Your website is no longer the only channel for selling products. Instagram has evolved from a platform to share selfies, food and travel pics to brands leveraging it for marketing purposes making more money. However, for whatever reason, your business does not get equal share of success on it. You start wondering why.
So, here are 5 top reasons your products not selling on Instagram:
- Wrong Industry
- Stop Selling, Become An Expert, Tell A Story
- Time Your Posts
- Stop Spamming
- Poor Customer Service
- Final Two Cent
Instagram is a well known platform for businesses primarily focused on showcasing products or services through photography.
Becoming a successful brand on Instagram can be a tricky one. Many experts continuously believe if you don’t have an Instagram business account, you ought to miss out on a big chunk of the market.
There is some truth in it, depending on which sector your brand belongs to. Is your brand in the business to customer (B2C) or business to business (B2B)? If it’s the former, I would strongly agree.
Instagram works best if your products appeal to end-consumers. For example, your brand is more likely to become successful selling retail products (e.g. fashion, food & beverages, basic needs) than products for businesses (e.g. industrial, manufacturing & distribution etc).
I’d recommend LinkedIn instead for B2B. LinkedIn enables businesses to connect with other businesses quite well. If a big portion of your business is selling services/products to businesses, this is your best bet.
Stop Selling, Become An Expert, Tell A Story
Stop selling your services on Instagram. Be an expert instead.
Many brands started Instagram page in hopes of getting sales from the vast users. Well, would it kill you to know that this might have worked in the early years of Instagram? Yes, it is.
Many brands have been with Instagram since the beginning. If you’re entering now, you are in tough luck as you’ll be facing against many established brands with strong base of followers. Whilst it is difficult, but there are ways to overcome it.
Be an expert in your industry instead. Post numerous updates on your page which tells the audience on how your product can help resolve people’s problems. Provide them with rich storytelling rather than selling.
Toms great at doing this. The focus of their social media is to promote their motto “One for One”. For every pair purchased, a pair will be given to the needy in which they constantly share updates how the community they are helping receive the help. It’s such a great tagline and they took every advantage of this and you don’t see much selling posts.
Create narrative video posts on your page too as videos are very helpful on helping the market to understand what your product does. Make a simple one if you are on a limited budget, or create it on your own too. All you need is some help on the cameras and hiring talents if you need one. Timelapse and Boomerang are great tools for recording, check them out.
If you lack the skill to create videos, you can still post pictures with narrations on it which describes or explain how your product works. Just be creative.
Time Your Posts
Creating good content alone is not enough. You need to be smart on when you post the updates to get the most out of it. Timing is crucial.
It is obvious, updates need to be posted on the right time and day. If you have no idea when is the best time posting updates, I’d recommend you to use softwares such as Iconosquare to get the info, for a small fee. You can even get this info from Facebook Insights if you don’t have access to it. The market could have slight difference but the info is good enough to start with. Adjust accordingly once you get more info.
Let me share with you about my ecommerce business Mirsky Mode, using Facebook Insight, I was able to tell that most users are online on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. This tells me that I should focus my updates on these days and avoid the remaining days.
If you plan your content weekly, this gives yourself time to prepare the updates on Mondays & Sundays. Once ready, use social media management programs such as HootSuite to schedule the posts on time selected earlier.
This makes it a lot easier for you to focus on other parts of the business while your Instagram page runs automatically, just don’t forget to check on the comments. Once, you learn more about your market, make adjustments accordingly.
Even if you don’t have access to Iconosquare or alike, check other local Instagram pages in similar industry – your competitors. Find out when they normally make updates. Pay attention to the time, description box, tags, hashtags and so on. Make tweaks when necessary. Use them as long as it does not affect their brand.
Yes, this could affect your brand’s sales too. Posting too much updates in one time won’t help your brand.
In fact, it makes you look more like a spam rather than a business. There were some pages even posted irrelevant updates on their page which is another huge mistake.
People follow you to find out more about your business. So make use of it and stop wasting their time and feed. Provide useful information, offers and promos on your brand. Remember, post updates in a storytelling way as mentioned in previous point. Become expert on your brand and be concise, straight to the point.
Poor Customer Service
Poor customer service doesn’t only come down to poor common courtesy. You need unreliability and untrustworthiness to complete the circle.
Great customer service is about solving customers’ problems. Apart from being friendly and leaving smileys on every reply, reply them in time too. Try to limit your response to less than an hour if you are busy. Don’t make the customers wait as they might lose interest.
If you are having a hard time replying, get a respond scripts prepared early that inform the customers that you will come back with an answer soon. Then, simply copy and paste it to reply. This may look repetitive, but it will allow you to have more time to reply for solutions. Just be honest in your scripts and you will be fine.
Final Two Cent
It is crucial to reduce these mistakes dealing with customers on Instagram. If you feel your business constantly receives complaints on these, and you found it to be true – issue a public apology. Be sincere in your apology and offer a discount code in return. Start rebuilding your company’s reputation by focusing on customer service and rebuild online content. Start rebuilding relationship with your audience.
Take on one problem at a time. It will be difficult, I won’t lie. You are attempting to regain something you have lost – people will be more careful dealing with you. Just be sincere that your company is fixing the problem and let it be known publicly reminding your customers in your updates. Avoid from making excuses and not admitting the mistakes as these will pull you back to square one.