satisfaction and the likelihood of repeat visits.”

This means you need to be looking at who your customer is, as well as what their target audience on Instagram. Start by getting information about your current followers. Get information about your followers and create content that is relevant to them. 

Luckily, if you have an Instagram business account (which you should if you’re looking to increase brand awareness for your business), you can use the Instagram app itself to see all sorts of data on your current base: from age to location and much more. 

Once you have some basic data about your Instagram followers, it’s time to do some thinking about what type of content will resonate with them. Or, if your current followership is different from your store’s target customer, think through how you might pivot the type of content you make to better speak to your target audience. There are many different ways to do this—from bringing in a younger face to speak more directly to a younger demographic, to changing up the overall look and feel of your account. Talking of which: 

 

The right brand image and look is essential for brand recognition

Instagram offers so many opportunities for creativity, variety and personal expression. But unfortunately, that also means that the platform can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have a background in graphic design or photography. However, a good Instagram design can make a big difference in your brand’s awareness. Ideally, your Instagram should be an extension of your brand itself, so when thinking through how you’d like your Instagram to look, it’s important to focus on things like you current logo, website, or any design features already in place. It is important to use the existing color palettes and font choices in order to organically grow Instagram. 

Take a moment to look at your current appearance. What do you love? And what could you improve upon? How would you describe the brand’s appearance? From there, you can play around with adding grid posts, as well as stories and other Instagram features (which we’ll get into a little later) that feel in line with what you already have, and make you excited about your brand. 

It is important to not hesitate to ask for help from other people. You can find inspiration from millions of carefully curated accounts, including color schemes, photo styles, flat lays, landscape photos and products photos. You can study these accounts to see which aspects you love and how they might adapt for your business.

It’s also important to take a look at your competitors. Take a moment to think about the largest name in your industry, or within any vertical. Then take a look at that page. Give them a “follow” so they can keep you up-to date on industry news and also show your support for other companies. 

After you’ve gathered all the stylistic ideas, analysis, and thoughts, it might seem like you are wondering how you can turn them into posts. There are many free apps and software programs that allow anyone to play with photos. Canva is a popular service that’s easy to use. After you have settled on the platform, go ahead and play around with it. You can experiment with Instagram’s look and feel by doing so. And remember, one of the beauties of Instagram is that you can delete anything you don’t like.

Storytelling, reels and Live Posts

Although the grid post has always been a part of the Instagram success story, there have been many ways for your account to connect with people and to create content over time. It can make a huge difference in your ability to expand your brand’s reach on social media and increase awareness. Let’s take a look at a few tools in the Instagram toolkit.

Stories:

Instagram stories are the perfect tool to create content quickly. These little pieces of content—which include both images and videos, are great because you post them and they disappear 24 hours later. 

Because of this, stories can be great for advertising flash sales, promoting other creators’ content within your niche, or even just trying out a new type of content that you’re a little unsure about. Stories can have many parts. The dynamic nature of stories allows for smaller pieces than something much more complex. You can think of stories like the chips that make up your social selling strategy. 

Reels:

Since their inception, reels are becoming increasingly popular on Instagram. Reels are the new video equivalent of grid posts: A brief video where you can discuss any topic. Reels are an extension of the TikTok format and can be used for showcasing your products or talking about customers’ pain points. or simply showing off your brand’s personality to a wide audience of people who are interested in this short, engaging video format. 

Live postings:

Do you have something to share? Would it be great to do this live in your own time? Going live could be the best type of content. Going “Live” is simply turning your account into a live stream, allowing you to interact with your audience in real time. Lives are a wonderful way to demo your product or to have someone from the top of your company, such as a CEO or founder, visit and answer questions. 

While lives may feel high stakes because they can’t be re-done, like stories, they disappear from your feed after they’re over (unless you choose to save them to your highlights), so don’t feel like everything needs to be perfect in order to go live. If you have something to say, and if your brand’s personality lends itself to an off-the-cuff or behind the scenes kind of display, going live might be the easiest way to get what you want to say out there. 

 

Instagram Shopping: Making Sales

Did you know… To enable you to shop directly from the app, set up an Instagram account. This feature works with grid posts and stories as well as reels. 

One of the best ways to increase sales for your business is to reduce something called “friction.” Friction simply means the amount of steps, time, and energy it takes for a potential customer to make a purchase, visit your site, or otherwise convert. Customers can shop from your site without needing to go through any redirection. This is one way to cut down on friction. Instagram Shopping is a seamless way to keep your customer’s eyes on your brand and allow them to shop all at once, from the comfort of their own Instagram feed. 

You can shop Instagram through certain Small Biz Sense eCom Products. If you’d like to learn more, click here.

Last Thoughts

If you’re a retailer looking to expand your reach online, social selling is a revenue opportunity just waiting to be unlocked. By crafting the right experience for your brand and leveraging Instagram’s powerful commerce tools, you can turn your social media strategy into a full-blown online sales channel. 

The aim of this guide is to give you quick tips on how to start your journey in social commerce. And as always, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experts with any questions about what Small Biz Sense can do for you!

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Cyndy Lane