You can increase Instagram sales during the holidays while building connections with your customers. The holiday season is the ideal time to ramp up your marketing and sales efforts since shoppers are more receptive to your promotional posts.
According to Invesp.com, the average value of a sale referred through Instagram is $65. Here are five tactics to employ on Instagram for holidays this month and throughout next year.
1. Get in the Spirit
Make your photos look and feel like the current season or holiday. What can you add to your photos that will emotionally connect you to your customers? Is that sprinkles, confetti, glitter, snow, pearls, velvet, a cup of hot chocolate, candles, fireplaces, comfort food, gift wrapping paper, a tree, a menorah, etc.? Include those elements in your photos so it feels like the holidays. You don’t need a whole bunch of props to get in the spirit either. Simply telling a story through your photos is enough. Your posts should bring your brand to life and position your offerings to show off the benefits of what you sell in real life and show them in action.
Home Depot nails it (pun not intended). During the holidays, homeowners are putting up decorations and making their home look the part. Below are a few examples of posts that add value, promote their products and still feel festive.
2. Have a Conversation
Create a post around what your audience is likely to be thinking, feeling, and doing during this time. Speak to that. For example, if moms are your audience, focus on connecting your product or service to their kids, spouse, or life as a parent. Target is another example of a brand doing instagram right. The Elf on the Shelf is a huge tradition for parents and teachers. Target captures the spirit of the season while subtly promoting a product that they sell in store.
The post above asks where you hide your #ElfOnAShelf. Asking questions along with your holiday-themed posts is a simple way to boost engagement, and throwing in a few engaging questions is great for building that emotional connection. Ask short questions about general holiday topics, such as “What’s on your wish list this year?” or be more specific by asking questions around your product. If you sell coffee for example, invite customers to share their preference with a “this vs. that” post or to tell you where they like to curl up with a cup in the morning.
3. Build Urgency and Exposure with Hashtags and CTAs
Using the right call to action (CTA) to create a sense of urgency is crucial to get people to buy. Focus on clearly communicating what the specific deal is and how limited it is: in time or quantity.
A good way to do this is by offering a time-sensitive savings incentive like $100 off for a 24 hour period or free shipping on all orders before a certain day.
Another option is to make limited amounts of a product available and mentioning the quantity of product left.
These calls to action exponentially increase conversions. Why do you think Black Friday is so successful?
To drive even more conversions on deals, use relevant hashtags. People are searching for items to gift now more than ever. Many people are turning to social media and search engines to identify the perfect gift. Use that to your advantage by making your products more discoverable with hashtags like #giftguide #giftsforhim #giftsforher #shoplocal #shopsmall and #holidayguide. You can also use product-specific hashtags. Our research has found that posts with 11 or more hashtags have way more engagement, so don’t be shy.
4. Be a Do-Gooder
You can also get in the giving spirit. For example, you can make a monetary or in-kind donation to non-profits and charities for every “like” or comment on a photo. This is the perfect way to take advantage of the holiday season, give back, and boost engagement on your channel. You can take this idea a bit further and ask people to use a certain hashtag and post their own photos. In exchange for every entry, you can donate to a cause or contribute something to an organization of your choice. People love to engage, especially when it’s for the good of others. User-generated content is always a good idea. You can use a tool like Gramfeed or Iconosquare to sort through and manage your content easily.
And you know we are all about data here so let’s look at the numbers:
- 89% of U.S. consumers are likely to switch brands to one associated with a cause, given comparable price and quality. 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact Study
- 69% of global millennials want businesses to make it easier for consumers to get involved in societal issues. MSLGROUP Future of Business Citizenship
If you don’t have the budget to contribute to any organizations this holiday season, you can also feature your employees doing good deeds. Whether that is a surprise giveaway, community service, or just them helping one another in the office, it’s a good way to showcase the giving spirit of your organization.
5. Use Tools to Make Your Instagram Shoppable
Your followers don’t want to go on your site and spend time searching for the item they just saw. Tools like the ones below increase conversions by making the purchase as easy and seamless as possible.
LiketoKnow.it is the most popular tool on Instagram. When you like the photo on Instagram, you are emailed a purchase-ready link.
Like2Buy is another popular tool from Curalate that makes your Instagram page shoppable through the link in your bio. You click the link and are taken to a visual storefront that resembles Instagram so you can immediately find what you liked.
Soldsie allows users to purchase directly from a seller’s Instagram or Facebook feed without ever leaving the app. They comment and are sent an invoice.
Many of the tools mentioned above require the user to download an app or sign up for a service which could increase the barrier to entry. Although they work really well, potential customers may not be interested in registering with a service or installing another app which could mean that you will lose out on the sale. The simpler you make it to purchase, the better.
If you don’t have the time, resources, or energy to invest in any of the tools above, you can also consider creating an Instagram specific landing page on your website that makes it easy for your customers to find the products that you are showcasing on Instagram. You will have to manually manage it, but you can save yourself some money in the process.