As you may have noticed, in other blog posts I’ve mentioned that I have a little online shop on Etsy. I only opened it recently, late October 2016, and it was really hard to make any sales but I just accepted this was due to the fact that I was just starting out and I needed to be patient. However, a couple of weeks passed and I still hadn’t managed to sell anything so I decided to open a social media page, specifically Instagram. Here's my story of how it changed my view of social media.
Social Media Success Story
When I created my business Instagram account I was so excited, posted day in and day out. The followers started to rack up really quickly, so did the sales! Before I knew it, my sales had gone from 2 in two weeks to 150 items in a month, which for a small startup like mine in quite an overcrowded market is quite significant. I had to start giving people refunds as I couldn’t keep up with the demand! My 'visits per day' stats went from double digits to quadrouple.
Using Instagram I was able to research my buyer persona, I looked at other similar accounts (or accounts) that I aspired to be like and started to interact with their followers and get to know the type of person I was after. I then targeted all of my content to them, making sure everything I chose to post had reason and relevance to them. In my case, I am targeting women aged 16-24, young and trendy girls, as I sew and sell girls’ accessories and clothing.
I know you might compare your business and think, "But that’s so different to my business, we don’t even compare?" But you do! All businesses need a target market to nail before releasing any content. Social media didn’t just let me have a peek into what my direct competition was posting, but also what they were creating, what customers thought of it, as well as who the customers were. Social media let me know who I needed to catch the attention of and how to do it. I learned the hard way putting in countless hours of work to create items that weren’t being sold, yet the second I opened a social media account, it changed so drastically. The importance of taking your time when researching your target market is often not taken as seriously as it should be taken.
Below you can see some of my personal stats, with nearly no views of my shop/ listings in early November, until I started my Instagram where there was a sharp increase. As you can see my posting was inconsistent, but the more I posted and the more targeted it was, the more views and purchases I got. By the 21st of November I had to stop posting as I was getting in too many orders and I couldn’t complete them all because by the time I finished sewing, I had 20 more orders to fill that place. As you can see, the effect this had on views was drastic.
What I Learned
This taught me about how to manage my posting, and orders. As I had only recently opened the online shop I was massively overwhelmed.
Hopefully you are already established and able to cope with the rush, however if you're not you should take this as warning so you aren't taken by surprise. I'm not gaurenteeing that this will happen with everyone who makes an Instagram account, as every business is different, but after testing it, I can see that it should most definitely make a positive difference in your customer attention.
It also depends on what field you're in, since I'm in fashion it was easier for me to show photos with small captions. If your company would better suit verbal updates with the odd photo here and there, why not try Twitter? If you're going to be posting photos as well as status updates, why not try Facebook? The opportunities are endless, don't limit yourself!