With the advent of stories on Instagram, local retailers are finally realizing the potential of social media. There’s never been a better time to be seen and do Instagram right. Stories give retailers the opportunity to showcase and showroom in a way that was previously unavailable, not just their products but their brand culture and their in-store experiences.
If social media ever was a place for brand discovery, Instagram’s recent upgrades in the past few months represent a tidal wave of innovation that can benefit small businesses of all kinds. With clickable links likely arriving in 2017 or next year in 2018, this is the right time for local retailers to optimize their Instagram presence.
Create Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories allows independent retailers the ideal channel to leverage their brand and family run small business culture like never before, in a way that’s almost more immersive than video. With more metrics for business accounts on Instagram and more ways to boost and diversify content than ever before, Instagram leads the pack of social media channels now where brands can be experienced that promotes foot traffic, especially in rural U.S. locations.
Do Marketing Automation
With the uses of hashtags and tools such as Instagress, small business owners can fully target their key audiences and drive traffic to their website. Using marketing automation with authentic branding can do wonders for a new small business in terms of brand awareness and customer loyalty.
In terms of social ROI, Instagram now has the most robust advertising, branding and marketing potential of any channel. While Pinterest remains impressive for Millennial women, Instagram far exceeds Facebook in terms of engagement. If Facebook is a landing page for your business, Instagram is the social media experience of your brand.
Instagram showed impressive growth in the second half of 2016, where since June of last year, user growth accelerated by 33% as the platform welcomed an additional 100 million users in just six months. Instagram stories and marketing automation remain the two most qualified ways for local retailers to stand out, in a world of immersive visual storytelling. Retailers who are not accomplishing both of these tasks to grow their following, are missing out.