Using these five tips to drum up seasonal interest in your products on Instagram, you're well on your way to boosting sales while building lasting relationships with customers.
Whether it's #TransformationTuesday or #ThrowbackThursday, take to Instagram to meet customers where they are and drive sales for your business in the process.
Customers fully expect to interact with brands when they log into their accounts, whether it's sharing their crafting projects on Pinterest or commenting on thought leadership articles on LinkedIn, and you shouldn't be afraid to engage with them.
If your marketing team is looking for ways to generate buzz around products new and old, especially leading up to holidays and special occasions, consider Instagram. By appealing to users (i.e., potential customers) within a medium they already use on a daily basis, you stand a better chance of piquing their interest and leading them to your site.
Use the following five tips to drum up seasonal interest in your products on Instagram, and you'll be on your way to boosting sales while building lasting relationships with customers.
1. Feature user-generated content (and encourage contributions!)
As ratings websites like Yelp have shown, customers value honest opinions and experiences from other customers. More importantly, they base their purchasing decisions on these insights. You can draw attention to customers' positive experiences with your service or products by encouraging them to share photos, and, in turn, reposting the ones that best highlight your products or services.
On Instagram, request that followers use a specific hashtag, or that they tag your business in photos so you can easily find their posts. With a simple, memorable hashtag, you can collect posts and create a public gallery of inspiration for other customers to peruse.
2. Highlight seasonal opportunities to use your products
Most retailers can agree: The holidays have a habit of sneaking up on us. In order to capitalize on holidays that are relevant to your business, it pays to plan ahead. Create a social media calendar that identifies all of the annual events or holidays around which you will focus your promotional efforts. Don't be afraid to think outside the box: While Christmas and Hanukkah may be critical sales drivers for some businesses, National Cookie Day may present a great opportunity for your mail-order dessert business.
In the weeks leading up to these special occasions, create Instagram posts specifically oriented toward your customers' holiday needs (or the needs they didn't know they had until they saw your irresistible promotion!). Ideally, you should start posting about upcoming events at least two weeks in advance so customers have plenty of time to do their shopping and make necessary preparations. For example, with our business, we begin featuring Easter basket tips and tricks in mid-March.
3. Share inspirational how-to content
As a crafting- and packaging-oriented brand, we find the possibilities of how-to and DIY-focused content to be practically endless. Providing clear instructions and showcasing a beautiful finished product – whether with photos, video content, or a detailed article – encourages users to try the project themselves (and purchase your products in the process).
Even if there aren't as many obvious seasonal applications for your products, the same general sentiment can apply. For example, apparel companies can promote clothing in colors that correspond to major holidays (i.e., pastels for Easter) with a photo roundup of celebrities rocking the same colors, while a camping supply store could promote their portable grills ahead of the Fourth of July with an article detailing quick and easy barbeque meal prep options. Get the process started by sharing links and featuring festive images on Instagram that show your products in action.
4. Offer seasonal discounts
It's no secret that everyone loves a discount. But offering a discount won't do much good if no one knows about it!
Use your Instagram account to get the word out about seasonal discounts and sales. Spreading the news about markdowns and providing a direct link to your website encourages interested users to explore your offerings. Customers will also appreciate the effort you've made to keep them updated about chances to save, boosting customer loyalty and your brand's overall reputation.
5. Host holiday-themed giveaways
Get customers in the holiday spirit by hosting seasonally oriented giveaways on Instagram. Encourage your followers to comment and answer a holiday-related question — favorite Easter candy? Fourth of July plans? — in return for being entered into a raffle that could net them some highly coveted holiday swag.
The holidays are a busy time for everyone, which means that capturing the attention of distracted customers can be challenging. By using these tactics for encouraging customer engagement on Instagram, you'll boost seasonal interest in your products, build stronger relationships with followers and improve sales during key periods throughout the year.