If you are on Instagram, then you have seen the HUGE interest that the youth are taking in plants, nature, organics and all things green. I’m loving it! I think the whole hippie movement freaked out my generation (circa 1977) and we all ran from the thought of plants. But today it’s the most popular thing to have. It’s a craze that I believe is just starting to pick up momentum. And when the larger fertilizer and plant companies begin contributing to advertising, the movement will expand to phenomenal heights.
~ I see Instagram as a huge networking tool with over 800 million people in my network who will buy from me and work for me. It’s real, raw and organic.
First, you need to understand the basic statistics of the Instagram network:
- Out of 800 million users, Americans account for only 20%.
- Approximately 41% of Instagram users are over 30. This means there is a huge market who already has your money and an even bigger market who will have your money in the future. Only 31% of them earn more than $75k per year.
- A whopping 75% take action on a post (meaning they will link through to your website or landing page to check your company out; and 70% are likely to make a purchase.
- Instagram has a 2.2% interaction rate compared to Facebook at a .22% interaction rate.
Here are my top 7 rules for every green business to utilize in their marketing.
- Give a shit. I mean really and truly care. Build relationships. Ask questions. Give. Tag other handles. Make it all about other people and businesses- your end user. No matter how big your company is, the basic rules on “How To Win Friends And Influence People” apply more today than ever before. I have businesses with 24k followers ask me why only 20 people like their posts. Well it’s because they’re taking and giving nothing back.
- Reply to everyone’s comments within the hour. (Yea, it’s kinda a full time job.)
- Go look at the photos of people who follow you and comment on their photos. Not ‘like’ their photos, but comment on their photos. Just 5 a day will make a huge difference.
- Selectively follow people. Seriously. Grow your network!Location Tag. I’ve seen it work fist hand and @Kit_Smith reported location tagging to increase engagement by 79%. Not only will you pic up local buyers doing this, but also employees!
- Name drop. On instagram the term for name dropping is ‘use someones handle’. I think ‘handle’ is a weird word. Anyway, Use someones Instagram name in your posts. @msheatherlee I love her ridiculous videos. Use someone’s photo and say thanks @msheatherlee for letting me use your beautiful picture. Kit Smith @brandwatch also reported that doing this increases engagement by 56%.
- Photos. Good photos. As a business, it’s your duty and responsibility to post great photos. The secret to highly converting photos in the green industry is TEXTURE, DIMENSION & VARIETY! If you are taking a photo of a plant, make sure there’s some iron or wood in it. Houseplants with a couch or a cat. Posts with a person’s face in it converts better. I don’t have the stat’s on it, but I’ve seen it make huge difference.
- Give It Away! Products are easy to giveaway. And you would be surprised to see what people will do just to get a free brochure! It’s hilarious to me. You would have to be giving away something HUGE to get me to take action. But the everyday consumer wants anything they can get for free. A $.50 cent plant in exchange for tagging 3 of their friends. Ten free bottles of snake oil when they tag one friend every day for a month. Comment and tag a friend and be entered to win a gift bag. At the end of the month (because you want to make sure they are leaving the names there).
$ Interaction is important because it will help you build an audience that will decrease your ad spend.
Big Product Brands – What would you do to have your product put in front of 100,000 people who are interested in your product and who will truly be looking at your product? Remember that thing called ‘television’. I barely do. And I don’t know how they stay in business. Because with social media you can choose exactly who sees your product, how many of them and their exact location. Here are my top recommendations to increasing your sales and growing brand awareness.
- Incentivize. Be clear about your criteria and pay users for professional photos and videos of their work. Pay them for non- professional photos and videos of their work. They are the ones out there with the results of your product. It will skyrocket the loyalty to your brand and provide your company with the photos and videos you need for marketing.
- Ads. Always, Always, Always…Keep it organic. Make your ad outstanding, make it pop out, just don’t make it look ‘salesy’. You can target the exact people you want to see your ad or post, but on Instagram the photo or video and they don’t want to see salesey stuff. They will take action when it’s organic, entertaining or valuable in any way.
- Video. Video get’s lower interaction yet higher views. On Instagram you have 14 or 60 seconds to make it count. And people want to see weird, slow and completely mindless activity. One green industry influencer posts videos that meet this exact criteria and his posted videos recieve over 179k views! That’s 25% more than his actual followers.
- Utilize Influencers! This is huge and unfortunately an overlooked option in the green industry. Because Instagram is so organic, a good influencer will not accept a “brandy” type post. It has to meet the fundamentals of social media- organic. And beware. Just because someone has a million followers doesn’t mean even 10% will see them. You must research their interaction and choose and pay your desired influencer based on interaction.
Local Businesses – Any sized business can win and increase sales on Instagram with well thought out strategy.
- Follow local people. Don’t wait around for people to follow you. They probably won’t. You need to make the first move and follow and start connecting with local people only. You will need to spend some time investigating people and where they live before you follow them. Once you get the ball rolling it becomes much easier.
- Bring the noise. I don’t usually recommend content graphics on Instagram, but they work really well to promote your events and sales specials once your business is connected with a local following. This does not mean to use them repeatedly. Use them sparingly.
- Consistency. Post every day. Write something valuable or informative in every post.
- Gallery. Let’s face it, small business is no Beyonce, Southern Home and Garden or Tony Robbins. We have to Instagram differently than celebrities. Keeping that in mind, be conscious of your gallery. Have a theme and a layout in your gallery.