Instagram is the second most popular social media platform in Ireland. Expectedly, it is integral to any social media marketing strategy. However, it’s time you moved past thinking of your Instagram page as a marketing channel and focus on improving customer acquisition. Your Instagram page should be able to amplify your customer experience in order to attract more customers.Over the years, Instagram has not only improved ways in which you can reach new customers but also engage them and grow your audience. It has enhanced the way average customers shop online through Instagram Shopping. Your customers can now buy your products directly through Instagram Feed and Live.In this guide, we’ll look at how you can amplify your customer experience on Instagram in order to grow your sales. First, let’s look at why you should have a presence on Instagram.Why Your Business Should Be on InstagramNinety percent of Instagram users follow at least one business. With over one million active users in Ireland, Instagram is one of the best platforms for amplifying your customer experience. It gives you an opportunity to create your own style, build a solid reputation, and distinguish yourself from competitors. Here are a few reasons why you should have an Instagram marketing strategy:1. The appeal of imageryHumans are visual creatures. Therefore, visual content is more impactful compared to written content. Instagram is entirely premised on image and video sharing. The other major social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter mainly focus on content. This gives Instagram an edge over the other social media platforms when it comes to social media marketing.If you are thinking of visualizing your brand to your audience and sparking emotions and action from them, then Instagram is the place to be.2. It helps you to bring your brand to lifeConsumers nowadays are more interested in the brand more than the product. If you give the impression that you are a faceless business, you are unlikely to have any impact on the market. Instagram, being an image-oriented platform, is one of the best ways to bring your brand to life and connect with consumers. Besides posts on the timeline, you can also make an impression on your audience by doing live posts and stories. These will make your brand relatable to the everyday life of Instagram users.Give behind-the-scenes insights into your business and employees going about their jobs and interacting with clients. You can even host Q&A sessions on Instagram Live to build a rapport with your audience.3. You can make money directly from InstagramOver the years, Instagram has evolved to enable businesses eCommerce sales on the platform. You can now create a catalogue of your products and sell directly on Instagram through Instagram Shopping. You can include a product description, price, and a “shop now” feature which leads users to your online store.Additionally, Instagram introduced a “support small business” sticker aimed at helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) ride out the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses. The campaign can help you to reach new audiences, grow your customer base, and cultivate brand loyalty. If an Instagram user mentions your business in the sticker, you can repost it to your timeline as a testimonial.4. You can effectively engage with customersYou can also use Instagram to improve engagement with your customers. They can like, comment, and share their favourite posts. You can even encourage user-generated content by sharing posts you’re tagged on. It not only improves brand loyalty but also makes your business more visible to a wider audience.Partnering with other local brands and using local hashtags also helps to drive engagement and visibility. These are some of the reasons why the engagement rate on Instagram is 10 times higher than the world’s largest social media platform, Facebook. So if you need engagement and visibility, get on Instagram now.5. Leverage the opportunity to get creativeLastly, Instagram offers many ways for businesses to get creative. It’s plain fun, even for serious businesses. It’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss. Leverage the opportunity to give your brand a personality by hosting fun contests, giveaways, and shoutouts. You should use vivid images and interactive videos. Online shoppers, especially millennials, prefer shopping with a brand that’s cool and fun.Examples of established brands that have mastered the art of having fun on Instagram include Oreo, Folkster, Starbucks, Nutbutter, and National Geographic. Check out their pages and see if you won’t be impressed.How to Amplify Your Customer Experience on InstagramInstagram is one of the best social media platforms to establish your brand presence and grow your business. The reasons above are not exhaustive of why your business should be on Instagram. It has revolutionized how people shop online and you can’t afford to leave it out of your social media marketing strategy.Growing your brand presence on Instagram can be intimidating at first. But here are tips to help you amplify your customer experience on Instagram and effectively make use of the platform:1. Make Effective Use of HashtagsHashtags help your posts to get more engagement on Instagram. They increase the visibility of your posts and make your content easier for users to find. While you can leverage popular hashtags to increase visibility when you’re starting out, it’s important to stick to relevant tags. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to jump on Easter hashtags to market Christmas products.Besides making your content easier to find, hashtags also help you to:● Encourage Instagram users to interact with your posts● Build a community around your brand● Contribute to trending topics and take a stand● Expand your Instagram audience2. Plan Your Instagram FeedWe’ve mentioned that Instagram is a platform that’s centred around visual content- videos and images. So if you are going to convert viewers into followers and customers, then you need to ensure that your Instagram feed has a visual appeal. You should ensure that your posts and stories are consistently aesthetically pleasing.You can ensure your Instagram feed has a consistent visual appeal by:● Choosing an aesthetic profile for your business profile● Putting out content that resonates well with your followers● Using similar filters for your photos for a cohesive look on your timeline● Leverage subtitle captions for your Instagram videosYou can read here for tips on how to ensure brand consistency.3. Leverage Instagram StoriesYou can also utilize Instagram stories to showcase your products and services to an already engaged audience. The feature is also great for promoting seasonal offers and deals. Instagram Stories is one of the best ways of standing out from the crowd and helping your brand get noticed. Unlike regular timeline posts where one or two posts a day are enough, you can show more content on stories in a single day because they will disappear after 24 hours.You can use Instagram stories to:● Announce new products in your store● Share gift cards and coupon codes● Launch Instagram contests and giveaways● Announce product discountsHowever, you shouldn’t share a ton of content at the same time. You risk having users muting your stories if you bombard them with content. Be picky and space out your stories optimally. If used well, Instagram Stories can help you to increase your followers, grow your engagement, improve brand visibility, and give your Instagram marketing strategy value for its money.4. Go LiveLastly, Instagram Live is one of the best ways to connect with your audience in an authentic, direct, and transparent manner. It gives you a great opportunity to drive engagement, grow your followers, and even sell your products. Going live gives you priority in your follower’s story feeds. Some people find Instagram Live quite intimidating, but there are no set requirements on how you should do your live.Some of the best ways to leverage Instagram live for brand growth include:● Answering questions about your brand in real-time● Giving product demonstrations● Sharing exciting news about your brand or upcoming products and offers● Adding guests for one-on-one Q&A sessionsHowever, it’s important to keep in mind that your Instagram marketing strategy shouldn’t be overly aggressive and promotional. Even if your primary goal is to generate leads and drive sales, you should be tactful in how you post on Instagram. It’s crucial to find a balance between promoting your products and giving value to your audience. Overly promotional content will drive them away. Mix things up without losing your brand identity.We Are Here To Help…Our Instagram marketing experts have helped thousands of businesses like yourself and we would love to show you how Salt Marketing could skyrocket your Instagram followers and engagement for more leads and sales. Click below for a free consultation with our experts.