(…and how to fix that)
Instagram is an amazing tool for growing your business. However, if you’re struggling with turning your social media marketing into sales, this article is the one for you.
Here are 5 of the major road blocks that can stand between you and Instagram bliss, and how you can address these.
1. You’re Not Consistent
One of the most effective ways to build trust and recognition for your brand is to simply be consistent. Keep on top of content and brand construction to be championed as a recognisable and reliable business.
Look at your:
Is your brand recognisable and coherent across your content?
- Post times and days
Are you uploading content on a regular and recognisable schedule? When can your audience look forward to seeing your posts? Successful brands post on a regular basis, usually following a noticeable publishing schedule.
- Hashtag use
Which hashtags are you using? Is it easy to find posts that relate to your brand?
2. You Get Distracted
There’s so much to look at and be influenced by on Instagram; it’s the home of the modern-day influencer. While it’s great to take influence from brilliant brands that are doing well, and to join in with trends and challenges when they are relevant to your brand, it’s also very easy to get swayed away from your own business focuses. Vanity metrics and ‘keeping up with the joneses’ are just some of the pitfalls a brand can sink into, detracting from business growth in the process.
When making content decisions, ask yourself:
- Will this fit in with my social media marketing plan?
- Does this follow my brand’s guidelines (colour palette, tone of voice)?
- Will this bring value to my audience?
- Does this make sense for my brand?
Check out how focused the branding of the @mcdonalds Instagram profile is, using colours and imagery that fits their marketing efforts.
To remain focused:
- Set clear goals and targets that focus on business growth
- Only work trends and challenges into your content strategy if it makes sense for your brand
- Acknowledge that not every kind of content will work for your brand
- Think about bringing value to your ideal customer
3. You Don’t Understand Sales Funnels
Also known as a purchasing funnel, the sales funnel shows the theoretical stages it takes for a potential customer to go from being aware of your brand to purchasing a product or service.
Talking about the marketing rule of seven, SEO guru Neil Patel states, “People need to hear about your brand or see your brand 7 times before they’ll convert into a customer.” Being aware of this will shape how you use social media to connect with your audience. It will also influence any advertising you do in a significant way.
Think of your Instagram profile as a shop front. This is where you will gain awareness and interest by potential customers. However, to encourage relevant potential customers towards the end goal of making a purchase, you need to have a plan in place. This plan will be pointing customers towards the things you have to offer, making it as easy as possible for them to make a purchase when they are ready.
Get clear on your end goals, and how you can guide a customer in that direction, and your Instagram will be more focused and yield better results.
4. You Don’t Have Clout
It can feel difficult to compete with big brands with big budgets. However, having a large amount of power in an industry is not the only way to build trust, loyalty and interest in a brand.
Here are some things you can do to build credibility using clarity, integrity and creativity:
- Encourage reviews
If you’re a new, small or upcoming company, it’s important to build brand loyalty and trust. Wow customers with outstanding value, clear communication, excellent customer service and precision focus, and let your customers’ experiences tell the story.
- Be clear about your product or service
Social media can be a bit of circus if your products and services aren’t at the heart of your branding. When a customer comes across a brand that is new to them, they won’t want to part with money if they don’t know what they’re getting. Be clear about what you have to offer. Shout about it. Make it the star of the show.
- Use your USP to your advantage
Do you have a particular unique selling point which makes your brand stand out? Your social media presence is a great place to show this off.
- Engagement speaks for itself
Ultimately, if people buy into what you do and what you stand for, your engagement will reflect this. Keep tabs on how your engagement is doing over time, as this can be a good indicator of how your audience relates to your brand.
5. You’re An Island
Social media is exactly that - social. If you try to go it alone, you may be creating more work for yourself, when you could be creating, developing and using connections to help you grow.
Here’s how you can start:
- Engage with posts
This goes for other brands and potential customers alike. Interacting with other users is the first step in creating relationships which you can nurture to develop. This helps potential customers find their way through your marketing funnel, and opens you up for future brand deals.
- Acknowledge your audience
Social media is one of the only forms of media that facilitates immediate interaction. Use this to your advantage by sharing consumer posts and communicating with your followers through comments and direct messages.
- Support others
Supporting other people is a fantastic way of social media use (and an awesome way to spend your time in general). However, in marketing terms, not only does it create connections and show your brand in a positive light, it also opens you up to the same down the line. As the saying goes: what goes around, comes around.