I have a fashion start up - we manufacture and retail online. However, we do not have many leads or inquiries through social media nor do we have that many followers. How can we change this? I want to provide value to my followers, grow my followers and generate more sales.
The first thing I would focus on is building up a loyal audience so you have a targeted group to market to. On instagram the key when selling is to not be to overtly obvious that you are trying to sell them when you first start a page or you will end up loosing followers if they feel like they have just walked entered a sales page so to speak. Focus on brining value to your followers and potential followers by having HQ content #1 not just a bunch of product photos and #2 is being consistent with your posting (should be posting daily) and interacting with your audience. It is Social media, so if there is a lack of direct contact/engagement with your audience you will see a lack of sales and targeted leads. Good ways to do this is to have photos/videos of customers using your product so that people can imagine themselves using it as well. Influencer marketing is also a great way to both get followers to your page but also drive sales using someone else's audience that is in a similar niche. This is just a few ways to make headway on your account, hope this gives you some ideas. :)
You hit the nail on the head when you said that you want to provide value to your followers. It's far better to focus on the followers that you do have rather than those that you don't yet have. Start with being grateful for the community that you've been able to develop so far and start creating consistent, valuable content. Consistency is key to make sure they grow to appreciate what it is that you are offering them, and think of ways to gauge how that content is working for them. (1) Look for posts that gain more engagement (2) Ask them directly for content that they would like to see or find valuable.
If you are really focused on gaining followers, perhaps find one or two influencers or very engaged social media users with focused, niche audiences (5K-50K followers is a golden area on IG for example). Consider offering them free product or exclusive deals, discuss letting them offer a giveaway to their users, and I'm sure you'll see a bump in your followers. Again, you have to maintain consistency and focus on value rather than numbers. This not only allows you to become a brand that is known for offering value, but lets you stop stressing about not having "enough followers". Most importantly, if you do decide to work with influencers, make sure to research FTC dislosure and endorsement guidelines (here's a great resource: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking).
(1) Focus on Value not numbers
(2) Start small and be consistent
(3) Work on building relationships and trust, not followers
It's great to see the focus on social. Especially in fashion, channels like Instagram are the perfect place to be visible. I've worked brands on increasing engagement and subsequently sales on social media for more than 5 years now.
I recommend the following especially as a startup I know resources may not be readily available:
1. Ensure you have a tool that schedules your posts for you like later.com (which is free) so you can plan your week, month of posts ahead of time.
2. Be active on Instagram and stories. Ensure you have the right hashtags when posting.
3. In conjunction with Facebook run and promote a contest (if you have the budget) in which you ask for a follow + to tag of 2 or 3 friends in order for a chance to win.
4. Find influencers (if you have the budget) to talk about your brand from their profile.
I would be happy to help you come up with plan to make this happen! Feel free to book a call to discuss.
Focus on generating sales while you grow your followers.
I have an Instagram influencer account that took a few years to grow. To keep your business running, you'll need to get sales so that should be the focus at first. The followers will come.
Instagram is awesome for building a brand. Frankly, building a brand is the only way to build a successful business these days. You don't want to be just another fashion store.
These are my recommendations for building a following and leveraging Instagram for branding and sales:
1. Make sure you have your branding set.
Have a well-designed logo, color scheme, website and theme for your IG posts so that they all relate. Instagram is all about style and design, so it's perfect for fashion if you do it right.
2. Make sure you have a funnel in place.
You probably already have a Shopify or website set up. Make sure your link in the bio on Instagram directs people to either a special offer, a best-selling product, or your homepage where people can opt into your email list. Offer special discounts for anyone who opt into your list.
Instagram is great for generating leads. It's up to you to get people interested first, then sell them with special deals later.
3. Find influencers in your niche with over 50k followers to publish a promotional post for your best-selling products.
This will take some testing and money to pay influencers but is hands-down the best way to get sales WHILE building a following. This is why it's important to have steps #1 and #2 set first before getting thousands of people looking at your products and IG page.
Test out a variety of images with other large IG accounts to find the best images. Use different links for each influencer so you know exactly which influencer gave you the most traffic. Then double down and do more promos with the best accounts.
Over time people will naturally follow your page for special deals or items that they'll want to buy.
As simple as that ;)
For more tips feel free to shoot me a message.