Instagram Tips for Retailers

Instagram Tips for Retailers

If your Instagram presence seems a little … underwhelming, we have a few tips for giving it a boost. Here are a handful of ways to make the most of your Instagram account, by engaging with customers and separating yourself from competitors. We also gleaned some advice on finding a savvy social media manager, which might be easier than you’d think.

Use Video Without Breaking the Bank

Social media pros laud the effectiveness of video on Instagram but what if video production skills aren’t in your company’s wheelhouse?

“You don’t have to be a professional videographer to create a compelling product video,” said Marc Gingras, CEO of Foko Retail, an online service for measuring success in retail stores. “More and more phones are now being made that are able to shoot in 4K. As long as you have a decent camera on your phone, you can make perfectly good videos suitable for Instagram. Most importantly, track your progress. Use Instagram’s built-in analytics to find out which videos have the best engagement and most impressions, try to figure out why—sleuthing the comments is helpful here—then use that knowledge to try and repeat your successes.”

Engage Customers

Gingras also recommends employing a combination of product photography and user-generated content. “Try reposting images shared on Instagram by real-life users,” Gingras says, “by monitoring mentions and tagged photos through the app—or third-party scheduling and analytics software, like Hootsuite—or by encouraging users to share images via brand-centric hashtags.”

But make sure the products you’re highlighting are easily found in your stores, he said. “Let your visual merchandising team reference what your marketing team has been posting online before they set up displays so they get the tone right.”

Sometimes Less Is More

Lauren Mink, vice president of marketing and social media at TransMedia Group, said accounts with less than 10,000 followers should post no more than once a day. “If you see at least a 35 percent conversion rate—clicks, comments, likes, saves—then you can post the product a second time,” Mink says. She also recommends enabling the Swipe Up to Buy feature on product posts: “It links to the page where that item can be added to your subscriber’s cart.”

How to Spot a Good Social Media Manager

Gone are the days when you hand an intern the keys to your social media presence, says Gingras. You need a social media pro with data science, photography and design skills.

“Especially for a primarily visual platform like Instagram, social media managers need to have a good sense of design, and the ability to craft great stand-alone posts that also work together with other photos in your feed to create a cohesive, brand-consistent theme,” Gangris said. “Sometimes you need look no further than Instagram itself. Monitor who’s talking about your products, or similar ones like it. Check out their Klout Score, which combs a social media users’ profiles, interactions, and posts online to find out how influential they are. If they have a big following and high engagement, chances are they can incorporate the same tips and tricks with your company account.”

Get more insights and share new ideas on using social media at the NEXT Conference Sept. 24-26, 2018 in Austin, Texas. For more information and to register now, visit

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