When it comes to traditional brick businesses growing an audience, a dedicated band of brand ambassadors trumps all other forms of advertising hands down.
Building trust and hype around your products is key to winning over the current and future stack of customers, and in this social media aware world, Instagram is a top location.

But why?
Talk is cheap, and posting to Instagram even cheaper.
Social media can help a business sink or swim in an instant and if you’re not using it by default, your competition are … and beating you.

Make your customers your word-of-mouth champions, your ambassadors – you serve a delicious meal, it looks beautiful, I need to tell all my friends about it – whip out the phone (presuming it’s not already in hand), and BAM! – it’s on Instagram – location, positive message and hashtags.
Your business gets the social clicks it needs, your staff, if selfies are allowed, get to be a star and your customers get to boast and revel in the superb experience they just documented tidily giving their followers FOMO.

But when?
If you didn’t start yesterday, you’ve already lost but, all can be improved upon fairly easily.
Businesses have the opportunity to create future retail spaces, today, allowing them to be as proficient at selling experiences as they are at selling their goods and services.

But How?
The buck stops with you the business owner – it’s up to you to ensure your customers experience the place to ‘gram. It’s no good serving up quality produce if your venue looks like it’s about to be condemned, if your staff or having a bad day or even if the lighting is bad.
Run through the whole experience of making a purchase, from the moment you walk in the door, to the moment you leave. Was it something you would want to impress your friends with? If not, it needs to be, otherwise you’ll end up with negative reviews, low customers and letters from the lawyers.

Where’s your brand?
Are you displaying your branding loud and proud? If you aren’t displaying your logo, how can people see it?
Tell me your story, not only when I’m in your store but before I even know about it.
Engage, enthral, invite.

Dress the venue accordingly.
Visually merch the place up, but not too much, just the right amount of shareability. If you have space, install a big screen and hook it up to your hashtagged feed displaying the latest, highly visual posts from your customers – people will wet themselves to see their name on that screen!

Encourage postings with a special offer, make a big deal of your hashtag and even teach your staff how to take a great photo for your customers.

Make it personable, make it shareable.

It all boils down to something I’ve been banging on about for ages. Retail needs to move from somewhere consumers consume to a place where consumers experience and Instagram provides both businesses and their customers that level playing field.

If you would like more information or general help with your on and offline presence, get in touch today.