Just because you are a small retail business doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be on Instagram. Over the last 5 years consumer habits have been changing, previously we couldn’t get enough of the mass-produced items from the faceless corporations.
Now we are looking to smaller retailers and local businesses to get our shopping fix, but how can small retail businesses utilise Instagram to reach consumers? Don’t worry; here is everything you need to know.
Use Location Services
If you are a small business, especially with a bricks and mortar store, you want people to know where you are and where you operate out from. A lot of people are looking to buy local to reduce their impact on the environment, so make sure you tell people that you are based in a certain town in a certain country so that they can access your products without feeling guilty for shipping it in.
Build a Community
If you look at a lot niche products and small businesses on Instagram you will see that they have built a community around themselves. You can do this too! Firstly, you need to remember that social media is just that, social!
Talk to people, actively engage with them and make them feel valued and validated, this will help them build an affinity with you which will result in support and then sales. If you build a steadfast following, you can ask your consumers what they would like to see in your retail store amongst other feedback!
Use A Bot
Growth is the key to Instagram, especially for a smaller retailer, you want to maximise your reach and visibility and make sure that people know you exist. Using automated social media software or a bot can help you do this and will free up valuable time.
You can configure your bot to your target market and make sure that it only follows people in that pre-determined demographic. This is ideal for smaller retailers who stock a particular type of clothing for a particular target market.
The bot will then interact on your behalf and increase your following this way.
This is an excellent tool for smaller enterprises as it means that your time isn’t spent liking other accounts, following other feeds and engaging consistently, that takes up a lot of time that could be better spent in different areas of your business.
Use Shoppable Posts
These are a relatively new thing from Instagram but can make it so that customers can click straight through from a post to your webstore. It is a seamless way to get consumers from looking at your post, onto your website and purchasing the item that they have seen, but it doesn’t stop there. This doesn’t just work on your feed, this can also be applied to your stories, making it so that consumers can access your product range which every aspect they look at.
Show Your Audience What You Do
People love a behind the scenes look, especially when it comes to niche retailers and even more so if you develop your own products. Give your audience a feel for what you do on the day to day, how you work and what it is like working for and with you. The more human you come across; the more people are likely to purchase from you. Remember, people buy from people that they like and if you are showing yourself to be a likeable person on Instagram as well as someone who treats their staff well, this will go a long way.
Reward Your Followers
IF you have built up a strong community of followers, you should look to reward them. Don’t engage with competitions where they have to tag people to get a benefit, give them an actual reward, such as a code for 20% off your new releases or other types of promotional give away. By rewarding your followers, you are making sure that they prioritise your content over other brands and retailers and will always look to engage with and buy from you instead.
Running an Instagram feed for a small retailer doesn’t have to be a challenge. If you employ the right strategy you can build a meaningful following in no time at all. Remember that people are looking to purchase local and want to find businesses that reflect their values, so make sure you make yourself easy to find! Engage with your customers and build a loyal fan base that you can then reward intermittently with promotional codes, give away and discount vouchers. Using a bot is always a good idea, especially when you are first starting your feed as it will increase your follower base whilst freeing up valuable time for you to concentrate on other aspects of your business!