With 150 million users worldwide, brands are racing to Instagram to generate content and secure awareness with a new audience set. But as with most social media channels, some marketers express concern with the inability to directly correlate time invested to increased sales. Despite these concerns, we at Blueport Commerce think Instagram is not only worth the investment, but when done right can help put furniture brands at the forefront of consumer perceptions. It’s a way to not only increase your brand awareness, but also a way to merchandise and promote your products in a fun and interesting way.
- Make it personal. Since Instagram is visual, use it to connect with your customers on a more personal level. For example, give them an “inside look” into your brand. Post images of new products before they are released, share behind-the-scenes photos from a furniture shoot, or show the staff and office culture. These types of posts will help create a strong connection with your followers and generate customer affinity for your brand.
TIP: J.Crew has done a great job of making a personal connection with their customers on Instagram by posting images of designers at work, style inspiration, and behind-the-scenes photos from catalog shoots.
- Give customers an ‘in-store’ view of your products. Optimize your merchandising efforts and show quality details to aid your customers in the online furniture shopping experience. Use Instagram to highlight the quality of your products by posting up close images of your products that show off detail and design. This will help earn consumer trust in the quality of your products.
TIP: Invest in a high-quality camera to emphasize the details of your products. The better the image the more likely you will gain consumer trust in your products and you as a furniture provider.
Don’t forget to #hashtag. Hashtags are a great way to increase engagement. Since many users utilize Instagram for discovery purposes, you will increase users coming across your post (and brand) by adding popular, and relevant, hashtags. You can also use promotion-specific hashtag campaigns to help drive visitors to your commerce website, which can help increase consideration and conversion.
Always Measure. Make sure you’re measuring user interactions with your content to optimize your Instagram account. While Instagram is still working out ways to provide analytics and measurement, Statigram provides a great alternative, giving you data on your photos and user responses. Statigram will show you which photos are the most engaging, which filters that received the most likes/comments, and how to optimize your hashtag use. You can then apply these efforts to other metrics you are tracking for brand awareness, merchandising and promotion.
Furniture Retailers take note: innovation is key to any successful endeavor in social media. As more and more brands join Instagram, it is becoming critical for retailers to get creative with campaigns and content to increase conversation around your brand, promote your products and drive customer engagement.
About Blueport Commerce
Leading furniture companies work with Blueport Commerce to capture the billion dollar furniture e-commerce opportunity. We marry our clients’ bricks-and-mortar infrastructure and expertise with our decade of online furniture experience, innovative technology, and customized marketing services. For some retailers, the Blueport e-commerce platform powers their branded omni-channel websites, driving sales online and in their stores. For other retailers, we drive online sales through Furniture.com, our e-commerce website. For many, we do both. Learn more here. And, if you’re interested in working for Blueport, check out our e-commerce jobs on our careers page.