The social media world was set ablaze by visual-centric newcomers Pinterest and Instagram. With the most ridiculous growth and adoption rates seen in a very long time, both platforms had a lot to live up to. Between July 2011 and July 2012, Pinterest grew 5,124 percent and Instagram grew 17,319 percent. Yes, you read that correctly. Now that both platforms have been around for nearly 2 years, brands large and small are beginning to integrate them into their digital marketing arsenals.
Has your brand joined the visual revolution yet? With 40% of big brands on Instagram and reports indicating that 59% of Pinterest users have purchased an item they saw on the site, companies not yet leveraging these platforms are missing out on crucial customer touchpoints. Instagram and Pinterest are fantastic for both brand building and driving trial. Being that these are photo-oriented platforms, they are exceptionally suited for more visual industries, such as fashion, beauty, and home-décor. However, non-traditionally visual categories such as music and restaurants have been finding success via Instagram and Pinterest as well.
As more brands continue to jump on the Instagram/Pinterest bandwagon, more conversion rate data is becoming available. Do these platforms equate to more sales you ask? The answer is unequivocally YES!
If your brand has integrated or is thinking about integrating Pinterest and Instagram into your social media marketing plan, take note of the below 5 best practices for maximizing campaign results:
1) FOLLOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Where are they? Find your competitors and follow their followers. If it’s the correct audience, they’ll be interested in your posts and follow you back.
2) POST QUALITY PICTURES; BE TIMELY AND RELEVANT
Post pictures of some of your best selling products! Make sure they are interesting, stylized, or unique; play with filters, be creative, post before-and-after shots, but always be timely and relevant to your audience. Sure, you may want to post a picture of the cute puppy that someone brought to the office once in a while but be sure the majority of shared images are useful and capture the attention of your potential new customers.
3) WRITE COMPELLING, INTERESTING, AND ENGAGING TAGS FOR ALL PHOTOS POSTED
Even if it’s just one-line, explain what’s in the picture and why someone should repin or like it. Engage your audience and get to know them. If a post is just a picture without a tag, its just as good as creating a billboard with no logo or call-to-action. Followers want to know why they should continue to follow you and why they should be excited about your brand. Treat them as fans!
4) COMMUNICATE WITH THEM DAILY!
You are off the hook on the weekends, unless your company is a restaurant or another type of brand that increases use during the weekend. However, during the week it is MANDATORY to make daily posts. Users of Pinterest and Instagram are daily users and are constantly checking their feeds for the new and latest, so take that opportunity to communicate with them. Also, be sure to @ reply to frequent commenters, ask questions, and engage them in discussion about their lifestyle or how they use your products.
5) USE HASH-TAGS AND GEO-TAGS
Users of both platforms are Internet savvy and know how to search such sites for brands, products, categories, and on Instagram, by GPS location. If you are a coffee stop, geo-tag your shop’s location. If you have an e-commerce site, hash-tag the product name. These users are highly engaged and hunting for the latest and greatest, so be ready to wow them with great photos when they find you.