August 17, 2014

Instagram for Retailpreneurs: Part II

Thanks for returning to read up on Instagram for Retailpreneurs!

In part two, we are going to tackle how to setup your profile on Instagram to make your brand shine through.

What is your Profile for on Instagram?

Your profile is your 30-second opportunity to impress, educate and engage followers. 

It is your elevator pitch -- your value proposition.

It should say who you are, what you do and why you do it. It also contains the vital link to your website/e-commerce shop

Here's mine as an example:

Let's examine the elements of your profile that you can change.

Your Profile Picture {picture of the logo above "Follower"}

When you post a photo on Instagram, your profile photo will appear at the top of the photo on the left hand side with your Instagram username (I.e. encircled_) and a link to your profile page (above). On the right hand side, it will say the time past since you posted the photo (I.e. posted 5 minutes ago). 

Many brands will use their logos as their profile picture. Club Monaco, Ten Tree Apparel and ShopBop all use logos as profile pictures. 

This is because this is a branding opportunity. As a new brand, you want to become recognizable by your logo and brand presence. In my opinion this is the best way, unless you are YOUR brand, then you may want a photo of yourself, or if you have ONE infamous design or item associated with your brand, then that may be your profile photo.

Your Username

I mentioned this briefly in the previous post about choosing the right username. This is also how other instagrammers will tag you in photos (so choose carefully!). In my dream world, I would've had just 'encircled' but someone took it!

{By tagging in photos, when you see @encircled_ mentioned in a photo by someone else, that is tagging. You can also tag people now by physically tagging people in the photo (an option when you are posting a photo which we will cover later!).

Your Name

Here in my profile, I've used Behind the Seams to describe what we do on Instagram. Give people a behind the 'scenes' (or seams as I have a fashion brand) look into our business.

You're not allowed to use this space to put a web address (I.e. Many brands will use this as Club Monaco does by making their name "Inside the Club". In my experience, this doesn't show up anywhere else other than on your profile. 

One could use this to put their name (I.e. Insta by Kristi, Encirced, Blogger, Insta with Us). 

Your Website

I've put my primary shopping portal as my website. You could put your blog here, or a specific instagram landing page as your website. 

What is important to note is this is the only active link spot on your profile or on instagram. Currently, instagram has no active hyperlinks on posts or otherwise. So make this one count!

Your Profile

This is the most important section of your profile page! Like I mentioned above, this your elevator pitch.

When you post a photo, and if it's cool, people will click over to THIS page to follow you. You have 30 seconds to make an impression and give people a reason why they should click "Follow".

In brief, your profile should say:

  • What you do
  • Why you are different
  • What people should expect to see following you on IG (What you will share)

You'll notice in my profile above I've used Hashtags.

A special note. Hashtags are used extensively in IG on photos and this is a key way to expand your reach. However, in your profile, hashtags are not clickable and therefore not searchable as traditional hashtags. I have them because I often promote my IG account to my email subscribers. I want them to tag photos with those (3) hashtags when wearing our designs. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have any hashtags in there.

You need this make this interesting.

Your intent is to hook people into following you. Not to say everything about your business and brand. This should not be a direct copy from your Twitter or Facebook profile. It should be custom to Instagram as the content you share on IG IS DIFFERENT!

You have 150 words (including spaces I think) to communicate your value proposition and what you're doing in the IG-space.

Open up google docs and write out your blurb. Now do a word count check.

Now, have someone else read it who doesn't know your brand/business.

You want to have the lens that someone surfing to your profile page likely doesn't KNOW your business.

Put good effort into this and don't feel shy to readjust it over time as it changes. You can also add promotions into this space. I used to have a promo tracking code in here. Some people put their other social networks in here. 

Good luck and have fun with it.

Over the next 4 weeks, we will cover....

  • Creating an Instagram "Content" Strategy that's authentically you
  • Setting yourself up for success: The Must-have Instagram 'Apps'
  • Building and Growing your Instagram following 
  • How to Effectively "Sell" (without selling) through Instagram

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    Wishing you blissful retail!

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