Instagram Hacks that will Drive Sales … I mean Checkouts

IMG_6798I recently saw an article on tips for using Instagram to Drive Sales. A lot of the tips are actually pretty relevant to libraries. Let’s look through the tips, and see if anything’s useful for us!

1. Create Call to Actions. Definitely useful – a call to action certainly doesn’t have to be limited to sales! Instagram gives you one actual website link, and it’s found in your profile. Point to things other than your main page sometimes.

Then, in the description box of your image post, ask people to click the link in your profile to … register for the program, check out the book, etc.

2. Increase Exposure by Placing Call to Actions as a Location Extension. This one seems to have limited usefulness to me. Not even sure I really understand it…

3. Add Line Breaks to Your Instagram Captions. This is a way to get your profile to stand out more than other profiles, mainly because the text in your captions looks different. Again, limited usefulness here, since mostly people are scrolling through a bunch of images. But still – every little bit helps.

4. Get More Instagram Followers. Nothing wrong here! We need more followers. The author’s ideas are fine. But we have a built-in audience, so … just ask for them! Use Facebook and Twitter, share a photo, and ask people to Like your Instagram feed. Put up hashtag signs in the building. Mention your account at the beginning of events.

5. Why your “Thanks for following” Test Just Won’t Cut it Anymore. This one seems a bit excessive to me. Direct video messages thanking people for following you? Really? I’d unfriend you. What do you guys think about this one?

6. Add Line Breaks to Your Bio. Another way to get your profile to stand out.

7. Track Your Call to Actions with bit.ly. This is a cool idea. Then again, since Instagram gives you only one link, you can also find conversions simply by using Google Analytics. Check to see if anything came from Instagram. The bit.ly idea will give you an accurate count of clicks, so it’s definitely useful.

8. Talk your Target’s Talk. I definitely agree here. The translation for us is to not use marketing-speak or jargon. Figure out what customers you want to target with your Instagram account, and then use the language they use.

David’s #9. What’s missing in this list? The actual content! Work to make your content compelling enough that it leads your customers to the library, the website, a new service. Visually show off the awesomeness that is the library.

What’s missing? I’d love to hear your thoughts – share them in the comments! And … I’m on Instagram – friend me!

Visual is In – Are You into Visual?

me, giving a visual thumbs up to visual!Two huge social media sites have been mentioned in the news in the last couple of weeks: Pinterest and Instagram:

What’s going on? Why are these two sites so hot right now? Well… it’s because of this:
  • Pinterest = visual
  • Instagram = visual
  • Facebook = visual (depending on what you do with your status update)
  • Youtube = visual
  • etc.

Visual is in. Why? Because you visually “get it” immediately. It takes seconds to look at a photo and understand what’s going on. It’s very easy to look and like … and then click through to the meat of the post/site/message/video/etc if the visual carrot being displayed is interesting enough to make you click.

Is your website visual? Do you use visual parts and pieces to get people interested in your stuff? If not, you should maybe take a hint from the growing popularity of visual-based sites, and … add some things to look at.

Some visual starter ideas:

  • blog post – add an image that relates to the post. The image can help some people “get” the post better (I’ve had people tell me that about the images I use in my blog posts).
  • Video post – make a short video, showing off a new thing in your library. Videos are easy to watch and share. Since the video is usually embedded into a site, there’s a visual component, too. Do video well, and people will stick around (and hopefully click around, too).
  • Facebook – add an image of that packed program. This visually shows popularity – much better than having someone type “the event was really well-aattended.”
  • Twitter – tweet links to your photos and videos.
  • Pinterest, Instagram – start experimenting, and figure out how (or if) you can use one or both of these for your organization. I’ll bet you can.
  • Websites – add photos and graphics. That’s what we try to do on our website, and our customers love it (they’ve told me that numerous times).

How are you making your website visual? Adding visual elements to social media?