Let me start off by saying I am an avid Instagram user. I am also from the millennial generation, so it is no wonder that this is the case. And Instagram isn’t the only social media platform I use; Facebook and Twitter are also part of my top three.
But Instagram stands out for me because of its visual imagery and simplicity of the platform. What I love most are all the retail brands using it to showcase their products in fun and unique ways.
Just the other day, I was having trouble with a certain accessory I had recently purchased, and I looked up the brand on my Instagram account for inspiration, and it actually solved my issue.
I think Instagram is an excellent tool for brands for a variety of reasons. It helps consumers with their purchasing decisions, offers a bit of inspiration and allows them to engage one-on-one with the brand.
So how can you not win here? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been driven me to a website or a nearby store after looking at a particular item on their Instagram account.
There are also many celebrities who promote products and make shoppers want to buy. For example, actress Reese Witherspoon, an avid reader, is always sharing the books she reads with her fans. She also has her own high-end apparel, accessories and home decor brand called Draper James. And then there is actress Sarah Jessica Parker, who recently launched her own high-end shoe line, SJP Collection, which she of course promotes on Instagram.
Both of these two women have driven me to their websites to look at their products, and I may yet purchase them!
So what should you know about posting on Instagram from this millennial?
- Post daily and be authentic with your brand imagery and message.
- Have fun with the imagery. If you look excited about your products, your customers will be excited about purchasing them.
- Don’t just take pictures of products. Inspirational quotes and beautiful sceneries work; videos work too! Videos are particularly good for quick how-tos.
- Find ways to make your customers crave what you’re posting. I can’t tell you how many times brands posting constantly about a specific product has pushed me to purchase.
Now Instagram may not be for everyone; you may not a visually oriented brand. So it’s important to find a social media platform that works for your brand. You also want to think about where your customers are, because you will want to be right there with them.
Below is a list of brands I currently follow that I think are the best examples of how to use Instagram to your benefit:
Alex and Ani
Each day Alex and Ani not only posts some of their beautiful pieces shown in various ways, but the brand also offers tidbits of inspiration too. The imagery is styled so beautifully, you can’t help but want to order or run to the nearest store.
What girl doesn’t love shoes? Chinese Laundry offers a fun and playful way to showcase their shoes. Sometimes there aren’t shoes in the picture at all, maybe you’ll find a little dog, pictures of cakes and cookies, you will never know.
Bare Minerals is probably my favorite makeup brand and what I love about their brand is that they do a very good job of using user-generated content. They showcase their makeup products in a classy way.
Sephora is great when it comes to their how-to videos. Because these days with so many trends out there with makeup, it is hard for a girl to keep up. These very short how-to videos make the process look so easy and fun to do. Short videos are good, if it works for your brand, do it.
The SJP Collection, started by actress Sarah Jessica Parker will make anyone drool over her products, because she not only shows how much she loves them by putting herself in the images, but she also has user-generated content on a regular basis.
Delicious dishes, beautiful products and gorgeous scenery. That is what Williams Sonoma’s Instagram account is all about, which makes customers fall in love with the products even more. In allows customers to dream of cooking in faraway places. Providing inspiration and dreams for consumers are always good, it will definitely get them to buy online and in-store.
Fashion, accessories and home decor brand Draper James, by Reese Witherspoon is beautifully showcased on the brand’s Instagram page. The brand makes you love the South, not only with its products, but with its scenery and southern inspirational quotes. For those of us that love Reese Witherspoon, it’s an added bonus. Fun celebrities are always good!