When it comes to spotlighting a new product, few social media platforms are more visually stimulating than Instagram, making it an ideal place to showcase your latest arrivals.

We’ve put together some tips to help you determine what to post, when to do it, and how to boost the number of people who actually see it.

Image quality and design

First and foremost, your product image needs to be high quality. However, that does not mean you need to invest in a high-end camera to achieve this effect. Most mobile phone cameras will work just fine, as long as the photo isn’t blurry. There are also countless apps that can enhance your image. Here are a few that can help:

  • Aviary is a free app that offers filters, frames, stickers, touch-up tools and more.
  • Overgram is a free app that lets you quickly and easily add text to photos.
  • PicFrame allows you to organize multiple photos into a patchwork design to create a single postable image. Yellows Plus uses this design to showcase eyewear from a variety of distances and perspectives.

Image content

Products that create a distinct improvement in some way can be displayed in “before-and-after” photos like Tanino Smoothing Therapy did with these hair comparison shots.

You could also post your new product with an introductory price or limited time trial, like Cowgirl Dirt did when they introduced their new eye shadow trios.

Additionally, always make sure to post a mix of products and fun stuff, like photos of employees, events, or relevant memes to give your customers a behind-the-scenes look into your business.

Short videos

Instagram now allows its users to post videos.These can be uploaded directly from your phone or tablet’s library or recorded using their dedicated video app. Videos can be 3 to 15 seconds long, and you can add filters and geotags. A recent example would be Glorify Apparel’s video post to announce their spring clothing line.

For those feeling especially creative, you can use an app like Flipagram to make fun, short “photo-videos” set to music. Rosalita’s Roadside Cantina often uses this app to introduce their latest menu selections.

Using hashtags

If you’re just getting started with Instagram, make sure your posts are set to “public” display so you can add hashtags to your photos and videos. Remember that you can use numbers and letters, but no spaces or special characters, and you are allowed to include up to 30 tags on a post.

Not sure which hashtags to use? Try #newproduct and #newarrival. You can also use industry-specific tags like #designerhandbag and #prosurfboard. Website builder platform Wix also recently published an article highlighting Instagram’s most popular hashtags and their meanings which is definitely worth a read.

As a general rule, it’s always good to think about what your target customer would be searching for and try to use those keywords as your hashtags.

When to post

When thinking about the frequency of your posts, consistency is key. Set an initial pattern for posts in the beginning and stick with it. Accounts that suddenly cut back on the frequency of their posts on Instagram can lose followers quickly.

Not sure when to post? IconoSquare is a great app that identifies the best times to post based on your followers’ engagement. You can also get analytics for total number of likes, most-liked images, average number of likes/comments per image, and follower growth charts. There’s even a way to track how filters impact your likes and comments received.

Seasonal and holiday posts can also boost sales. Bucci’s Bridal capitalized on prom season by posting dress photos in October and used hashtags like #prom2015 and #newprom. Mary Kay independent beauty consultant Stephanie Cyrus planted the seed for “the perfect Mother’s Day gift wrapped and delivered” two weeks before the big day.

You can also build excitement by posting a photo before the item is actually available, also known as a ‘tease image‘.

Promoting your post

Posting images of your new product is great, but it’s not enough to drive sales. You’ll still need to work to promote it and get seen by both existing and potential customers. Here are some quick tips:

Perhaps the most important tip is to remember to engage with your followers. Post comments on their images once in a while and respond to all comments left on yours. Product specific questions (e.g., colors, sizes, shipping, gift wrapping, etc.) from followers can also be useful in creating an FAQ for your online store.

Want more tips and how-to advice? Sign up for the VerticalResponse weekly VR Buzz newsletter.

Wendy Burt-Thomas is a full-time freelance writer with four books and thousands of published articles to her credit. Contact Wendy at WendyBurt@aol.com.

© 2015 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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