January 30/February 6, 2017: Volume 31, Number 17
By Ayme Sinclair, Stanton Carpet
With over 50 million photos being uploaded daily, Instagram is the most powerful platform you can use to engage directly with your audience.
When someone comes to your profile he or she will not only see the bio we talked about how to create in my last column, but a collection of the last photos you’ve posted. If your photo gallery is a mash up of posts with no consistency, potential clients and customers may overlook you. Having a consistent feed is really important. Followers gravitate toward cohesive feeds.
Create a color palette and give yourself some guidelines for those images to follow to keep your posts consistent. This is key, but you definitely want to start with great photography. Most retailers don’t have the resources to shoot professional photos of their finished installs after the space is designed. Therefore, a lot of the images used in your advertising come from several flooring manufacturers. So one might ask how can you pull images with the same colors from various places without drastically reducing the options at your disposal? Easy. If you stick with tones rather than specific colors it gives you a lot more choices. Can’t think of a set of tones you’d like to use? Then choose tones that consistently sell well. This allows you to pick images from your manufacturers that fit your rules. If your color palette is more neutral with grays and blues, then stay on the cooler side and pick photos that consist of cooler blue tones along with grays as opposed to warmer, reddish browns.
Now that you have your colors worked out, next you want to focus on the type of posts you’ll feature. Stay on brand. Resist posting photos that are too personal. If this is your business account, don’t add in photos from that time you went on vacation at the lake. That is unless you took the whole staff along. The best posts are the ones that either encourage your audience to engage with you, solve a problem for them or create an emotional response. For more specifics on the type of posts that work well for retailers, visit our Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/stantonretailers.
Getting a great feed strategy takes time. Remember these are just guidelines so don’t allow not having a photo with the right color to stop you from posting. Trying new things allows you to figure out what your audience is more responsive to. Coming up with the right look is a process, so keep tweaking it until you find the right balance. Some of the big box stores can get away with posting content that comes off real salesy while a smaller retailer might see a huge drop in engagement. The key is to figure out what is right for you and then be consistent.
Ayme Sinclair is the marketing director at Stanton Carpet. Her innovative social media programs in the home industry have provided explosive growth and revenue-generating leads prompting case studies from companies like Architectural Digest and General Electric. For more information on how to use social media to grow your business, join the Stanton Retailer Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/stantonretailers.