Instagram is a great social platform you might want to add to your roster of social media that you use in your direct sales business. Instagram tends to attract a younger audience and generally a more affluent audience than Facebook.
Here are some things to consider when marketing your direct sales business on Instagram.
An avatar is fancy marketing-speak for your ideal customer. You’ll want to know who your ideal customers are, how old they are, what their interests are and on which social media platform you’re more likely to find them. For example, if your avatar is a 65 year old retired woman who likes to knit and enjoys jokes, you’ll be posting very different things than if your avatar is a 19 year old man with an interest in martial arts. You can also imagine that the older knitter hangs out on Facebook while the young Karate-kid is more likely to be found on Instagram.
Instagram is an intensely visual platform and you only have a moment to grab someone’s attention before they scroll past. You need to think about your style, how you want your images and your feed to look.
Your personal branding is an important factor to consider on Instagram. Think about some of the accounts you might be following: can you recognize their style instantly? How do they grab your attention when you’re scrolling?
To start defining your personal brand, think about five things that you love personally. For example are you a regular beach goer and is that part of your personality? Are you outdoorsy or do you love indoor decorating? Are you into cute animals or flowers? Is your style minimal and elegant or boho-chic? What colors inspire you and fit with your style?
Here are some different feeds to start your brainstorm:
You want to be visually appealing so people will want to follow you. You also need to be consistent in your style so you people instantly recognize images from your feed.
Although you are running your account to promote your direct sales biz, you don’t want to be a ‘product dumper’ and just post picture after pretty picture of products and seek sales. Attraction marketing is more than just selling a product or business opportunity. You can learn more about attraction marketing here.
Make sure your content is varied, interesting, entertaining and informative. (Easy, right?) To help you with some ideas check this article, it’s mostly aimed at Facebook but there are plenty of ideas for Instagram too.
Taking your own photos in the style you want is a great way to ensure you have an original and visually appealing feed. Read this article on how to take great photos with your smartphone. You can also add some stock photos, sites like Unsplash and Pixabay offer free photos to use legally. And if you’re using Canva to create your images, you already know they have a wealth of graphics and photos to use for free!
Don’t steal photos from other accounts or other sites, respecting copyright is important and you don’t want to get fined for unlawfully using someone else’s images.
The bio is a space for you to write a snapshot about you and your business. There is limited space so it needs to be carefully planned. Here are the general best practices for Instagram bios:
- Add keywords and descriptive words into your profile name. You can do something like “Name: Independent Company X Consultant” (following your company’s social media rules)
- Have a one sentence summary that explains what sets you apart. Something like “Empowering women with awesome make-up” or “Helping people to be their best self with supplements and training”
- Use line breaks and emojis to make your bio easy and fun to read
- Include ‘call-to-action’ to send your followers somewhere to learn even more about you. For example “Click the link below to learn more” if you link to a general page about you with further info on your parties or joining your biz, or “Click below to start shopping” if you link to your shopping page.
The photo in your bio helps people to connect to you, which is super important in social media. I have profile photo tips in this article because so many people waste an opportunity there.
You are only allowed to add 1 link to your bio, so you want to think carefully about where you want people to go: to your Facebook customer group? To your ordering site? To your sign-up link? There are services like Linktree that help you to create a little landing page with multiple links, which is highly recommended.
Call to Action
As stated above, you want to have a strong call to action in your bio but also in every post or video! Think about what you want people to do after they’ve read your post or watched your video. Do you want them to comment and engage? Do you want them to click the link in your bio and shop? Make sure you ask people for an action every time you post something.
It’s much easier to plan a consistent feed with a scheduling tool. Some even allow you to see ahead of time what your feed (your nine-grid) will look like so you can make sure you achieve the look and style that is your personal brand. Here are a couple of apps you want to check out:
Even if you’ve scheduled your content ahead of time, make sure you make time every day to pop into your Insta. Remember that you want to be social on social media and that you’re in a relationship business. Responding to comments and liking comments will also help ensure that Instagram sees you as a genuine account, not just a bot.
You want to use appropriate hashtags so people who follow certain hashtags will also see your posts (and hopefully start to follow you). There are a few things to keep in mind with hashtags. The first thing is that you want to mix it up. Don’t use the exact same tags all the time as the algorithm might see you as a bot.
You also want to create a mix of niche, little bit popular and very popular hashtags. If you only use very popular hashtags like #bossbabe or #mompreneur your posts will just disappear in the masses of other posts with this hashtag.
I’m not saying don’t use them at all, just add a few other hashtags as well. A tool like Inflact will tell you if a hashtag is rare, frequently used or average. It’ll also give you a few new ideas of hashtags to use.
You’re allowed up to 30 hashtags so you have plenty of space to use a good variety to reach a wide audience.
Stories allow you to share content that is less curated because it doesn’t appear on your image feed and only lasts for 24 hours unless you save it as a highlight.
Instagram stories can be very engaging and creative and generally get more engagement than feed posts. Look at Instagram stories you enjoy and see if you can start adding a few stories to your account. If your story is relevant for more than 24 hours, make sure you save it as a highlight!
Instagram TV (IGTV)
Don’t you love IGTV, I get lost there sometimes and suddenly find an hour gone just hopping from clip to clip. If you already create some videos for Facebook or YouTube, see if you can reformat them for IGTV and upload them to your Insta too. Having an IGTV channel on your account helps with visibility and you’re more likely to get engagement on your account.
Instagram lets you really express your creativity and personal style, which helps you to stand out as a direct seller.
Let me know below what you do with Instagram that I haven’t mentioned here.