Why do I love shopping small?
Small businesses have always offered me unique and memorable experiences. The owners care about their customers and work directly with you to make sure you are satisfied with every purchase you make.
But these memorable experiences shouldn’t only occur during in-store interactions. You also need to think about what you’re offering your audience online.
Instagram is a fantastic way for your small business to engage with your audience, show them what you’re up to, and continue building strong relationships.
In a study by Forrester Research, Instagram was shown to generate the highest consumer engagement level of all the social networks. The study found that Instagram delivered 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter!
Fed By Threads is a customer of ours that is absolutely rocking Instagram.
Using their account as inspiration, here are a few Instagram engagement tips you can use at your business:
Know your message
Engagement is a two-way street. Show your customers why they should be loyal to your business. What can your small business offer them? What can they offer you?
Before you begin sharing photos, think about the message you want to communicate to your customers. Instagram allows businesses to build visual connections and inspire brand loyalty — so make sure your images evoke a consistent tone and message.
Fed by Threads consistently communicates that they are a small business set out to inspire change. They sacrifice profits to feed the hungry and use sustainable fabrics to protect our environment. Fed by Threads emphasizes the story they communicate to their followers through the photos they share.
(Having trouble viewing the images? View them here!)
Evoke an emotion
I love to see what small businesses are doing behind closed doors. It makes the relationship you have with them a lot more personal.
Pictures have the ability to evoke a certain emotion — whether it’s happy, curious, excited or motivated — so be certain that the feeling you express is something you want your customers to connect to your business.
Fed by Threads shares the level of passion they have for their business by posting what they do outside of selling their merchandise.
Alok is hand woodblock printing. The scarf fabric is American grown, organic cotton, seed to garment! And now Jane has sewn colorful edges, and Alok is hand woodblock printing. Can’t wait to show you the finished products. #seedtogarment #madeinusa #madeinamerica #scarf #creative #organiccotton #Ecofashion #quality #ecoliving #vegan #veganclothing #fedbythreads #winter #fashion A video posted by Fed By Threads (@fedbythreadsorganics) on
Offer something exclusive
Extending promotions and giveaways is a great way to stay active, drive engagement, and encourage users to purchase your goods.
Incentivize your customers to re-post your photos to receive a certain percentage off their next purchase. Give the first 20 customers who like your photo a small product giveaway. Encourage customers to take a selfie with their favorite purchased items and tag you!
These are all simple ways to gain more followers and general awareness of your brand.
Show your appreciation and give your customer a shout out!
People love to know that they are appreciated. Ask a customer if you can share a photo of them with their new purchases bought from your store.
Add a brief description of why you wanted to share their photo or ask them to give a quote on why they love your small business. This is a great way to engage existing customers and show potential customers the loyalty your brand inspires.
James Nesta is one of coolest cats who has been coming to Fed By Threads since the early days with his girlfriend Kim!! I dig how our Coala Tree hemp button-down works on him, don’t you? #hemp #ecostyle #thisistucson #tucson #dread #dreadhead #dreadlocks
A photo posted by Fed By Threads (@fedbythreadsorganics) on
Respond to your followers
Monitor what your followers are saying about the pictures you post, both positive and negative.
Show them that you care about what they have to say. Reply to comments and try to follow them back and engage with what they’re sharing when relevant.
Fed by Threads puts in a great effort to respond to their followers.
If you haven’t already started using Instagram for your small business, consider adding it to the top of your To Do list for the New Year!
This platform works as a resource for sharing, engaging and branding your business.
Want more Instagram resources? Head over to Instagram 101 page for more Instagram advice or ask us questions in the comments below!