I’d like you to picture a quaint yet busy little town, a hectic little street with cobblestones full of chatter, dogs barking and kids screaming that they want ice cream. Now I know what you’re thinking: “What has this got to do with my Instagram??”. Please bear with me and take a walk down this little street to a small shop – your shop in fact! Can you picture it?
Let’s take your shop online. Your website is your shop floor, where people can actually browse and buy your products (or services!) and your various Social Media platforms are shop faces on different streets. On our picturesque cobblestone street, we’re faced with your Instagram shop face.
Of course, the goal of any shop face is to get people to head to the door and walk in. On Instagram, your front door is in your bio! The question is, how do we get people through the door?
When you look at your Instagram profile, you see all of your posts in rows of three – this is your grid.
Think of this as your shop window. You can’t throw items in the window and hope they land right, you need to spend time making your window look aesthetically pleasing, and you need to update it regularly so the locals remain intrigued.
Remember the goal here is to make people can’t to open that door.
Before people even look at your shop window, they need to be distracted from the cute puppy jumping around. Imagine a TV screen in the corner of your window talking about various aspects of your products. It’s loud, it’s flashy, it’s a bit in your face – this is your Reels.
Reels are a great way of distracting people from their mindless scrolling and want to know more about you. The goal here is to get people to click on your profile and have a look at your grid.
Your story is for the locals, for those who can’t help but glance at your shop as they walk past on their way to work every day. Over the years, they hear you talking to customers, they see you hard at work, they see what you get up to when there’s no-one browsing, and they might even overhear you talking about an upcoming product or a upcoming sale! These stolen glances may seem insignificant but they make people relate to you, they help people see the human behind the shop window – not to mention making the locals feel more important than the tourists.
Sometimes you just have to step outside and have an open and honest conversation with those who are passing by. Sometimes it might feel like you are talking into the wind, sometimes the odd local might stop to listen and comment on what you’re saying, and sometimes there might be so many people commenting that you feel a bit overwhelmed – welcome to Lives!
A common question is “What should I talk about?”. Literally anything! You might want to focus on a specific product, or talk about an upcoming launch, or even be a bit negative and talk about a problem you’re facing. Always step out of the door with a plan, and idea of what to talk about, but if a comment throws you in a different direction, just go with it.
Maybe your shop has a couple of stalls outside, items that people can pick up, walk in to your shop and head straight to the counter. This is your Instagram shop and it can be a great tool to get people to buy your products.
Unfortunately, not all the shops can get permission to set up stalls in the street, and it does take a bit of setting up. Find out more here.