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Amongst a slew of other social media tools, Instagram has defined itself as one of the dominant up and coming visual marketing channels for both brands and retailers. At just three years old, Instagram has over 150 million active monthly users, with total video and photo share rates of 55 million per day. Its simplicity and engaging use of imagery make it a great platform for any business interested in standing out and attracting customers.

The table below shows the percentage of national brands per industry that have adopted Instagram as a social media tool. It shows that 100% of automotive, fast food, soft drink, and apparel industries have all adopted Instagram, with others not far behind. So where are the individual retailers? We urge small businesses to consider this platform, along with other social sites, as a potential driver of store traffic and consumer engagement.

Choosing Images

The most important aspect of using Instagram is a well-chosen photo that fully expresses your message or evokes the desired emotion. Retailers can utilize Instagram in many ways, such as contests, new promotions, or new product launches. The goal is to transform consumers into loyal repeat customers who are cheerleaders for your local brand, so think about the purpose of each post.

In general:

  • Keep your customer up to date: Share photos and text about new product launches. Many customers engage in social media post-purchase to learn more about a company’s latest product offerings.
  • Provide exclusive content and deals: Sales keep customers coming back!
  • Share the value: Many customers engage in post-purchase activity to learn more about their product. Post tips or ideas on how to best utilize the product(s) being sold.

Use Hashtags

The next major focus for a retailer is choosing a hashtag, which is a word or phrase prefixed with the symbol #. Hashtags are a means of grouping photos and messages on social media sites. When it comes to adding hashtags to your photo, it is best to choose wisely. Too many hashtags on a photo can create a sense of insignificance to your post. Focus on your industry, the picture, and the message you want to get across to your consumers. Choose a few words that best describe your message and make them the hashtags for your photo. If you are a retailer posting a photo of a specific product, you should include that product’s brand as a hashtag as well.

Here is an example of a Promoboxx retailer, Fathom Boards, who shared a photo about an in-store event, using hashtags to enhance their message.


Using Promoboxx to Boost Your Instagram Reach

Brands and retailers can create a better social media presence with the help of Promoboxx + Instagram. Promoboxx gives its retailers access to high-resolution images and text that can be shared through their online channels. Many retailers have saved these images and shared them via Instagram, adding their own hashtags and customizing the messages to add a personally branded tone.

Here is an example of a Promoboxx retailer, Puffer Reds, utilizing the content we provided them on Instagram.

This is the content we provided Reebok retailers with nationwide:

This is how Puffer Reds utilized our content and created an Instagram post:

 Like on Facebook   Follow on Twitter   Instagram 


Puffer Reds Analyst, RayVonn Williams, has seen great results with Instagram, saying that,“Instagram is great because we generally get a quick response from our customers using that social media platform. A lot of times they will show up in the store 5 to 15 minutes after we make a post for something that they want to purchase.”

As a leading force in the visual marketing industry, it is important for retailers to experiment with this style of marketing in their portfolio. Have you seen any results from using Instagram? Do you think this makes sense for the industry you are in? Let us know in the comments below!