I spent Easter Sunday with my roommate’s family. I was speaking with her 17-year old sister about social media and she starts telling me about a photo journal she maintains on VSCO, adding that the consistent subject in her photos are her feet in different settings — hiking, swimming, being on a roadtrip, standing on snow, grass, etc. She showed me the feed and I was blown away by how awesome it looked. I realized that having grown up in the world of technology, digital natives like her are familiar with the social media techniques that can attract a dedicated following.
If you want to use Instagram to attract followers and customers for your ecommerce store, you need to stand out from a sea of accounts. You can do this by curating a coherent, memorable feed. I’ll be showing you three themes your Instagram feed can be centered around, the pros and cons of each, and examples of ecommerce stores that use them well.
1. Your Product
Let’s start with the obvious: your product. Displaying what you sell ensures maximum exposure for your products. However, you have to be careful not to come across as overly salesy. Also, when a product is all you post about, it can be challenging to keep your images varied enough to keep an audience excited.
A company that does an excellent job using their products as a theme is Edoughble. I doubt I’m the only one whose mouth waters when I see their posts.
Edoughble keeps their feed fresh by creating posts that are in line with a trend or holiday, like Easter or Valentine’s.
They throw in an occasional funny text post for variety.
Have you ever stumbled upon an Instagram feed that made you ask yourself, “Who are these people constantly frolicking under the sun in their bathing suits, sipping coconut juice? And how can I get that job?”
If so, you’re probably looking at an Instagram feed with photos carefully created to make you desire a certain lifestyle. If you go with this theme, be wary of curating a feed that might look too perfect, or even fake.
Successful apparel brands like Aerie recognize how much people value real photos. Because it’s easy to fake pictures on social media, people value authenticity more than ever. Aerie is one of the few clothing brands showing off their clothes in all body shapes, sizes and colors. Notice that most of their pictures are models being candid and acting naturally, instead of posing for the camera.
It can’t get more authentic than posting user-generated content.
A photo contains several ingredients that all combine into a finished product, including:
…and many others!
A theme emerges when you consistently use one or more of the “ingredients” above in all your photos. Here are some accounts that consistently use a visual pattern to give you a specific #feeling.
This theme is the most flexible of the bunch. As long as you stick to the visual pattern you‘ve chosen, you can post about a wide range of subjects, and your feed will still look coherent and be memorable.
Always remember that the goal is to attract a dedicated following. By listening to your followers (ie looking at engagement rates for each post), you can further refine your Instagram theme and create a feed that an audience can connect to.
What other themes have you seen ecommerce sites use well? Let us know in the comments below!