If you are a glasses e-retailers without a presence on Instagram, then you are passing up a valuable opportunity to sell more product.
Being where your customers are is vital, so take a lesson from innovative brands like Native Eyewear, Ray-Ban, Gentle Monster and Warby Parker and get onto the Instagram as soon as possible.
Right now, the mobile photo-sharing app is the platform where eyewear eretailers of all sizes are easily connecting with customers. According to statista, the platform of visual inspiration and desire now has 1 billion monthly active users. Some 63% of users use the app every day and generate 3.5 billion daily likes with 72% of users having bought a product they saw on Instagram. This all means your chances for engagement on Instagram look as good as the glasses you offer.
It’s also worth noting that 75% of all users are aged between 18 and 24 and 90% younger than 35 – and that women are more likely to use Instagram than men. So, if these demographics are an important target for you and you’re not on Instagram, then your passing up a powerful channel to build brand awareness – and sales.
Here is how to get onto Instagram effectively:
With more and more people using Instagram – not Google – to check out a brand they like or are curious about, you need to craft your strategy on the platform carefully.
The first step is to create an Instagram profile. Recommended is an Instagram Business Profile. The main difference to a regular profile, which companies used until 2016, is access to Instagram Insights, contact information, Instagram ads and more. While many companies still use a basic profile, professionalism demands a business one.
As Instagram is a visual driven marketing channel, your account should be aesthetically pleasing, full of outstanding high-definition product images, but informative too. Use your brand’s style to make your profile recognizable. Coastal frequently posts photos of attractive models wearing eyewear. Maui Jim has a core identity revolving beautiful tropical imagery creating a consistent look in all product shots.
Also write a bio that will help followers understand who you are and what you are doing. The bio is the only chance on Instagram to add a clickable link. So, it is critical not to miss it. By creating a unified, sharp looking account, you create a sense of being a well-established, trustworthy brand.
Success on Instagram depends on building a loyal audience that grows alongside your eyewear business – a task easier said than done. But there are effective ways to increase engagement and grow a massive following over time.
One is to use hashtags to engage your current audience while extending your reach to attract new followers. The right hashtags can put you in front of your target audience, even if they haven’t connected with you before. Note: Brands can now add clickable hashtags to their profile blogs. To find relevant hashtags, use a online tool like IconoSquare or Webstagram to start.
Keyword hashtags aren’t the only tool at your disposal. The Instagram community responds to certain photo filters more favorably than others. Using these can impact engagement. Canva, a graphic design website, conducted a study on popular filters around the world and found Clarendon is a clear favorite, but there are significant differences within fashion segments. Experiment to identify your audience’s favorite filter. You can use IconoSquare to review the performance of your own account to understand what is and is not currently working for you.
As an eyewear brand, creating AR filters to showcase your latest collections
is a strong stratetgy to drive engagement with your audience.
If you really want to make an impact, take advantage of influencer marketing. Unlike hashtagging and Instagram filters in AR, this usually isn’t free, but it can expose your brand to a far wider audience. Identify large accounts in your niche. You can use Webstagram for this and search for some of the closest hashtag keywords to your products. Your search will not only show related keywords, but also the top Instagram accounts featuring those keywords. Coastal uses fashion bloggers such as Alanna Durkovich to align the brand with a fashion-forward image and to access a new fan base.
You don't necessarily need influencers with a massive following, but rather with a high engagement rate (likes and comments relative to follower size), which many influencer marketplaces can provide. If there is an email address in the profile, it usually means they're open to sponsored posts or a shoutout in a sponsored Story. Email them and ask about sponsored post pricing.
To entice followers to engage with your posts and, in turn, help you to grow as a business on Instagram, you naturally need quality Instagram content. However, it is also how you display your content that matters.
Enticing, quality product images are, of course, a must, but product tags or shoppable tags, are a game changer. All Instagram business account owners can mark up to five products per image, or up to 20 products per carousel, to display product names, short descriptions and prices. If a user clicks on the product on the picture, they’re automatically directed to your shop for more details. This turns any post into a mini sales page and is one of the best tools for boosting sales directly through your Instagram feed.
You can also use Instagram stories to WOW your audience. Unlike regular Instagram Stories that vanish after 24 hours, Instagram Stories Highlights can live permanently on your profile and in a prime location directly under your bio and above your feed. Given its location, it is the ideal space to direct followers to your most valuable and interesting content. You can easily curate and showcase content to show users what you want them to see first, including trailers that tease or that explain your products through images and videos.
To further up your eyewear sales, hop on trending topics or hashtags, which can improve discoverability and engagement. For example, use agenda surfing to identify national or international days of significance and prepare relevant content in advance. Be sure to join the conversation in a meaningful way and when in doubt, ask yourself if your target audience would actually pay attention to the trend.
Giveaways and events are another reliable method to attract followers. Ecommerce companies run everything from a simple giveaway to contests requiring followers to use a hashtag or submit user generated content. Be sure to check Instagram's promotion guidelines before running a contest that apply in your country of operation. Discounts are a traditional item in the retailers’ toolkit and can be used to attract followers – but remember to use the ‘Rule of 100’.
User-generated content (UGC) is also a significant source of content. Using UGC lets your customers tell your story. It also provides social proof that makes you appear more trustworthy than branded advertising. And it’s free! Everyone likes to be seen, and Instagram users are no different, so post UGC – after asking the individuals who shared content related to your brand for permission to repost. Warby Parker is brilliant at generating conversation with their posts, asking followers to say which style they prefer generates heaps of comments. It also ties into their home try-on service, which encourages customers to take pictures of themselves wearing the different glasses and asking their friends for advice on social networks.
All your hard work above doesn’t count for anything if you lose followers at the rate you are attracting them. Keep an eye on the rate of engagement overall, as well as your rate of growth. Social Blade is one tool for analyzing your followers added and lost over time and on specific days.
Instagram Business account also provide an Instagram Analytics dashboard which offers valuable insight. You can see how many people are checking out your profile, how many people your posts reached, what are the most engaging and where most of your followers are from. You can use this data to diagnose how to improve and grow further.
There are hundreds of Instagram tools that can help your Instagram strategy, but one key one to help you build and engage with your audience is a social media scheduling tool such as Later. It lets you schedule and automatically publish Instagram posts from your computer or mobile device for when your audience is the most engaged.
It may seem a challenge to build a following from scratch and compete with eyewear brands that have been on Instagram for a longer time, but that is the beauty of the platform. Upstarts can successfully compete against bigger brands. If you focus on engagement, not just followers, Instagram can be a great home for your eyewear products and lead to a healthy stream of revenue for your e-commerce business.