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Instagram Strategy for Online Retail Site

Instagram Strategy for Online Retail Site

There are many sources of Instagram strategies. I have personally spent many months reading and studying the various opinions, and my conclusion is that there is no agreed opinion! In this blog, I thought I would do something a little different – I will document my strategy as it evolves. In real time. As we stand, at this time of writing, I have the great sum of zero followers and zero posts. I will update this page with my successes and failures. 

Before we even start

There are some things I have concluded before I have even made my first Instagram post, and these are my first tips to a successful Instagram strategy for online retail.

  1. There are no short cuts. Do not bother paying for followers, do not bother with automated bots and things that try to “like” people. Remember what the aim is – you want people to appreciate your products, come to your Instagram site and engage with your brand, and hopefully purchase your products. Paid followers and automated robots will absolutely never engage with your brand and will never buy a product from you.
  2. Get a professional graphic designer to design some templates for you. Online retail is a hard space for Instagram, in so far as your Instagram could just like a jumble sale of endless products. Remember you are trying to create something visually stimulating, so get someone to create a visually stimulating template. Have a look at many Instagram profiles – decide what you like and what you do not like, build that into your template.

4th October 2021. Hashtags. Hashtags. Hashtags. 

At this moment in the journey, I’ve understood the importance of hashtags. I have zero followers and zero posts, so the only thing that is going to get me noticed is hashtags. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags on a post, and I intend to use them. Question is, what hashtags shall I use?

After a bit of research, I am going to use Flick’s hashtag tool. I should point out I have no affiliation to flick, there are others on the market. It is just that my research led me to this tool and that is what I am going to try. You should come to your own conclusions. The basic aim of this strategy is to research hashtags that are right for you. In particular you want to find hashtags that are

  1. Relevant to what you are posting
  2. Have appropriate reach and appropriate competition
  3. Are relevant to the size and following of your Instagram site.

Lets break those down

Relevant to what you are posting

If you are posting pictures of blankets, no point using a hashtag about sports cars. It is not relevant and you will not get engagement.

Have appropriate reach and competition

I have zero followers and zero posts. I’m not going to compete with top end Instagram posters if I use their hashtags. My strategy therefore is to use a range of hash tags with a range of competition and reach metrics. The advice seems to use a nice spread of these, yes use a few high-end hashtags – there might be a little traffic you get from it. But also use the low-end hashtags, the ones you are most likely to compete in. And everything in between.

Are relevant to the size and following of your Instagram site.

You want to post hashtags that get a similar amount of “likes” as your account gets. Maybe you get about 100 likes per post, so you want to use hashtags that get similar numbers. Use a few that are slightly higher (150 per post), and some a little lower (75 per post). As your average likes per post increase, you can use hash tags with higher average likes. No point using hashtags which average 5000 likes per post, when you are stuck at zero. Just like you wouldn’t put yourself forward for the Olympic running team if all you have ever done is run to the bus stop. You must train yourself and your account for greater things step by step – it is a marathon and not a spring.

As for me, well, I’m at zero likes per post. I have to start somewhere, so I will limit myself to hashtags that are a couple of hundred likes per post.  

8th October 2021

Check list:

  • I have my template. Check
  • I know what I am going to post initially. Check
  • I have spent a few days properly researching my hashtags for my first set of posts. Check. 

Right then, time to start posting. Let’s see what happens.

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