In the age of social media, your business’s content can easily be bogged down by the nearly 100 million posts shared on Instagram daily.
Yikes! While that number may be intimidating at first, it’s no reason to panic. There’s a simple secret to beating the social media marketing (SMM) rat race.
It’s all about connection.
Nowadays, it’s more important than ever to leave a lasting impression on shoppers online. In 2022, a strong connection with your audience is key to attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. These relationships are so important that a whopping 53% of customers say they primarily buy from brands they’ve developed an emotional connection with.
Believe it or not, leaving a lasting impression on customers is fairly simple. In just 4 simple steps, you can ensure that customers feel a meaningful connection with your brand and stick around for the long term.
One of the easiest ways to start building a large network of connections with customers is on Instagram. After all, there are nearly 2 billion monthly active users on the site.
So, without further ado, here are four quick ways to connect with customers on Instagram.
1. Quickly respond to direct messages (DMs)
With 75% of US consumers now expecting a response to their questions within 24 hours, it’s not surprising that some of the most successful businesses on Instagram have a social media account manager who responds to direct messages (DMs) all day.
While it may seem like overkill, think again!
Imagine sitting on your couch at home and scrolling through Instagram. You come across a product you’re interested in – but you have so many more questions than answers! You don’t want to go through the effort of researching specific reviews online or finding the brand’s e-mail. So, in just a few clicks and taps, you quickly send a DM to the account.
In twenty minutes or less, you have your answer, and you’re confident in purchasing the product just five minutes later.
How quick and efficient does that sound?
Not only does maintaining a quick response rate on Instagram DMs streamline a customer’s buying decision process, but it also ensures that the customer feels prioritized.
And just like that, you’ve quickly built a customer connection!
2. Consistently respond to questions and feedback in the comments
Businesses must respond promptly and consistently to questions and feedback in their comments section to remain competitive. This is especially true if your target audience is millennials or Gen Z. As it turns out 65% of millennials and 57% of Gen Z expect a connected customer service experience.
But, why would you respond to comments if you’re already responding via DMs?
Well, think of the comments section as the stage and the DMs as a backstage green room.
Responding consistently shows that you care about your customers to everyone who visits your page. Plus, it allows you to build an even stronger relationship with the people who follow you.
In 2022, millennials and Gen Z anticipate that brands will be responsive and engaging in their comments section. Milk Makeup is a great example of a brand that has comment responses down to a science. Whether it be a question from a customer, feedback, or even just an expression of excitement, Milk Makeup responds to nearly every comment on their page as part of their SMM strategy.
You can use comments as an opportunity to provide valuable information, or simply thank customers for their support or feedback. With a little bit of effort, you can turn commenters into loyal followers and advocates for your business.
3. Ask questions in the captions
Asking questions in the captions of your post is another way to build customer connections.
Asking questions shows that you’re interested in hearing from your followers and getting their feedback.
Take, for example, Brit + Co, a modern lifestyle brand on Instagram, amassing 359k followers. Brit + Co asks questions related to their lifestyle content which, in turn, encourages their followers to engage with their posts. Not only are they driving up customer engagement, but also they’re invoking a sense of community among their commenters.
This, coupled with responding to comments, is the winning formula for building a strong connection with customers.
So, next time you’re drafting a caption for an upcoming post, consider asking a question. Your followers will appreciate having their thoughts heard, and they’ll keep coming back for more!
4. Repost user-generated content (UGC)
Who doesn’t like to feel special?
One of the most impactful ways to connect with your followers is to acknowledge their use of your product.
This is as simple as reposting UGC on Instagram stories or your timeline. A small act of acknowledgment can go a long way!
Big Bud Press, an LA-based clothing brand, is killing it with this strategy! They’re known by their 320k followers for reposting their customers’ looks on a daily basis.
With a fanatical following that is enthusiastic about their fits being reposted, Big Bud Press has become an instant hit with customers.
Customers are encouraged to advocate for brands like this in hopes of being reposted to a large following.
But, don’t worry – you don’t need hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to get this strategy working for you. Try encouraging your followers to post with your product after their purchase. Include an incentive, like 5% off their next purchase, or just ask them to share a photo if they liked it. Reiterate that you would love to see them using it!
Ultimately, if they like what they bought, why wouldn’t they want to share it? And, your account reposting it is just the cherry on top.
Another authentic connection secured!
Connect with your customers!
It can be tough to break the ice and start building an authentic connection with customers on social media, but using these four tips will help you quickly get started. By responding to DMs, answering questions and feedback in the comments, asking questions in captions, and reposting UGC, you’ll be well on your way to having an interactive and engaging Instagram account that connects you with your customers.