It is no secret that social media is becoming increasingly important in business-to-customer relations. With public relations, marketing and advertising campaigns thriving on social sites, business social media accounts have become a major promotional tool. But what if I told you that your business could use social media — Instagram more specifically — to reach an even broader audience? All you have to do to make your business “Instagramable.”
Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media sites out there. Today, Instagram has 800 million active users, according to Statista. Many Instagram users come to the platform to discover and be inspired by things that they care about, and this includes businesses. According to Instagram, 60 percent of people say they discover new products on the platform, and 75 percent of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by a post.
WORD OF POST MARKETING: THE DIGITAL AGE SPIN-OFF OF WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING
Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is a strategy that aims to actively influence and encourage organic customer discussion about a business with their peers. This method of marketing has been proven extremely effective. According to Nielsen, customers will believe recommendations given to them by friends and family over ANY other type of advertising.
However, word of mouth can only travel so far. A person has face-to-face interactions with a select number of people regularly. With social media, on the other hand, a person can frequently interact with an unlimited amount of people with a simple post.
So, what if the frequency and outreach of social media is combined with the successful word of mouth marketing strategy? This is the sweet spot where we find word of post advertising.
A great example of this happened to me just this week. I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw a picture of my friend Chloe (a person I see maybe once a month) at this really fun looking restaurant. I commented on her post and asked if the food was as good as it looked. She immediately responded that the food was better than it looked. Guess who made impromptu dinner plans with my bestie the next day?
Having customers push content about your business on their social platforms can inspire their peers to also engage with your company. But that begs the question, how do you get customers to post about your business? I’m glad you asked.
TIPS AND TRICKS TO INSPIRE YOUR CUSTOMERS TO POST CONTENT ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Before you can accomplish any of the tips and tricks listed below, you must first know your audience. Who are they? Are they young? Are they old? Are they hipsters? Are they mainstream? Are they business professionals? Are they crazy college students? What is your audience’s socioeconomic status? Once you figure out who your primary target customer is, then you can build your aesthetic and strategy around them and what they look for.
In addition, identifying your target market can help you with more than just making your business Instagramable, it can help you with choices in advertising, location, pricing, campaign themes, and the billion other decisions (both big and small) that go into developing your marketing strategy.
MAKE IT PHOTOGENIC
We have all heard the phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” But when it comes to word of post advertising, a picture is not only worth a thousand words, it’s worth a thousand reasons why a potential new customer should try your product or service.
To post on a platform such as Instagram, a picture is required. And let me tell you, if the lighting isn’t good and the background isn’t cute, then it should not get posted.
A great way to make your business photogenic is to make the aesthetic of your place of work easily photographable. Have a cute wall that clients can pose in front of, have good lighting, encourage your clients to get ALL of the angles.
If your business doesn’t have an opportunity to make the office space photogenic or you do not have clients meeting you at the office regularly, then there are other opportunities for pictures outside of the workplace. Have your client post a photograph of a fun inter-business event, luncheon or retreat. Or better yet, have them post pictures of the product or service you provided them!
HANDLE TAGGING AND GEOTAGGING
When you get your customers to take photos, make sure they tag your handle and your geolocation! Also, providing a signature hashtag for your business can help.
Geotagging is a technical term for storing the latitude and longitude of your current location with your photo. This provides the possibility of posts with the tagged location showing up on the discover page of people in your area. It also helps people know exactly where to find you if they decide to do business with you.
Providing a signature hashtag can help potential customers find other posts about your establishment and get them excited about trying your product or service.
The desired result of tagging, hashtagging and geotagging is for your customer’s followers to be directed to your company’s Instagram or location. Once this happens, after some hefty stalking of your establishment’s profile, they will hopefully be inspired to conduct business with you!
GETTING CUSTOMERS TO POST
Now that you have all the makings of a good post, how do you get your customers to take the pictures and upload them to their accounts? If the aesthetic of the environment, product or service is trendy enough, then customers will likely strike a pose without you having to do anything. However, some crowds need a little nudge to let out their inner Tyra Banks.
- Offer to take people’s pictures! A quick “would you like me to take your photo?” is an easy way to encourage your customers to post and share pictures of them at your establishment.
- Offer perks for posting and tagging. A discount for posting and tagging a cute pic of me at your business? Count me in! A deal, discount, gift or benefit for clients who show proof that they posted a pic promoting your business to their stories or page is an excellent way to encourage photoshoots.
— Taylor Brumbaugh, Public Relations Intern
Want to read more? Check out these blogs:
10 Spots to Inspire: What Makes Fort Worth so Photo Worthy?
Four Creative Ways Small Businesses Overcome Big Challenges