If a picture is worth a thousand words, Instagram is social media’s most prolific author. It’s littered with introspection and surprisingly little practical information. So how do you use it to benefit your store?
If you’re not using Instagram, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to reach young anglers. Facebook, after all, is now the land of older demographics like Generation X and Baby Boomers. Teenagers and young adults increasingly view Facebook as a place for their parents and grandparents, which means it’s no longer as “cool” as it once was. And you want to be cool, right?
Instagram, which foregoes the newsfeed-based post style of Facebook in favor of simple image and video posts has become a landing pad for people who want to connect with others without the drama of family and politics. It’s also home to an active fishing community, giving you the opportunity to generate some online—if not local—sales.
Here are a few tips to kickstart your Instagram account:
Link to your company website in your profile. Instagram doesn’t allow links within posts, but you can place a link in your profile. Be sure to include your store’s website information on your Instagram profile, and encourage people to visit it when you post. A simple “link in bio” tagline will go a long way towards bringing some ROI to your Instagram account.
Use your team to submit images. The most challenging aspect of starting a company Instagram account is finding images to post. Unlike a blog, your Instagram account can’t be curated completely from the counter. It can, however, present a lifestyle to people who don’t know about your store or give your regulars a fun way to keep up with what’s going on at the shop or on the water. Use your staff, or ask regulars to send in photos of themselves fishing. Rare is the angler who doesn’t like a photo of someone else’s great catch.
Post new inventory. Instagram, like YouTube, is a good place to preach the values of your new products. Caveat: you only get 14 seconds of video time on Instagram, but that’s still enough time to tell people what’s new in your store. You can also post product shots and encourage people to buy from your online store via the link in your profile. Try shooting those shots on an elevated surface with a few LED lights placed overhead for a more professional look … or better yet, grab some shots in the field.
A photo posted by Sam Root Of Saltyshores.com (@scssam) on
Hashtag that hashtag. You’re speaking to the void if you don’t use #hashtags. While not used heavily on Facebook, #hashtags are used on Instagram and Twitter to add your post to global conversations. If you’re a fly shop, try using #flyfishing #trout, etc. If you’re a conventional tackle store, #fishing is a staple. You can also add locally-based hashtags like #greatlakes or #walleye … or get creative and start your own discussion #walleyfe.
Remember, social media is about brand building and establishing connections with your customers. You’re unlikely to get rich off of Instagram, but you just might drive a few more sales into your store and have a little fun while you’re doing it.