Updated: May 18
Social media is one of the most valuable tools in a business owner’s arsenal and Instagram is no exception. As one of the top five used social media sites across the globe, as well as the seventh most searched term according to Google statistics, it’s no wonder that there are over 200 million businesses on the site and counting.
But what is it about Meta’s prolifically prominent picture publishing platform that draws the attention of so many business owners? Well, it’s a multitude of elements that collectively integrate into Instagram’s primary edge - simplicity.
There is no element of confusion or discouragement with the decade-old platform. It knows what it does well and sticks to that - an objective that, as a Shopify store owner, should be at the forefront of your marketing strategy. From customer outreach to a fully-fledged storefront, it has it all. So why exactly should you get involved in Instagram?
Simple and Clean
At this point, you’re probably already tired of the word simplicity, but this emphasis on Instagram’s ease of use should also inspire you to have a look for yourself. It’s quite remarkable how easily Instagram incorporates tools for users to convey information both succinctly and expressively.
Not only that, but Instagram manages to do this without sacrificing your Shopify brand’s message. Using a multitude of programs, including Canva, you can create graphics and e-leaflets to not only push your brand to the masses but do it in a way that truly feels unique.
Brand Expression 101
If you want to get anywhere as a business, brand expression is absolutely key. Not only does it define your objectives as a company, but it also motivates your customer base to really identify with your products or services. Think about it - how differently does KFC conduct itself compared to Mcdonald's and how does that make you feel as a consumer?
The statistics are all there, too. 61% of customers feel more inclined to come back to your Shopify store after identifying with your custom content and a whopping 94% are willing to return if you convey transparency to your consumers.
Whilst app extensions like ShopHub can massively increase the likelihood of customer retention, there needs to be the hook that really pulls your audience in. This is where Instagram comes in. Using a unique method of tailored content and pertinence towards defining what you want your business to be, you can bring those hungry Shopify customers back again and again and again.
The Beginning of the Future
You’ve probably heard of the age-old joke where someone will be on their computer, phone, or tablet, mindlessly milling around, when they subconsciously click on their social media site of choice and start scrolling. That, as odd as it may seem, is a chance for you to shine.
Your social media is your beginning, your opening line, your first note! Marketing shouldn’t stop at Instagram, but it should certainly start there. For Shopify stores, this can be the kick you need to jumpstart tertiary methods of social marketing. For major businesses, it can put you in the history books. Take American Express for example. In 2010, the financial service company created the first Small Business Saturday drive promoted entirely on media platforms like Facebook. The campaign, which quickly became a national shopping holiday in America, generated over 30k tweets, 1 million likes on Facebook, and boosted various smaller business revenues by 28%. American Express jumped in share prices by around 74% since then.
In 2012, author and digital marketing mogul David Chaffey argued the prominence of social media in marketing strategies. His argument, known as Chaffey’s theory, suggests that social media is a prime way to interact with customers in a way that’s unanimous with day-to-day human contact. This contributes to a customer’s purchasing decisions later down the line and can significantly boost your chances of getting a sale.
The brilliance of the theory is its simplicity. You might be thinking to yourself, “well of course I’m more likely to get a sale if I interact with my customers,” and you would be completely right! Using the right methodology of customer-facing content and simple conversations with commenters can really get results. What's even better is that you won’t just influence the user - you’ll influence everyone who sees a pleasant back-and-forth encompassed in your social media page.
Your Own Personal Storefront
Think of it this way - imagine you’re in a traditional high-street market setting. You have plenty of disposable income and not a clue what to buy or where to go. Sure, you’ll see the hustle and bustle of the busy meat & veg stands as a kind of atmospheric backdrop, but you really want to go for something unique. Your job as a Shopify marketing professional is to essentially create the virtual representation of what that would be. Instagram is a huge step in your effort to do that.
Instead of the enticement of trinkets on display, you have reels of new products. Instead of the draw of the crowd checking out your market stall, you have Instagram influencer collaborations showing off your products or services! Instagram is quite literally the virtual storefront for your virtual storefront. Define yourself using your own personal interpretation of what a brand should look like and the revenue that will come with it.
And Finally… Why Not?
Instagram is free. Furthermore, it’s free and easy to set up. There are plenty of cutting-edge ways to keep yourself at the forefront of advertising, but none are more tried and tested than the art of social media. There are over 2 billion active Instagram users a month - a month!! To put that into perspective, if you were to summarise 1 million seconds, it would come to 11 days, but if you were to count to 2 billion, that is a whopping 62 years.
Chances are most of those 2 billion and counting users don’t know your business right now. Chances are they don’t even know they know that they would be interested in what you sell, which is why your effort to get in front of them starts at the place they scroll through on the regular. In our current, tech-savvy world where social media is a siphon for nearly everything we consume, it’s essential that you meet your potential customers at every single opportunity. Instagram is not just a way to do this, in some aspects, it’s the way to do it.
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