Instagram

Expand your sales by selling on Instagram

Expand your sales by selling on Instagram  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Sales are down, and you’re looking for creative marketing strategies to help boost them. Enter shoppable posts.

As Instagram’s grown in influence, so has the sophistication of its sales funnel. Shoppable posts take Instagram’s selling cycle one step further, streamline the user’s journey, and boost your business’ odds of converting followers into customers. 

With around 90 million Instagram accounts tapping on a shoppable post every month, they might just be that sweet spot your business has been missing.

Not sure how or where to start? Not to worry. We’ve covered the A to Z of everything you need to know to get going.


What are shoppable posts?


In a nutshell, shoppable posts enable Instagram users to complete the entire purchase journey - from discovery all the way through to checkout - without ever leaving the app. The benefit to you? Less steps. Less chance of distraction. Less chance of losing customers.

On or off Instagram, your customer journey is crucial. For starters, almost three quarters (76%) of consumers cite it as an important pre-purchase factor. But did you also know, 86% of customers say they’re actually willing to pay more for a great user experience?

Looking at Instagram alone, here are some successful case studies from brands who use shoppable posts as part of there social strategy:

  • Spearmint LOVE witnessed a 25% increase in traffic and 8% uplift in revenue

  • Tyme saw their web traffic rise by 44%

  • Lulus attributes more than 100,000 site visits and 1,200 product orders to shoppers who started on Instagram

Here’s what it looks like in practice:

 
 

With more than 200 million Instagram accounts viewing at least one business profile per day, shoppable posts unlock the door to a whole load of opportunities.

A few quick-fire facts:

  • You can tag up to five products per image or video

  • A maximum of 20 products can be tagged per carousel

  • When you tag products in Instagram, they’re shared on the explore section (where 200 million accounts visit daily) as well as with your immediate audience

  • Products can be tagged within stories too, by using what’s called a ‘product sticker’. We’ll delve into the detail of how this differs a little later on, but below’s a snapshot of how product stickers vary from shoppable posts

A step-by-step guide

So, let’s get started with the details of how to actually create your own shoppable Instagram posts. 

 

1.  Account requirements 

To be able to make the most of shoppable posts, there are a few boxes you need to tick:

  • Your business must be located in certain countries (if you’re in the US, don’t worry, you’re covered). For a full list of countries that are and aren’t included, head here

  • Your Instagram account must primarily sell physical goods

  • You must convert your account to a business profile

  • You must comply with Instagram’s commerce policies

  • Your Instagram business profile must be hooked up to a Facebook catalog

  • Your Facebook profile (which must also be a business page) can’t have any country or age restrictions attached to it

 

2. Facebook catalogs

As we just touched on, to enable shoppable posts, your Instagram account must be associated with a Facebook catalog. In its simplest form, a Facebook catalog is a hub containing information on each of the items you want to sell - like their name, price, condition and category, and looks like this:

Image via    facebook.com

Image via facebook.com

Now, there are one of two ways you can go about setting your Facebook catalog up:

  • Option A: Add a shop to your Facebook page. Find out how to do this in five simple steps here.

  • Option B: Use a catalog on Business Manager. This guide will walk you through the set-up process.

3. Account review

Once you’ve hooked your Instagram profile up to a Facebook catalog it’s a bit of a waiting game because, before you can start exploring Instagram’s shopping feature, your account has to be reviewed - this’ll happen automatically. Typically, it takes a few days for the review to complete, however, it may take longer if your account needs to be reviewed in more detail.

It’s worth noting that if you’re creating your very first Facebook catalog, the catalog itself will need to be reviewed before your automatic review can commence.

 

4. Start adding tags and/or stickers

The penultimate step revolves around actually adding your product tags and/or stickers on Instagram. Before you get going, here are a couple of points to bear in mind:

  • Before you can add tags or stickers, your Instagram account must be approved for shopping. If it’s not, you’ll hit a dead end; and

  • Make sure you’re using the latest version of Instagram’s app to ensure you’re utilizing all its latest updates.

If you’re up to speed with everything you ought to be at this point, then you’re ready to turn on your product tags. To do this, just work your way through these easy-to-follow steps:

 

1.  Head to your Instagram business profile

2. At the top right of your screen, you should see an ellipsis (…) - click on it

3. Look out for the ‘Shopping’ option under the ‘Business settings’ tab and tap into it

4. Hit ‘Continue’

5. See which product catalog you want to use within your shoppable posts and select it

6. Voila. You’re set-up and ready to start tagging products in your posts and/or stories.

 

5. Creating the actual post

So, you’ve got all the ingredients you need to create a shoppable post or story, now it’s time to pull the final concoction together. 

Shoppable posts 

As we touched on earlier, you can tag up to a maximum of five products per single picture and 20 products per carousel (i.e. a series of images within one post). 

Each tag will show the name and price of the item in question, and if you want, you have the option to go back and add tags into old posts, too.

Shoppable stories

Instagram stories work slightly differently. For starters, you use what’s called a ‘product sticker’ which showcases the product’s name - but not the price. You are, however, given a bit more personalization flexibility with stickers, in that you can edit their color and text. 

Unlike with shoppable posts, you can’tadd product stickers to already published stories. If you want to add a sticker to an already-published story, you’ll have to delete and re-publish it with the product sticker.

 

The creation process: 

1.   Create your Instagram post or story as you normally would.

2a. If you’re pulling a post together, click ‘Tag products’ on the ‘Share’ screen.

2b. If you’re making a story, tap the sticker icon and then hit the product sticker option.

3. Whether you’re following the instructions for a post or a story, you’ll be presented with your product catalog - choose which one you want to tag and drop it on or close to the item you want to promote.

4. Share your post or story and prepare to monitor the traction you get from your product tags or stickers - you can do this by heading to the ‘Insights’ section of the app (for posts, tap ‘View Insights’ on your chosen shopping post, and for stories just swipe up once you’re in the story).


Hue & Tone: Your Social Media Partners

Overwhelmed just reading this guide? Ready to see your business' Instagram sales shoot up? See how we can help amplify your efforts today by getting in touch with the team at (336) 365-8559. 

10 accounts every designer needs to follow on Instagram

When it comes to finding design inspiration, Instagram can serve as your personal playground — it’s a gold mind for great content and inspiration… if you follow the right people, that is.

Whether you’re looking to get inspired for an upcoming photoshoot or you need to find a new font to try out, here are 10 awesome Instagram accounts every designer should tap into from time-to-time.

 

1.  logoinspirations 

If you’re stuck in a rut trying to create that standout logo, logoinspirations curates all the best identities out there to save you trawling the web. If you check out their highlights, you’ll find lots of tips, inspiration and tools.

 

2.  logonew

Sticking with the logo theme, logonew shares a healthy blend of sketches and digital concepts. From drones and eagles to bitmojis, bees and beer, their feed is brimming with variety that’s sure to set your creative wheels in motion.

 

3.  neil_a_stevens

Specializing in poster design, Neil’s Instagram illustrations are nothing short of ingenious. Whether you’re looking for digital or online inspo, his masterpieces will get your inspiration flowing -- and your jaw dropping.

eaters-collective-129481-unsplash.jpg

4.  darias88

In his own words, the owner of this account, Daniel Aristizábal, “brings forward new technologies to create stunning and inspiring artworks.” He’s constantly experimenting with new styles and is known for his mastery of turning everyday objects into something abstract, original, and colorful.

 

5.  mrseaves101

Run by an Australian artist called Gemma O’Brien, this account is packed with bold lettering, illustrations, andtypography. It’s vibrant, it’s edgy, and it encompasses a mix of bold artwork and beautiful snapshots from around the world.

 

6. handmadefont

Finding a font is no easy feat, but if it’s variety you’re after, handmadefont has you covered. From industrial, futuristic and floral looks, to street art, 3D and foodie feels, it curates a whole load of forward-thinking concepts. 

 

7. interaction_design_foundation

This one’s less actual artwork, more practical tips -- to help you achieve that perfect piece. With posts on everything from introducing lean UX and conducting heuristic evaluations to information visualization and color emotion, there’s something for everyone.

 

8. heystudio

Heystudio focuses on brand identity, editorial design, illustration, geometry, color and direct typography. All these topics are at the heart of what they do and their feed has a quirky and contemporary look. With clients like Apple, Vodafone and Oxfam on their books, they must be doing something right…

 

9. uiuxgifs

GIFs are on the up. If you’re looking to incorporate some on your site or in your social media and email campaigns but just can’t map out what you want, this feed’s full of animated inspiration.

 

10. velvetspectrum

Last but by certainly means not least, Velvet Spectrum houses a mix of typography, illustration and motion graphics. Oozing with dynamic color and careful composition, the updates are nothing short of electric.


Hue & Tone Creative

If you’ve hit a creative wall, we can help you take your artwork to the next level. We can work with you on every design project, no matter what the medium — no print or digital job is too small. To get an idea of what we can do, see some of the projects we’ve worked on in the past or get in touch.

75 post ideas for Instagram

Are you lacking imagination for your next Instagram post? Everyone’s creative cogs stop turning every now and then, but fear not, we’ve put our creativity to the test by coming up with 75 post ideas to help you through your creative block:

75 post ideas for Instagram  |  Hue & Tone Creative

  1. Lighten the mood with a meme
  2. Pull out a quote from a happy client
  3. Post a picture of your products
  4. Film a demo of how to use your product or service
  5. Publish pictures of customers using your product or service
  6. Shout about any competitions you’re running
  7. Put your own spin on a big event - like Super Bowl
  8. Re-post stuff your followers tag you in
  9. Push out any promotions
  10. Create some motivational quotes
  11. Celebrate any business milestones
  12. Tell people about any job vacancies you’ve got
  13. Share team bios
  14. Share your team members favorite product
  15. Let people see what goes on behind the scenes
  16. Tease people new product launches
  17. Wish everyone a good weekend
  18. Remind your audience of your contact details so they can share any questions/concerns
  19. Promote employee recommendations
  20. Create an event reminder - if you’re hosting any
  21. Shout about any charity work you do
  22. Promote local charity events
  23. Have fun with your brand
  24. Show alternative uses for your products
  25. Ask questions to gauge audience interest in a topic
  26. Share your industry knowledge
  27. Ask for feedback
  28. Tell the story behind your brand
  29. Point people to new content on your site
  30. Shout about any awards you’ve won
  31. Raise money for charity
  32. Consider interviews with industry experts
  33. Set a challenge for people to get involved with
  34. Remind people when the clocks change
  35. Remind people of your unique selling points
  36. Share some New Year’s Resolutions
  37. Post live pictures and videos from events
  38. Share relevant news stories
  39. Visualize an inspirational, well-known quote
  40. Film a video that will make people laugh
  41. Get an influencer to endorse you
  42. Latch onto a trending hashtag
  43. Let people know what a day in the life at your business is like
  44. Publish statistics around your product or service
  45. Share any positive press coverage you receive
  46. Get involved with topical trends (think ice bucket challenge)
  47. Think of something crazy that could go viral
  48. Reach out to a celebrity and see if they’ll engage with you
  49. Show before and after transformations
  50. Thank your customers for their loyalty
  51. Congratulate customers or clients for their own successes
  52. Point people to key pages of your website
  53. Share a fun fact
  54. Create a collage to show a timeline of events
  55. Run a quiz
  56. Feature products that are on sale
  57. Make a business announcement
  58. Hook onto random awareness days - like International Day of Happiness
  59. Play an April Fool’s Day prank
  60. Show people what life would be like without your product or service
  61. Sell your product in a 20 second video
  62. Be vulnerable: share a challenge your business has
  63. Set up a user-generated content competition
  64. Post a picture of the person in control of your Instagram so people can put a face to a name
  65. Share a #throwbackthursday
  66. Invite people to follow your other social media channels
  67. Run a Christmas-themed giveaway
  68. Schedule a ‘Merry Christmas’ post for on the day
  69. Remind people of your business hours
  70. Share your company’s culture
  71. Start your own unique weekly series, like #whatifwednesday
  72. Ask people to leave you a review (and tell them where they can do it)
  73. Share styling tips
  74. Start a countdown to a key date/event
  75. Share someone else’s content that’ll be valuable to your audience - but make sure it’s not someone who can take business away from you!

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IN the triad

Looking to develop your social media presence? Hue & Tone Creative is a web marketing agency specializing in graphic design and social media management. Be sure to check out our portfolio to see clients we’ve helped in the past, or give us a call if you're ready to get started building your online presence. 

How to Curate Your Instagram Feed

We all want our feed to look like this!

We all want our feed to look like this!

Ever stumble across a gorgeous Instagram feed and suddenly come down with a major case of account envy? We’ve all been there.

Creating a lust-worthy Instagram account is more than just slapping on a filter and a handful of hashtags. It’s about telling a story and understanding your own unique style.

Whether you’re trying to revamp your feed for yourself or your brand, we’ll give you the scoop on how to create an account your followers will love. 

 

 

Choose a Theme

Found the perfect filter or editing settings? Keep your feed cohesive by using it on your other images. 

All successful Instagram accounts have something in common. They all have a look. Finding your own theme takes a lot of research and self-discovery, so don’t get discouraged if it takes some time to get your feed where you want it to be.

Start by studying your favorite Instagram accounts, creating color stories on Pinterest, or simply writing down a list of adjectives that describe your brand. Think about what emotions you want your followers to feel when they scroll through your feed and brainstorm how you can express that visually.

For instance, a feed for a yoga studio could use relaxing colors, natural light, or motivational quotes. An account for a café might use vibrant colors or flat lays of ingredients... Once you get rolling the ideas are endless!

After you’ve decided on a style, use that as a guideline for all your future posts. 



Spice it Up

Now that you’ve found your look, keep your interesting by varying what you post. No one wants to follow an account that posts virtually the same images all the time.

Get creative by telling your story in different ways:

  • Piece a mosaic of individual images
  • Celebrate a holiday
  • Change your setting 

Still need more examples of what to post? We’ve got even more ideas to help you get inspired.




Quality over Quantity

Never post a subpar picture just for the sake of likes. It’s much better to have a small number of great images than hundreds of blah ones. Always post high quality images that reflect your brand’s vibe and overall style. If it doesn’t fit your look, don’t post it.


Pro tip: Use a social media scheduler to help you preplan your Instagram content. We recommend giving Buffer or Hootsuite a try! 


Try an App

Although Instagram has a huge array of filters to choose from, don’t be afraid to venture outside of the app! There are tons of (mostly free) photo editing apps on the market with beautiful color stories and editing features.

VSCO- subtle effects and presets

1967- filters with a vintage feel

Foodie- perfect for lovers of food photography

A Color Story- lovely collection of filters and light effects

Adobe Lightroom- a high quality on the go photo editor

 

One last takeaway…

Creating a cohesive look takes time so don’t rush the process! Post frequently and try not to overthink it. 


Social Media Marketing in Greensboro, NC

Running out of ideas on what to post? Can’t seem to increase your number of followers? Take a breather and leave it to the experts. Whether you’re trying to get the word out for an event or are preparing to launch a hot new product, Hue & Tone Creative can help you ramp up likes, retweets, and mentions on all of your social channels.

How to Become a Hashtag Pro (and specific hashtags for your industry)

HOW TO BECOME A HASHTAG PRO (AND SPECIFIC HASHTAGS FOR YOUR INDUSTRY)  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Everyone knows that hashtags and pictures go together like PB&J. But not everyone knows how to correctly utilize hashtags.  When it comes to helping people find your company and products on Instagram, hashtags can play a big role -- but only if you're using the right ones. 

Today, we're going to run through the two main types of hashtags, and then cover how to find and use them properly.

 

Types

Before you start collecting hashtags, it’s important to understand which ones you should be using. There are two main types to choose from: community and branded hashtags.

Community hashtags are popular on Instagram, but they don’t really have anything to do with brands. For instance, #tbt or #cat could be used by anybody, it’s not exclusive to a company. These are great for helping people discover your profile -- but you'll want to be specific and primarily use hashtags that directly relate to the mission of your brand.

Unlike community hashtags, branded hashtags are for… you guessed it, brands! Usually companies use a consistent tag featuring their name, but you could also make one for a promotion, competition, or product launch.

Branded hashtags are awesome for supporting user-generated content campaigns (UGC) because they help people connect with you and show their love for your brand. 

 

Where to Find Hashtags

Although it would be easy to throw on a couple of hashtags and call it a day, you really need to your homework if you want to be discovered. 

Save your hashtags tags in Google Docs or a spread sheet so that you have on hand when you need them. 

We recommend thinking like your audience. Dig around and find out which influencers and hashtags are popular with your followers. It also helps to zero in on the more specific community hashtags because they have a smaller following. For example, #artistsoninstagram has over 3 million posts, but if you narrow it down to #inkdrawing, you have about 820,000 posts to compete with. Less competition = more exposure for you.

Speaking of competition, it may also help to scope out what tags they’re using. If they’re posts are getting a crazy amount of attention, hunt around for the right hashtags to spark some likes on your own page. 

 

Instagram Pro tip

Keep your post clutter free by hiding your hashtags. 

  1. Open Notes in your phone.
  2. Type a dot and hit return (Repeat this process 5 times).
  3. Add all the hashtags you want to use after the 5th dot.
  4. Copy all the dots and hashtags.
  5. After you post your picture in Instagram, hit the comment button and paste all your dots and hashtags.
  6. When you look back at your post, all the tags should be hidden!


Need a few hashtag ideas to help you get started? Here are some popular ones for some of the top industries and the Triad:

Fitness:
#fitlife
#getoutside
#eatclean
#fitspo
#fitnessgoals 

Greensboro & the Triad:
#gso
#gbo
#sogso
#wsnc
#gatecity

 Marketing:
#digitalmarketing
#advertising
#entrepreneurship
#influencermarketing
#marketingstrategy

Restaurants:
#delicious
#locallygrown
#eatlocal
#treatyoself
#hungry

Nonprofits:
#volunteer
#change
#dogood
#socialgood
#socialimpact


Social Media Marketing in the Triad: Hue & Tone Creative

Does managing all your social media accounts feel like a chore? We can give you a hand! Whether you’re looking to expand your list of followers or boost your amount of likes, the digital marketing pros at Hue & Tone Creative can give your accounts the attention they need. 

Beginner tips for Instagram Stories

Beginner tips for Instagram Stories  |  Hue & Tone Creative

With over 150 million daily users, Instagram stories have gained a lot of popularity since their launch. If you haven’t hopped on the stories train yet, it’s not too late!

Instagram stories are the perfect way to engage your followers without overloading their feed. Each story only lasts for 24 hours (aka Snapchat style), so it’s important to post regularly. We suggest adding a lot of variety to your stories so that you can gauge what your followers respond best to.

Not quite sure of what to post? Here are a few ideas to get you started: 

  • Get Artsy: Play around with the pen tool and draw little doodles around your images/ videos. You also scribble a colorful background behind text. 
  • Tie in your other social channels: Did you recently upload a new video on YouTube or create a contest on Facebook? Share a snippet in your stories!
  • Before & after’s: This is perfect for designers, stylists, or anyone showing of a DIY success.
  • Create an ad: At the beginning of this month, Instagram announced that Instagram Stories Ads would be available for businesses worldwide. 30+ brands including Asos, Airbnb, and Netflix tested out the new feature earlier this year with great success.
  • Collaborate: Work with other businesses or try out a guest “takeover” to add a different perspective. 
  • Be consistent: IG stories only last for a day, so make sure that you post regularly. If every day is too much, try to post a few times a week.
  • Have fun: Try not to make your stories too stuffy! Play around with emoji’s, clever captions, color, and fun filters. Adding a bit of candid fun will give your followers something to look forward to. 
  • Mix it up: Instagram stories are kind of like a little patchwork quilt of daily events. Keep it interesting by incorporating pictures, music, videos, and Boomerang clips.

Don’t overthink it! At the end of the day, Instagram stories are a fun and temporary extension to your Instagram feed. Sometimes spontaneity is key.


Marketing & Social Media Services in Greensboro: Hue & Tone Creative

Need a second opinion on your current social media strategy? We've got your back! Our social media management services will help you boost engagement, increase followers, create brand awareness.... and, most importantly, create content your customers will love.