Let's talk about Instagram
- Hair & Compounds Instagram: If you haven’t already, please follow us on Instagram. One of our goals is to have one of the most inspiring Instagram profiles for our industry. And we’re just getting started!
- Why Instagram? With more than 700 million total monthly active users, IG now claims over 25 million business profiles worldwide.
- 60% of people say they discover new products and services on Instagram.
- 200 million + Instagrammers visit at least one business profile daily.
- And ⅓ of the most viewed stories are from businesses.
What does this mean for you? Well, there are many opportunities to grow your business just by using Instagram!
First off, most people think that Instagram is all about how many followers you have.
Well, I’m here to tell you differently.
As a business it is not about how many followers you have, it's about who your followers are.
With the right audience on your Instagram, you can generate a lot of potential new leads (customers).
Why you should read this blog:
We got started on our Instagram strategy in July 2017, with the goal of growing engagement, increasing the number of qualified leads, and understanding the real ROI (return on investment - aka for every dollar or minute I spend on Instagram, how much money will I make).
In this blog, I am going to show you how we made over 10k in sales from Instagram in just 3 months.
Here’s how we did it:
First, we read a lot of blogs and articles to see what other bloggers and influencers were doing to grow their Instagrams. We watched courses. We asked questions on forums. We took notes. We studied and put in a lot of work to educate ourselves.
Then, we compiled this information and set up experiments to test the information that we learned.
Even though our company, Hair and Compounds, has been around for 25 years, our current marketing team is young, so we try to treat everything we do with the same sense of creativity and urgency as if we were a startup.
We always try to test the thing that will get the highest impact result.
It’s called high-tempo testing. (We’ll explain this in further detail later).
One high impact test we discovered from our research is a growth hack called FLLLC (follow → like, like, like → comment).
How it works is that your first target and identify segments of your potential customers on Instagram (maybe look at your competitor's profile).
The first step of our strategy was to understand who our audience and how to reach them.
We knew that the people we wanted to reach were hair stylists, specifically hair extensionists.
Since we are a business-to-business company (meaning that we sell our products to other businesses NOT to retail), we have a very specific customer in mind when we approach our strategy.
To get started we did a search for:
- The hashtag #hairextensions
- The result was over 3 million posts tagged.
- Other hair suppliers
- You will have to identify a list of your businesses competitors so that you can monitor their activity.
Next, we needed a way of identifying other Instagram accounts as related, which means that these are people who would have an interest in buying our product.
The accounts were classified as related if in the users either mentioned in their profile bio: “hair stylist,” “extensionist,” or “salon owner.”
If the user’s Instagram profile did not indicate this, we then looked at the images posted.
If the images suggested that the users were hair related professionals (maybe it showed a before and after transformation for example), then we wrote down their Instagram profile username in a free Google spreadsheet with a tag that says “related.”
Once we had a spreadsheet of 100 related accounts, the next step was to engage in the FLLLC hack.
- Choose a user from the list of 100 related accounts and search for their account handle on Instagram
- Visit their profile and identify 3 pictures that are related to your industry. For us, we looked for images containing hairstyles, applications, unique hairstyles. Then “like” these 3 images.
- Choose one of the images that you liked and leave a comment. But don’t just leave an emoji and two meaningless words. Get specific so that the user knows you’re a real person and not a robot.
We tried a number of different comments from simple compliments to detailed questions about the user's post.
The comment that proved to be the most engaging to our audience was “Quick question: What is the most difficult thing about making hair extensions look natural?”
This comment had great success in engaging our audience and allowed us a doorway into understanding them on a personal level.
The result was that we messaged 298 people. 89 people responded. That is a 29.8% response rate. Meaning, for every 3 people we used this method with, 1 person responded!
This shows the power of using a simple high-impact test.
We also saw a 25% follow back rate. You may choose to unfollow the ones who don’t follow back, which is what we did to keep a 3:1 ratio of follower/following.
Also another tip: once the users follow back, send them a welcome message to start the conversation.
This is one of the best ways to show users that you are serious about connecting with them and this is how we were able to generate sales of over 10k in 3 months with a 54% engagement rate.
Now it’s your turn: if you’re serious about using Instagram to grow your extensions business, try out the method above. It works.
And let me know how it goes! Or, if you have any questions about the method, email me at marketing@haircompounds !
Stay tuned for more IG hacks. We did this and got 150 leads in a month!