Business

Published on February 20, 2017 | by Chelsea Williams     Photography by Chelsea Williams

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Promoting businesses on Instagram

Some business owners are turning to Instagram to help them promote their business.

As of December 2016, according to Instagram the photo sharing network has gained 600 million monthly active users.

Cher Jones has been a social media and personal branding coach for five years and has over 15 years of experience in public relations, marketing, and broadcasting.

Jones says Instagram enables businesses to thrive.

“Instagram is a huge network, it’s so significant that you cannot ignore it as a place to market your business,” says Jones.

Cherice Harvey has been doing that with Shops by Cee, her Instagram based store that sells accessories like chockers and glasses. Buyers who are interested in the items either comment on the post, send Harvey a direct message, or e-mail her.

On Sept. 3, 2016, Harvey posted an Instagram video to help promote her new business.

“It provided a lot of success for the business. Everyone wanted chockers, everyone wanted gold plated glasses,” says Harvey.

Within the first month of launching her accessory line, Harvey sold six to seven accessories a week. She also experienced a rapid increase in Instagram followers.

“When I first promoted it, I had seven to ten followers and those were just friends that I knew. To this day, I have 436 followers and it’s not all of my friends, it’s total strangers. It’s people from Winnipeg or just out of the country,” Harvey says.

David Shelton has been a marketing professor at the University of Guelph-Humber for 12 years. He also owns Frontline, a marketing and communication agency. Shelton says marketing is an essential function in a business.

“Without [marketing], the business could fail or it could be missing opportunities for growth,” says Shelton.

Though Shelton was not familiar with Instagram, he did add that if you are in business, you need to have some sort of web presence.

“Facebook and Instagram are also very useful because that’s the way many people now search for goods and services. So you got to be there,” says Shelton.

Jones says Instagram’s new feature, Instagram stories, allows many people to post in the moment videos as it provides a visual lens to personal brands.

 “You have to be strategic in what you share, how you share, how you present yourself, and who you connect with. Because all of a sudden you will start attracting, new clients, networking, and career growth opportunities you never knew existed,” says Jones.

Harvey agrees, “If I have a photoshoot, I’ll put it in my Shops by Cee story, but when I have the final product of something, I post it on my Instagram page.”

Jones also says business owners should make sure they have a compelling profile picture, logo, and a mini bio.

“With all of these aspects missing people don’t know who you are and what you have done,” says Jones.

“It’s so important to have a logo, a logo is legitimate, it’s what makes the brand, it’s what makes people feel safe,” Harvey says.

Jones says consistency and engaging with your customers is key.

“When people are liking your stuff, go over to their account like a few things, if they are commenting, make sure you’re replying to their comments,” says Jones.

Harvey says she never misses an opportunity to interact with her customers because it is important.

“I’m not going to ignore their comments because not only will I lose the sale, I will lose the clientele because there are people that may like my products,” Jones says.

Jones has a tip for business owners using Instagram, set aside engagement time.

“It’s just 10 minutes daily it has nothing to do with what you posted, it has everything to do with connecting, following, replying, and liking content that is in your network,” says Jones.

She also says, “the minute you start posting on Instagram you start marketing your business.”

 


About the Author

is a student journalist who loves everything fashion and entertainment.



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