Why You MUST Use Image-Based Social Media to Boost Brand Awareness and Engagement

Turn browsers into buyers with Pinterest and Instagram

Does your product or service provide great before-and-after pictures? Do completion photos succeed where text descriptions fall short?

If so, and you’re not already using an image-centric social media platform to drive sales, it’s high time to get started. Your customers are already there.

Two of the most popular and user-friendly social media platforms that revolve around pictures are Instagram and Pinterest. Think about it—anyone looking to remodel their home, revamp their wardrobe, pimp their ride, restock their pantry or create over-the-top children’s birthday parties are constantly digging through pictures and how-tos online, taking notes and making swipe files for their own custom creation.

Setting up a Pinterest Business account to drive sales

Pinterest reports over 175 million users searching through themed “boards” every month, discovering new ideas and products and “pinning” their favorites on their own boards. By placing your products in the middle of those themed searches, your business’s exposure can skyrocket. According to Pinterest’s most recent statistics, 72% of “Pinners” find new brands and services on Pinterest.

Business accounts include extra features beyond an individual account, such as advertising and coupon options and analytics. You create your own boards and your own pins, optimized with clear, vibrant images and caption content with keywords that tout the benefits and purposes of your products.

Here’s a Pinterest Business account for a small tile contractor company in Southern California. Notice how each board is titled with keywords that relate to the kind of searches Pinterest users might conduct when thinking of remodeling their homes. When users click through to this business’ page, they’ll see the logo and introductory business blurb.

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You can easily set up a new Pinterest Business account for your company, or convert an existing personal account.

Setting up an Instagram Business account to drive sales

Instagram users are shoppers, even if they don’t know it yet.

This social platform was a pioneer in the image-centric model, so its user base is perpetually ready to be wowed. In fact, many users follow businesses just because they like their pictures—even if they’re not currently in the market for the product being promoted. The culture of here is casual and interactive, with users looking at what beautiful, interesting, silly, shocking or intriguing visual they can share to start (or continue) a conversation.

When you set up an Instagram Business account, you want to post your best work while optimizing your keywords and hashtags. Users will start finding and sharing your images, so you’ll also want to have a concise, catchy and informative company bio that includes a link to your website.

Instagram also offers a unique opportunity to make your business more approachable, especially by using Instagram Stories. By taking advantage of these short snippets that show at the top of a follower’s feed, you can post content that’s a little different from the carefully planned posts.

Many brands use the Stories option to demo product launches, provide a behind-the-scenes peek at the company, or provide a more light-hearted, conversational message with a specific call to action. It also provides an outlet to ask for feedback or test the effectiveness of new ideas, without diverting the focus of your permanent feed.

Working with these social platforms is actually quite fun and allow your brand’s personality to shine. And when you continually use these approaches to sustain engagement, you can expect your sales to reflect that increase in activity.

Whether you dive into both Pinterest and Instagram right away or start with the one that may have more of your potential audience as active users, the bottom line remains that social media is just one big conversation. Conversation builds relationships, and relationships drive sales. And as our buzzing human brains are highly stimulated by visual content, use of these two platforms can be an ideal way to connect with your customer base.

Insta stories are a big deal right now, especially for businesses and those pushing brands. Let's make sure to mention how those are different and when/how they can be used.

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BrandyMarie Hughes

Every day Brandy works to ensure every campaign is on track and exceeds expectations. She is relentless about quality and operates as an adept and innovative problem solver. She is also a lifelong learner who finds it downright invigorating to keep up with the ever-changing worlds of marketing and management. Brandy is a native Oregonian who craves spontaneous adventures, travel, philosophy, art, and music. She is also a sleep-deprived mom of 3 (ages 13, 7, and 1) and in her spare time loves listening to podcasts and studying on TEDx or Periscope. She’s a humanitarian at heart, a die-hard Apple fan, Tetris master, and even enjoys a little Pokémon GO. Brandy has also been dubbed the office food taste-tester.

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